Sunday, 8 July 2012

RIP Ernest Borgnine

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For the third time in two weeks, it is my sad duty to blog about the passing of a great figure in the world of film. First Nora Ephron, then Eric Sykes, and now... Ernest Borgnine.

Ernest Borgnine passed away today at the grand old age of 95. In a career spanning over 60 years, he made a number of memorable appearances. I first came across him as the cabbie in John Carpenter's Escape from New York, but prior to this he made appearances in The Dirty Dozen (opposite Lee Marvin), Ice Station Zebra (with star of The Prisoner Patrick McGoohan), Sam Peckinpah's The Wild Bunch and The Poseidon Adventure. But he'll be most famously remembered for his unconventional lead performance in Marty, which nettled him a Best Actor Oscar in 1955.

File:Ernest Borgnine-oscar.jpg
Borgnine was a man of great screen presence who could make any slightly under-par film feel worthwhile - even The Devil's Rain. His career was also proof that it is possible to make a successful career in Hollywood without conforming to stereotypical notions of male physical prowess. He continued working right up to his death, and even bagged an Emmy nomination aged 92 for his performance in two episodes of ER.

Should you want to commemorate Borgnine's memory by rewatching a classic performance, I have two personal suggestions outside of those I've mentioned. Either watch The Simpsons episode 'Boy-Scoutz n the Hood' (he's playing himself but is brilliant), or go and rent The Black Hole.

Finally, here's a clip from the infamous interview on Fox in which Borgnine reveals the secret to his longevity:
RIP Ernest, we'll really miss you.

Daniel

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