Ernest Borgnine: 5 Things You Should Know

Tags: Ernest Borgnine - CBS - Jan-Michael Vincent - Grace Kelly - Tim Conway

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Following the news of Ernest Borgnine 's death, tributes have poured in from all corners of the online world for the star, who died aged 95. Many of our readers may not have been aware of the extent of Borgnine's influence until the news of his death broke on Sunday (July 8, 2012).

1. Ernest Borgnine Airwolf

Borgnine was one of the stars of the classic US TV series 'Airwolf,' which followed the adventures of the military aircraft and its intrepid crew. With its Cold War themes and espionage storylines, the series ran for 55 episodes on the CBS network between 1984 and 1986 and became something of a cult classic, with Borgnine playing the role of Dominic Santini, the sole proprietor of Santini Air.

2. Ernest Borgnine and Jan Michael Vincent

Jan-Michael Vincent was one of Ernest Borgnine's co-stars on Airwolf and the pair of legendary actors are often discussed in the same breath. They may not be household names in the same way that many '70s TV stars are but for those in the know, they were a classic on-screen pairing, rarely rivalled before or since.

3. Ernest Borgnine's Oscar Win

In 1955, Ernest Borgnine won the Best Actor award for his role in the film 'Marty.' Playing the role of an Italian American butcher from the Bronx, Marty has resigned himself to a life of being a bachelor, until he meets Clara and their socially awkward relationship begins to blossom. The award was presented to a beaming Borgnine by the legendary actress Grace Kelly.

4. MCHales Navy

Another high point in Borgnine's career, MCHale's Navy became an instant success in the US when it launched in 1963. Borgnine called upon his own navy experience to star in the World War II sitcom. The comedian Tim Conway speaks fondly of his time working with Borgnine on the show, saying "Ernie was probably one of the few people at Universal, who would stop the trams and say, 'Hello, how are you?' He would talk to everybody at the tram."

5. Tova Traesnaes

Tova Traesnaes can probably be credited as the woman that saved Borgnine from a life of failed marriages. He was known for being volatile, yet attracting women with their own feisty personalities. Ernest's first marriage was to the singer Ethel Merman, in 1964. The marriage lasted just 38 days. He married Tova in 1973, though and they remained betrothed until the day that he died. Aged 60, Tova was by Ernest's side when he passed away last weekend at Cedars Sinai Medical Centre in Los Angeles.


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