Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Ernie Borgnine Passes

I was very sad at the news of the death of iconic character actor Ernest Borgnine.   Known to anyone of us in the "Baby-Boomer" generation -who did not live in a cave -as the skipper of PT-73, Commander Quinton McHale of McHale’s Navy. Borgnine was a Navy Veteran who enlisted in 1935 and served throughout World War II.
 Ernie Borgnine, a native of Connecticut, got his first big break in film as the self-consciously homely Marty in the film by the same name, which earned him an Academy Award.   He was also the villainous and brutal jailer Sergeant of the Guard Fatso Judson in From Here to Eternity, who beats Frank Sinatra’s character Maggio to death.  Borgnine starred in, or appeared in, a great many other movies, including The Wild Bunch, with Bill Holden, The Dirty Dozen, and Bad Day at Black Rock.

He will be best known, however, as the screwball Commander McHale, whose crew of Ensign Parker (the very funny Tim Conway), Gruber, Virg, Tinker, Happy, and the unlikely Japanese “prisoner” Fuji, was always trying to get over on Captain Wally “Lead Bottom” Binghamton (the late Joe Flynn) and his kiss-up, 'yes man' LT Carpenter.

Somewhere up there, you can hear Lead Bottom standing at the Pearly Gates, asking impatiently; “What, McHale?  What is it this time?”

Ernest Borgnine was 95. We already miss you, Ernie...

Live Long and Prosper....

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