Ernest Borgnine. Of all of the icons who’ve passed on this year, I can say I had the pleasure of briefly meeting him. It was at The Night Of 100 Stars Oscar Party 2012, and I’ve got the moment on a video clip I didn’t put up because the poor man could not hear my entire question. It was more a reminder.
See, in 1979 my Mom had the pleasure of helping Mr. Borgnine with a reservations issue when she worked as a reservations sales agent with United Airlines. She remarked to me then, and still does today, of how nice he was to her. I was trying to jog his memory a bit, but with the noise and crowd, it was a lost effort so I didn’t post the video. If I locate it, I’ll change my mind.
Ernest Borgnine was like Andy Griffith to me: someone who you can’t imagine passing on and who’s presence was larger than life. He played in so many memorable roles that reasonable people can disagree on two or more. But for me, his character Detective Lieutenant Mike Rogo in the 1972 Irwin Allen disaster movie The Poseidon Adventure was unforgettable. Here he is with Stella Stevens, who’s character Linda falls to her death in this scene:
On television Borgnine was the start of the popular 50s and 60s comedy hit McHale’s Navy, with Phil Harris.
Ernest Borgnine helped shape American Pop Culture, and like many who have passed before him this year, including Dick Clark and Don Cornelius, and Whitney Houston, marks the passing of the Golden Age of Entertainment.
More on Ernest Borgnine if I can locate that damn clip.