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With a film and television career spanning six decades, Ernest Borgnine has won numerous awards for his acting work. But with varied roles spanning classic family films, action movies, Western flicks, TV comedies, and animated children’s films and shows, what is to be considered Borgnine’s “best” role may be up to the consumer’s tastes.
While not his first major acting role, Borgnine was nominated for and won the Oscar for best actor for his role in the film, which went on to also win Oscars for best motion picture, best director, and best adapted screenplay. The good-natured Marty is an overweight Italian-American butcher in The Bronx who has a poor self-esteem and has resigned himself to being alone.
The Poseidon Adventure, 1972
As Rogo, Borgnine starred opposite Gene Hackman and Shelley Winters in a group of passengers struggling to survive when their ocean liner capsizes at sea.
The Wild Bunch, 1969
Called “the greatest western ever made” by some, Borgnine played Dutch, trying to exist in an aging outlaw gang on the Texas-Mexico border in “modern” 1913.
Borgnine co-starred opposite Jan-Michael Vincent as a helicopter pilot in this hit series on CBS.
A Grandpa for Christmas, 2007
In this Hallmark Channel original TV movie, Borgnine starred as Bert O’Riley and was later nominated for a Golden Globe for his performance. The movie was the third-highest-ever-rated original movie premiere on the network when it premiered.
Starring alongside Morgan Freeman and Bruce Willis, Borgnine played a small but memorable part as records keeper Henry.
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