Ernest Borgnine was no stranger to Turner Classic Movies. So, when news of his passing spread, as it did with Andy Griffith, the network answered its call to action. That call was paying tribute to the legendary film and TV actor.
Borgnine, who passed away a the age of 95 on July 8, gets a nice treatment.
Turner Classic Movies (TCM) has announced it will remember the life and career of Academy Award®-winning actor Borgnine with a 24-hour marathon of his films on Thursday, July 26. Now comes in the "he is no stranger" to TCM, as he wasn't. According to their press release, Borgnine "was a dear friend to the TCM community through his appearances at the TCM Classic Film Festival, on the TCM Classic Cruise and during TCM's annual Road to Hollywood tour."
"We saw firsthand how much he loved life, loved being an actor and enjoyed meeting his fans when he joined us at our TCM Classic Film Festival, TCM Classic Cruise and Road to Hollywood events. He was a joy to be around. Thank heavens for film. Ernie may have left us physically, but we'll have his talent and film image with us forever," said Robert Osborne.
July 26 movie and times (Eastern time):
6 a.m. – "The Catered Affair" - (1956) – with Bette Davis and Debbie Reynolds.
8 a.m. – "The Legend of Lylah Clare" - (1968) – with Kim Novak and Peter Finch.
10:30 a.m. – "Pay or Die" - (1960) – with Zohra Lampert and Al Austin.
12:30 p.m. – "Torpedo Run" - (1958) – with Glenn Ford and Diane Brewster.
2:30 p.m. – "Ice Station Zebra" - (1968) – with Rock Hudson and Patrick McGoohan.
5:15 p.m. – "The Dirty Dozen" - (1967) – with Lee Marvin, Jim Brown, John Cassavetes, Robert Ryan, Charles Bronson, Donald Sutherland, George Kennedy and Telly Savalas.
8 p.m. – Private Screenings: Ernest Borgnine (2009) – hosted by Robert Osborne.
9 p.m. – "Marty" - (1955) – with Betsy Blair and Joe Mantell. His Oscar winning performance.
10:45 p.m. – "From Here to Eternity" - (1953) – with Burt Lancaster, Montgomery Clift, Deborah Kerr, Donna Reed and Frank Sinatra.
1 a.m. – "The Wild Bunch" - (1969) – with William Holden, Robert Ryan, Edmond O'Brien, Warren Oates and Ben Johnson.
3:30 a.m. – "Bad Day at Black Rock" - (1955) – with Spencer Tracy, Robert Ryan, Anne Francis, Dean Jagger, Walter Brennan and Lee Marvin.
5 a.m. – Private Screenings: Ernest Borgnine (2009) – hosted by Robert Osborne.
Missing from the list is perhaps a film that should be included. It reignited or introduced Borgnine to a new crop of movie fans. That film was the "Poseidon Adventure." Those disaster films of the 1970s were often vehicles, like "The Love Boat," to give actors thought on the end of their careers, a lift. Or at least some exposure and a paycheck. For many, who are just about 40-years old to their early 50s, it was that film that quickly comes to mind. It was a star-studded disaster flick and Borgnine's wife in the film, Shelley Winters, was also in that category.
TCM notes, he was Ermes Effron Borgnine on Jan. 24, 1918 in Hamden, CT, he was the only child of immigrant parents from Northern Italy. After his parents separated when he was two, he lived in Italy with her mother before returning to the United States at the age of five. After graduating high school in 1935, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy and was discharged in 1941. When the United States entered World War II, he re-enlisted and served until 1945. After returning to civilian life, Borgnine labored at various factory jobs, but he found little enjoyment in a blue-collar career.
"Ernest Borgnine was a great friend of ours here at TCM, an actor we all greatly admired because of his talent and ability to play everything from nasty tough guys to likeable fathers to comical sailors," added Osborne.