Acting for nearly seven decades and tackling a wide variety of roles, Ernest Borgnine is being recognized by the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) at their 17th annual award show. Borgnine, 93, will receive the SAG Lifetime Achievement Award, whose past recipients have included stars like Betty White (2009) and Clint Eastwood (2002).
Upon announcing Borgnine’s honor, SAG National President Ken Howard said:
“Whether portraying brutish villains, sympathetic everymen, complex leaders or hapless heroes, Ernest Borgnine has brought a boundless energy which, at 93, is still a hallmark of his remarkably busy life and career. It is with that same joyous spirit that we salute his impressive body of work and his steadfast generosity.”
My first memories of Borgnine came from one of the most unlikely of places. Voicing a Pit Bull/Bulldog mix named Carface Carruthers in All Dogs Go to Heaven 2 and All Dogs Go to Heaven: The Series, Borgnine unconsciously joined the ranks of Leonardo DiCaprio and Julia Roberts on my list of beloved actors. Carface was a minor antagonist who maintained, at least in my eyes, a good-natured disposition at his core, despite being enslaved by the demonic cat Red.
Several years later, Borgnine resurfaced on my radar when I saw The Poseidon Adventure for the first time. Playing Detective Lieutenant Mike Rogo, Borgnine became a strong, calm leader under pressure. As I curled up in the corner of the couch biting my nails nervously, Borgnine’s character, Rogo, led the SS Poseidon’s six survivors to safety.
Since then, I have laughed at Borgnine’s character, retired superhero Mermaid Man, on SpongeBob SquarePants; been inspired by his role as everyman Marty Piletti in Marty; and felt moved by his portrayal of no-nonsense soldier Stanislaus Katzinsky in All Quiet on the Western Front. Borgnine also guest starred as Paul Manning, a man whose marriage is ended by his wife’s death, on the finale of the television medical drama ER.
Ernest Borgnine has had a noteworthy career worth celebrating, and he does not appear to be slowing down. Borgnine will play Henry in the upcoming action film Red, based on the comic book series of the same name, which comes out this October. Including Red, Borgnine has four films completed or in post-production and one, Death Keeps Coming, in development.
His status as a veteran actor has garnered him many awards and honors. For example, Borgnine became the oldest Golden Globe nominee at age 90, and was the first center square in the TV game show Hollywood Squares, hosted by Peter Marshall.
Throughout his diverse career, Borgnine brought a small piece of himself to each role. On acting, Borgnine declared: “The trick is not to become somebody else. You become somebody else when you’re in front of a camera or when you’re on stage. There are some people who carry it all the time. That, to me, is not acting. What you’ve gotta do is find out what the writer wrote about and put it into your mind. This is acting. Not going out and researching what the writer has already written. This is crazy.”
As a result of his philosophy and persistence, Borgnine has succeeded in building a full portfolio and reaching millions of people.
The SAG Awards will air Jan. 30, 2011, and Borgnine will become the 47th person to be honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award.
“Ernest Borgnine Honored with 2010 Screen Actors Guild Life Achievement Award”. SAG Awards.