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Ernest Borgnine dies at 95


Brock
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Noooooooooooooo! :( He was the most robust nonogenarian I have ever seen.

 

From The Washington Post: http://www.washingtonpost.com/entertainment/celebrities/oscar-winning-film-star-ernest-borgnine-dies-in-la-at-age-95/2012/07/08/gJQAU1CgWW_story.html

 

I will always remember sitting in front of him at the Toronto Convention Centre while he bitched about Shelley Winters. LOL

 

R.I.P. Ernie.

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Noooooooooooooo! :( He was the most robust nonogenarian I have ever seen.

 

From The Washington Post: http://www.washingtonpost.com/entertainment/celebrities/oscar-winning-film-star-ernest-borgnine-dies-in-la-at-age-95/2012/07/08/gJQAU1CgWW_story.html

 

I will always remember sitting in front of him at the Toronto Convention Centre while he bitched about Shelley Winters. LOL

 

R.I.P. Ernie.

 

All these old stars dying lately. What gives? RIP, Ernie.

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First Jack Benny, then Eartha Kitt, then Carol Channing's husband, and now Ernest Borgnine.

 

Within a few months of my seeing these people live, they all died.

 

I might as well be wearing a black hood and carrying a scythe.

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First Jack Benny, then Eartha Kitt, then Carol Channing's husband, and now Ernest Borgnine.

 

Within a few months of my seeing these people live, they all died.

 

I might as well be wearing a black hood and carrying a scythe.

 

Then please stay away from Betty White, Neil. LOL

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My alltime favorite actor -- I'd been quietly dreading July 8 most of my life. But what a career -- what a life!

 

Still, I think he would be the first to admit that at 95 and a half, he had a pretty good run -- he was working practically to the day he died, he never really got old (he stayed 58 for about 40 years), had a wife that I'm certain added years to his life (Tova, not Ethel) and his last illness was very brief, although I was saddened to read only today that his son announced he'd just had a cancerous tumor removed from his lung, had gone home from the hospital and had to go back in when his kidneys started failing on July 3.

 

And Carole Cook's comment about 'pick of the litter' -- not hers I'm afraid. On the day of the wedding, Ernie had invited the entire cast of "McHale's Navy" to the wedding and Joe Flynn was the one who made that comment as a rather loud aside during the ceremony. Ernie took great offense to that, not because he had heard it, but the fact that Ethel heard it also. This wedding was in 1964 and the show ran until 1966 -- other than in the scenes where they appeared together, Ernest Borgnine never spoke to Joe Flynn again.

 

Ernest always spoke highly of Joe in the years since and seemingly forgave him (or just forgot about it) as he thought he was irreplacable when ABC thought of reviving "McHale's Navy" with a sequel in the late 1970s after the success of the "Gilligan's Island" reunion movies.

 

Natually this isn't mentioned in his autobiography, probably one of the most upbeat ever written, but you can bet that it will appear in some book, one day. In the meantime,here's the cover of Ernie's, one I can heartly recommend to all Lucy Loungers:

 

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And Carole Cook's comment about 'pick of the litter' -- not hers I'm afraid. On the day of the wedding, Ernie had invited the entire cast of "McHale's Navy" to the wedding and Joe Flynn was the one who made that comment as a rather loud aside during the ceremony. Ernie took great offense to that, not because he had heard it, but the fact that Ethel heard it also. This wedding was in 1964 and the show ran until 1966 -- other than in the scenes where they appeared together, Ernest Borgnine never spoke to Joe Flynn again.

 

Don't understand why he was so offended by the 'pick of the litter' comment, enough to never speak to Flynn again. On the surface it would seem like a complement, but maybe the it was taken as a slam against Ethel and what a female dog who has a litter is called. Or maybe he was offended because Flynn got a laugh in the middle of the ceremony? You'd think after the quickie divorce, any slams against Ethel not only have been forgiven, but encouraged. Too bad for the show the marriage didn't last. Ethel would have been a fun semi-regular addition as a "Maggie Brown" type.

 

Flynn is essential to the success of McHale's Navy, though only Borgnine and Conway were Emmy nominated, one each.

 

McHale's Navy was nominated for best comedy for its first two years. It was rather odd for a raucous comedy like this to get that much Emmy recognition, particular when the un-nominated competition included the two best of The lucy Show and two of the best of Andy Griffith (the latter IMO one of Emmy's greatest oversights). Perhaps Borgnine's Oscar winning status elevated its prestige. Also WW2 was still pretty fresh in people's minds in 1962. Men who served in that war were barely 40 when this was on. It did make World War 2 seem like a barrel of laughs.

The series lost to The Dick Van Dyke show both years. the other competitors in 1962: Beverly Hillbillies and "the Danny Kaye Show with Lucille Ball" as it was officially called. 1963: The political satire "That Was the Week That Was". The other nominees were two real lightweights, the charming, but shallow "Farmer's Daughter" and the inane "Bill Dana Show".

 

McHale did pretty well in the ratings in a time when ABC had few shows in the top 30; and considering its competition from the 2nd season on was the top ten "Red Skelton Show" on CBS.

 

Another curiosity is that two feature length films were made during the rather short run of the series and the 2nd did not have Ernest Borgnine in the cast!

 

McHale was one of a handful of shows that was colorized for syndication when the process was pretty new. Has anyone ever seen any of those?

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Another curiosity is that two feature length films were made during the rather short run of the series and the 2nd did not have Ernest Borgnine in the cast!

 

 

Universal put the 2nd film into production very quickly, and assumed too much in regard to Borgnine's schedule. He was already committed to a lenghty location shoot for THE FLIGHT OF THE PHOENIX (1965). The studio wanted McHALE in theaters for summer 1965 matinee schedules, so rather than wait for Ernie, they rewrote the script to accomodate the absence.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Great observations Neil and Shemp -- and you're quite right Neil, Ethel would have made a great guest star for the show, perhaps as Jane Dulo's sister.

 

I think Ernest probably thought it was too much for Joe Flynn to say that at the wedding, of all places -- although it seems he forgave him as he had to do a lot during his Hollywood career: he was sued for $500,000 by Burt Lancaster in the early 60s for breach of contract and he forgave him. When he told him this, Burt was amazed -- but Ernest figured since he'd be running into him at parties for the next 40 years, he thought he'd better get over it fast. He then bought him a beer and buried the hatchet -- probably why he lived to be 95: forgive and forget.

 

And yes Shemp -- that McHale's sequel was made during "Flight of the Phoenix" which is why he wasn't in it, despite what some of the press reports at the time said.

 

As I write this, it is July 31 and I must say that this month has been the worst periods of celebrities passing away, that I have ever known in my life. And those not mentioned earlier -- Richard Zanuck, R.G. Armstrong, Norman Alden -- check out the 'recent deaths' section of Wikipedia and see for yourself.

 

And what does that Mayan calendar say -- December 23 is the day the world ends? Thank God the Mayans never heard of leap years -- besides I want to be around for season 6 of "Here's Lucy" and "Life with Lucy"!

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