Borgnine acting at 90 in Christmas telefilm


Ernest Borgnine could be taking it easy at 90, resting on acting laurels that include an Academy Award.

This year alone, he has made four TV and feature films, in addition to his voiceover work as Mermaid Man on the animated hit "Spongebob Squarepants."

The best-actor winner for the 1955 movie "Marty" believes "the best medicine for a man my age is to keep working."

Borgnine's latest role is in "A Grandpa for Christmas," airing Nov. 24 on the Hallmark Channel and co-starring Jamie Farr and Katherine Helmond.

He plays a song-and-dance man who must care for a 9-year-old granddaughter he never knew he had after his estranged daughter is seriously injured in a car accident.

The movie brought back Borgnine's favorite Christmas memory from his childhood, Hallmark Channel said. Money was tight back then, so he and his sister knew their only gifts would be handmade by their mother.

Just before the holiday, a man who had owed Borgnine's father money for a long time repaid him the $14.

"My father could have bought so many things with that money back then," Borgnine said in statement from Hallmark Channel. "On Christmas morning my sister and I woke up and went downstairs to empty our stockings. I thought all they would have in them was the usual nuts and fruit, but in the bottom of each sock was $7. My mother and father were crying because they were so happy that we were happy. I never forgot that day."