Wednesday, 11 July 2012

A tribute to Ernest Borgnine, a cinema great, 1917-2011, R.I.P.

Ernest Borgnine (EB) was a great actor, who won an Oscar in 1955 for the lead role in Marty.   EB died in Los Angeles. He was better known for his tough guy parts. Ernest looked like a Bronx butcher and he delivered some meaty performances on screen.  I particularly liked his menacing tough guy persona in Bad Day at Black Rock, when he was beaten up by the one armed ex-soldier played by Spencer Tracy (one of the greatest actors of all time).  EB was memorable in Ice Station Zebra with Rock Hudson, and others will remember Ernest in The Wild Bunch, From Here to Eternity, The Dirty Dozen and The Poseidon  Adventure.  

EB loved being in front of the camera and being on set with a film crew.  It was an invigorating experience for him to continue his film career into his nineties. EB was a man of integrity who refused to take on roles that required swearing and explicit sex.  He even turned down, for moral reasons, an opportunity to earn a lucrative fee to play the role of Al Capone, for which as a chubby tough looking American, with Italian immigrant parents, EB was ideally suited. He was a truly Hollywood legend.

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