Academy Award winning Actor Ernest Borgnine has died. He was 95.
Borgnine took home the coveted award for his performance in the 1955 film, Marty, where he played a shy, lovelorn and homely butcher.
Born Ermes Effron Borgnino on January 24, 1917, his career spanned more than six decades.
Borgnine was born in Hamden, Connecticut, the son of Anna Boselli and Camillo Borgnino, who emigrated to the United States from Italy.
His parents separated when he was just two years old, and he and his mother went to live in Italy.
However, by 1923, his parents reconciled, and the family name was changed from Borgnino to Borgnine.
The family settled in North Haven, Connecticut, where Ernest attended public school. His mother had a passion for dance and gave him a creative arts background.
After graduation from James Hillhouse High School in New Haven, Ernest joined the United States Navy in 1935 and was discharged in 1941, but re-enlisted when the United States entered World War II. He then served until 1945 for an entire decade, reaching the rank of Gunner's Mate 1st Class.
He served aboard the destroyer USS Lamberton.
His military decorations included the Navy Good Conduct Medal, American Defense Service Medal with Fleet Clasp, American Campaign Medal, Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal and the World War II Victory Medal.
In a British Film Institute interview about his life and career, Borgnine said of the war, “After World War II, we wanted no more part in war. I didn't even want to be a boy-scout. I went home and said that I was through with the Navy and so now, what do we do? So I went home to mother, and after a few weeks of patting on the back and, 'You did good,' and everything else, one day she said, 'Well?' like mothers do. Which meant, 'Alright, you gonna get a job or what?'”
In 2004, Borgnine received the honorary rank of Chief Petty Officer from the Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy Terry D. Scott, the US Navy's highest ranking enlisted sailor at the time, for Borgnine's support of the Navy and naval families worldwide.
After the war, he returned to his parents' home without a job, so his mother encouraged him to pursue acting and suggested his personality would be well-suited for the stage.
After graduation, he auditioned and was accepted to the Barter Theatre in Abingdon, Virginia, known for its audiences bartering their produce for admission during the Great Depression.
In 1947, he landed his first stage role in State of the Union and won over the audience.
His next role was as the Gentleman Caller in Tennessee Williams', The Glass Menagerie.
In 1949, he headed to Broadway for his debut in the play, Harvey, which was the spring-board to many more roles as a character actor.
In 1951, he moved to Los Angeles where he eventually received his big break in the 1953 film, From Here to Eternity, playing the cruel Sergeant "Fatso" Judson in charge of the stockade, who taunts fellow soldier Angelo Maggio, played by Frank Sinatra.
Borgnine built a reputation as a dependable, thick-as-nails character actor and appeared in early film roles as villains, including movies like Johnny Guitar, Vera Cruz and Bad Day at Black Rock.