Today the Archive interviewed film and television icon Ernest Borgnine at his home in Beverly Hills. It was a fun trip down merriment lane, as Ernie reminisced about his theatrical beginnings at the Barter Theater, to his Broadway turn in “Harvey”, which led to bookings on early live dramatic series for Philco Television Playhouse (where he met director Delbert Mann), to eventually being cast as a lead in the Academy-Award-winning film “Marty” in 1955 (and made writer Paddy Chayefsky cry at the first reading!) He discussed working with Bob Aldrich and Sam Peckinpah, and entertained us with tales from his days on “McHale’s Navy” with Tim Conway, Gavin MacLeod, and Joe Flynn. He joked how a girl scout group didn’t know him from the 200 films he’s been in, but when he said “Anyone ever hear of Spongebob Squarepants?” they howled with delight at the realization that they were in the presence of “Mermaid Man”. At 91, Ernie kept us laughing with his anecdotes and amazed at his memory for the smallest details. He had much sage advice for actors of all ages, and he’s beginning work on a new film in a few weeks, so there will be much more of Ernie to come. Stay tuned for postings about this archive interview going online!
The World Needs More Ernest Borgnine!
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