He played everything from heavies to humble everyman. Ernest Borgnine was best known for his roles as Lt. Commander Quinton McHale on McHale’s Navy, and Dominic Santini on Airwolf. Regardless of the role, he always seemed to have a twinkle in his eye and a great belly laugh. He was also great in dramatic parts like Marty, The Dirty Dozen, The Wild Bunch, and the original Poseidon Adventure film. He was versatile enough to be right at home as the recurring voice of Mermaid Man on Sponge Bob Square Pants, a dramatic appearance on the last episode of ER, multiple appearances on Hee Haw, Laugh In, The Dean Martin Show,The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, Soupy Sales Show, Get Smart, and a ton of westerns. He fit into every situation the role required perfectly, and he was one of the most decent men in the business. Losing Andy Griffith and Ernest Borgnine in the same week leaves an impossible gap to fill. Thank God we have the memories and the films, so we can always watch them practice their craft.
Here’s one of Ernest Borgnine‘s last interviews taped this past April. It’s a wonderful opportunity to hear some great stories, and that laugh of his - one more time.
Here’s a complete episode of McHales Navy.
This is one of the best TV themes of all time.