Ernest Borgnine, one of Hollywood’s most durable character actors has died at the age of 95 this afternoon. Sometimes playing a villain, other times triumphing in roles such as MARTY, or in McHALE’S NAVY as the wanker navy officer in charge of the worst bunch in the whole navy, Ernest Borgnine seemed at home both in drama or in comedy as a straight man presence.
Borgnine had a certain rough and uncouth style that seemed to make him one of the greatest character actors of our generation. In McHALE’S NAVY he seemed to play a great funny crooked and corrupt navy commander. You would really laugh at his schemes to use his navy time to profit and make illegal money from gambling, etc. McHALE’s NAVY also did well because of the comic antics of actor Tim Conway, who played a goofy buffoon compared to the straight man foil of Ernest Borgnine.
In later years, Borgnine was featured as the voice of the Mermaid Man on the children’s cartoon show, SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS.
In his private life, Ernest Borgnine tended to be a political conservative that donated money to Republican Party causes, giving some candidates a celebrity endorsement.
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