Academy Award winner Ernest Borgnine will receive a “Lifetime Achievement Award” by the Screen Actors Guild on January 17, 2011 for his humanitarian efforts and truly outstanding career in entertainment.
In a released statement National SAG President Ken Howard said, “Whether portraying brutish villains, sympathetic everymen, complex leaders or hapless heroes, Ernest Borgnine has brought a boundless energy which, at 93, is still a hallmark of his remarkably busy life and career. It is with that same joyous spirit that we salute his impressive body of work and his steadfast generosity.”
The versatile performer started his career in film with 1951’s The Whistle at Eaton Falls opposite Lloyd Bridges, and went on to appear with Hollywood giants such as Montgomery Clift, Glenn Ford, Rod Steiger, Bette Davis, Burt Lancaster, Lee Marvin, Burt Reynolds, Charles Bronson, Anthony Quinn, Kirk Douglas, James Stewart, Richard Attenborough, James Mason, Tony Curtis, Shelley Winters, Laurence Olivier, Deborah Kerr, Randolph Scott, Gene Hackman, Joan Crawford, Spencer Tracey and many more.
His impressive filmography includes enduring classics such as his Oscar winning Marty, as well as The Dirty Dozen, From Here To Eternity, Emperor Of The North, The Poseidon Adventure, The Black Hole, When Time Ran Out, Flight Of The Phoenix, All Quiet On The Western Front, Escape From New York, Bad Day At Black Rock, and Pay or Die. (See slideshow for a selection of his movies through the years))
Unlike many big screen performers, however, the Hoover actor was able to find success and remain in public consciousness on the small screen in popular TV series’ such as “Get Smart” “Wagon Train,” “Airwolf,” “Little House On The Prairie,” “ER,” “JAG,” “Murder She Wrote,” “Highway To Heaven,” “The Love Boat,” “Hollywood Squares” and “Home Improvement.”
In the veteran actor’s 2008 New York Times bestselling autobiography simply titled “Ernie,” he describes being unwilling to accept TV roles until meeting a teen who was able to recognize him by sight — yet could not name even a single movie in which the actor appeared.
“McHale’s Navy,” which premiered on TV in 1962, introduced the already successful film star to a whole new generation of young viewers and his portrayal of “Lt. Commander Quinton McHale” became one of his most recognized characters.
He currently resides with his 5th wife of 37 years, cosmetics manufacturer Tova Traenaes. (Ernest Borgnine was also married to Broadway performer and personality Ethel Merman. His marriage to the “Everything’s Coming Up Roses” singer, however, only lasted for 1 month)
In addition to his Oscar for “Best Actor In A Leading Role” in the 1955 movie Marty, the Italian-American actor has won 12 other awards (including a BAFTA, Golden Globe, and National Board of Review awards) plus 8 nominations for his work in both film and TV.
Even at 93, the Connecticut born actor remains active in the entertainment industry and is listed on IMDB with 4 projects currently in post-production not including The Genesis Code, which will be released on August 25.
Did you know? IMDb reports Ernest Borgnine and fellow actor Charles Bronson were mistaken for bandits and arrested by Mexican Federal police while attempting to ride their horses into town to purchase cigarettes while wearing full costumes for the 1954 movie Vera Cruz.