Ernest Borgnine, Star of TV's McHale's Navy and an Oscar Winner, Dead at 95

Ernest Borgnine, an Academy Award winner and three-time Emmy nominee, died of kidney failure on Sunday. He was 95.

On television, Borgnine played the titular Lt. Commander Quinton McHale in the World War II-set sitcom McHale’s Navy, which ran from 1962 to 1966. His small-screen resume also includes runs on Airwolf and 1996’s short-lived comedy The Single Guy, voice work on shows such as All Dogs Go to Heaven: The Series, The Simpsons (as himself) and SpongeBob SquarePants (voicing Mermaid Man as recently as September 2011), and guest-starring turns on myriad programs including two Season 15 episodes of ER, for which he earned one of his three career Emmy Award nominations.

Most recently on TV, he co-starred in last November’s Love’s Christmas Journey for Hallmark Channel.

Borgnine’s silver screen career kicked off in 1953 with the role of Sgt. “Fatso” Judson in From Here to Eternity. Two years later, he starred as a shy butcher named Marty, a role that earned him numerous awards including an Oscar and a Golden Globe.

His film credits also include (but by no means are limited to) The Wild Bunch, Ice Station Zebra, The Poseidon Adventure and The Dirty Dozen.

His last on-camera appearance would be a starring role as The Man Who Shook the Hand of Vicente Fernandez, an independent film which began premiering at film festivals this spring.

In 2011, Borgnine accepted the Screen Actors Guild Lifetime Achievement Award (pictured above).

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  1. rainey13 says:

    Had the pleasure of seeing him at DragonCon last September. His panels were so much fun – of course, Mr. Borgnine had so many wonderful stories to tell from over half a century in the business. And we were lucky enough to catch him the autograph room during something of a lull, so he had time to just chat for a few minutes. A fascinating man, whose film and television legacy will live on.

  2. Andrea says:

    Dominic Santini from Airwolf is what made Ernest Borgnine famous to me. Condolences to his loved ones.

  3. vbarkley39 says:

    Awww, I loved seeing him on SNL last year. He looked like he was having the time of his life. What Up Wit’ Dat?

  4. Danielle H says:

    Aww such a sweet man. RIP!!

  5. sugarc4t says:

    By becoming a TV star, Ernie Borgnine gave every generation a character to grow up with.

    The Baby Boomers knew him as ‘Quinton McHale’ (McHALE’s NAVY)
    Generation X got ‘Dominic Santini’ (AIRWOLF)
    Generation Y know him as ‘Mermaid Man’ (SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS).

    For me personally, he’ll always be ‘Dom’ with Jan-Michael Vincent’s ‘Hawke’ in mid-80s helicopter adventure drama AIRWOLF when it was re-shown during the mid-90s, and of course in the last couple of years with the DVD Box Sets. Listening to the Airwolf Themes Soundtrack right now in lieu and in memory of him right now.

    RIP Ernie.

    • Sable says:

      The baby boomers know him from all these characters and for his Oscar winning performance as “Marty.”

  6. fancy filly says:

    A truly class act from all angles. He was a happy gratful and true American Icon. Loved that man.