Ernest Borgnine in “Marty”
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Ernest Borgnine | 1917-2012

Ernest Borgnine, right, delivered an Academy Award-winning performance as a lonely Bronx butcher looking for love in 1955’s “Marty,” playing opposite Walter Kelley, left, and Robin Morse. (File)
Playing the part of the menacing “Fatso” Judson was a dream come true for Borgnine. “When I was making ‘From Here to Eternity,’ I’d stop and tell myself, ‘There’s Sinatra, Burt Lancaster and Deborah Kerr, and here am I.’ I was afraid I’d wake up and stop dreaming,” he said.  (United Artist Corp.)
In the title role of “Marty,” Ernest Borgnine played a plain and solitary man who falls in love with an equally lonely and plain schoolteacher (Besty Blair). His characterization prompted Life magazine to declare it one of the most successful pieces of movie casting that year. (United Artist Corp.)
With Grace Kelly on one arm, Borgnine, right, holds his Oscar for best actor, which he won for 1955’s “Marty.” With him are fellow 1955 Oscar winners Jo Van Fleet (best supporting actress for “East of Eden”) and Jack Lemmon (best supporting actor for “Mister Roberts”). (Los Angeles Times)
Ernest Borgnine and Susan Hayward, both Oscar nominees in 1955, share a laugh in Los Angeles in 1956. (Los Angeles Times)
Ernest Borgnine and his then-wife, Katy Jurado, embrace on the set of “The Italian Brigands,” shot in Manziana, Italy, in 1961. Borgnine played a bandit and Jurado his fiery wife in the movie based on 1860s Italy. (Associated Press)
In the 1960s, Ernest Borgnine took a comedic turn on the TV sitcom “McHale’s Navy” alongside Joe Flynn. Borgnine’s rule-breaking WWII commander was a constant source of frustration for Flynn’s Capt. Binghamton. (ABC)
In 1966’s Hollywood sendup “The Oscar,” Stephen Boyd plays an actor ruthlessly clawing his way to fame while Ernest Borgnine’s inquisitive private eye gets in his way. (Embassy Pictures Corp.)
The epic 1969 drama “The Wild Bunch” -- featuring aging outlaws Ben Johnson, left, Warren Oates, William Holden and Ernest Borgnine -- went on to make its bloody mark in classic Westerns. (Warner Bros.)
Gene Hackman and Ernest Borgnine are running out of time in the 1972 disaster thriller “The Poseidon Adventure.” (File)
Ernest Borgnine’s career spanned more than five decades and included such memorably disparate characters as the cruel “Fatso” Judson in “From Here to Eternity” and the carefree con artist of ABC’s “McHale’s Navy.” In a 1996 interview with The Times, Borgnine said he considered himself “a working stiff who enjoys his work.” (Gary Friedman / Los Angeles Times)
Nearing 80, Borgnine returned to TV in the mid-1990s to play the amiable doorman Manny in the short-lived NBC comedy “The Single Guy,” starring Jonathan Silverman. (Los Angeles Times)
Ernest Borgnine and his wife, Tova, chat with author Sidney Sheldon at a 1998 reception in New York. Borgnine was married five times, including a brief coupling with Broadway star Ethel Merman in 1964. (Robin Platzer / Associated Press / Twin Images)
Borgnine played a crusty, long-estranged sibling summoned to his ailing brother’s bedside in the 1999 indie film “Abilene,” written and directed by Joe Camp III. (Farmland Pictures)
Ernest Borgnine, a few days before his 90th birthday, made his motion picture debut in 1951 with three films: “"China Corsair,"” "“The Whistle at Eaton Falls"” and “The Mob.” When he wasn’t working, he traveled the country in a custom-made bus called the Sunbum. (Damian Dovarganes / Associated Press)
Ernest Borgnine and his wife, Tova, at the 17th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards in Los Angeles in January 2011. (Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times)
Actor Ernest Borgnine at the 17th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards in Los Angeles in January 2011.  (Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)