Oscar Winner Ernest Borgnine Dead at 95

Hollywood actor won over America in 'Marty'

By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff

Posted Jul 8, 2012 5:02 PM CDT

(Newser) – Ernest Borgnine, the hefty Hollywood actor who went from bad guy roles to Oscar stardom to TV comedy, died today at age 95 in Los Angeles, the AP reports. The former Navy serviceman started by playing villains in Hollywood movies, but avoided typecasting by snagging the Oscar-winning lead in Marty in 1955. "The Oscar made me a star, and I'm grateful," he said. "But I feel had I not won the Oscar I wouldn't have gotten into the messes I did in my personal life."

Among those messes were four failed marriages, including a 6-week union with singer Ethel Merman. But he succeeded in TV comedy, starring in McHale's Navy in the 1960s, and he kept acting in both movies and television (recently he played a voice role in SpongeBob SquarePants). He also found enduring matrimony with Norwegian-born Tova Traesnaes. But Borgnine complained in later years that roles were harder to come by. "I just want to do more work," he said. "Every time I step in front of a camera I feel young again."

On March 21, 1956, Grace Kelly poses with Oscar-winner Ernest Borgnine at the 28th Academy Awards in Hollywood, Calif., where Borgnine won best actor for his role in Marty.
On March 21, 1956, Grace Kelly poses with Oscar-winner Ernest Borgnine at the 28th Academy Awards in Hollywood, Calif., where Borgnine won best actor for his role in "Marty."   (AP Photo/File)
FILE - In this Oct. 26, 2010 file photo, actor Ernest Borgnine poses for a portrait at his home in Beverly Hills, Calif. Borgnine will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Screen Actors Guild Awards on Jan. 30, 2011.
FILE - In this Oct. 26, 2010 file photo, actor Ernest Borgnine poses for a portrait at his home in Beverly Hills, Calif. Borgnine will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Screen Actors Guild...   (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)
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