On Behalf of the Rhode Island International Film Festival and film fans the world over:
Ernest Borgnine, the screen star known for blustery, often villainous roles, but who won the Best Actor Oscar for playing against type as a lovesick butcher in “Marty” in 1955, died Sunday. He was 95. Bornine spent some time here in Providence in 2009 when he accepted the Lifetime Achievement award at the Rhode Island International Film Festival.
His longtime spokesman, Harry Flynn, told The Associated Press that Borgnine died at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center with his family by his side. Borgnine had the heart of a classic movie star whether in a drama, such as “Marty,” or a comedy, like the 1960s sitcom “McHale’s Navy.”
Ermes Effron Borgnino was born in 1917, the son of Italian immigrants. He lived in Italy for a while as a child, then came back to the United States, where he joined the U.S. Navy, serving throughout World War II. Younger viewers might know him more as the voice of Mermaid Man in “Spongebob Squarepants.” Borgnine’s biggest kick, however, was going out and meeting people – even making a documentary about himself driving around the country in a big bus: “See, this is what it’s all about – living!” Ernest Borgnine knew what it was all about. He will be greatly missed!