Enest Borgine dies at 95


Ernest Borgnine, who died Sunday at 95, had the resume of a Hollywood star, but not the distance usually associated with one. Maybe it was the famous gap-toothed smile. Maybe it was the deep, hearty laugh that punctuated a conversation. Maybe it was that, despite numerous roles in film and theater, generations welcomed him into their living rooms as the feisty skipper of TV’s McHale’s Navy. During an acting career of more than 60 years, the Connecticut native worked with Helen Hayes on Broadway, with Gary Cooper and Spencer Tracy in film, and, for a much younger generation, as a voice actor in SpongeBob SquarePants on television. He and Frank Sinatra signed their Christmas cards “Fatso” and “Maggio,” their respective characters in 1953’s From Here to Eternity, a breakout role for Borgnine. Borgnine’s secret for long-term success was to not be another Hollywood pretty face. “I was a character actor. Do I look like a good-looking man? No,” he said in a 2011 interview timed to his acceptance of the Screen Actors Guild’s Life Achievement Award. “But, see, I keep working when the rest of the boys are retired.”