Sunday 22 April 2018

Hollywood screen star Ernest Borgnine dies aged 95

Lifetime achievement honoree Ernest Borgnine waves after receiving his award at the 17th annual Screen Actors Guild Awards in Los Angeles in 2011. Photo: Reuters
Lifetime achievement honoree Ernest Borgnine waves after receiving his award at the 17th annual Screen Actors Guild Awards in Los Angeles in 2011. Photo: Reuters

ERNEST Borgnine, the Oscar-winning Hollywood actor who starred alongside Frank Sinatra in the early 1950s, has died aged 95.



The star died of renal failure at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles with his wife and children at his side, a spokesman said.



In the early 1950s, Borgnine gained notoriety for playing Fatso Judson, the villain who beat Frank Sinatra to death in From Here to Eternity. He later starred in 1950s action blockbusters Three Bad Men, Barabbas, The Dirty Dozen and The Wild Bunch.



In 1955, he won the best-actor Oscar for playing a lovesick butcher in Marty, a low-budget film starring Rod Steiger.



After numerous Hollywood successes, Borgnine moved into television comedy taking a role in McHale’s Navy as the commander of a World War II PT boat with a crew of misfits and malcontents.



"The Oscar made me a star, and I'm grateful," Borgnine told an interviewer in 1966. "But I feel had I not won the Oscar I wouldn't have gotten into the messes I did in my personal life."



Those messes included four failed marriages, including one in 1964 to singer Ethel Merman that lasted less than six weeks.



But Borgnine's fifth marriage, in 1973 to Norwegian-born Tova Traesnaes, endured and brought with it an interesting business partnership. She manufactured and sold her own beauty products under the name of Tova and used her husband's rejuvenated face in her ads.



During a 2007 interview with The Associated Press, Borgnine expressed delight that their union had reached 34 years. "That's longer than the total of my four other marriages," he commented, laughing heartily.

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