Ernest Borgnine's 100th Birthday! January 25 2017
Tuesday, January 24, 2017 is the 100th birthday celebration of Ernest Borgnine, An Academy award winning actor, a Navy man dedicated to enriching the lives of Veterans and the Navy family, the "Grand Clown" of Milwaukee's Great Circus Parade for 30 years, loving father, grandfather and husband to our Founder, Tova Borgnine.
Ernie, as he is affectionately called by friends and family, served in the U.S Navy for 6 years, having re-enlisted after Pearl Harbor was attacked, serving during World War II. With respect to those that serve the United States and their families, Ernie remained active as a civilian including visiting every Veteran Hospital in the United States to spend time with Veterans. In 1997, he received the Navy Memorial "Lone Sailor" Award, which is awarded to Sea Service Veterans who have distinguished themselves, drawing upon their Sea Service experience to become successful, while exemplifying the core values of Honor, Courage and Commitment. On December 7, 2000 he was named the Veterans Foundation's Veteran of the Year. In 2004 Ernie received the honorary title of Chief Petty Officer, a special honor bestowed upon him for his naval service and continued support of the U.S Navy and Navy families worldwide.
With his Mother's suggestion, Ernie went to Acting School after his honorable discharge from the Navy. She was quick to remind him that he enjoyed acting like a clown in front of people! His career as an Actor stretched over 60 years actively working until his death in 2012 and he was the recipient of numerous prestigious awards for his work globally, including his 1955 Academy Award for Best Actor for his role in the film Marty, a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and the 2011 Screen Actors Guild Life Achievement Award. From big screens to television screens Ernest Borgnine entertained and delighted those that watched him! His most notable television appearances include McHales Navy, Airwolf, the voice of Mermaid Man on the SpongeBob Squarepants cartoon and the Hallmark Channel holiday favorite A Grandpa For Christmas.
After appearing on the Johnny Carson Show where Mr. Carson asked Ernie "If you weren't an actor what do you think you would be?" Ernie's humorous response of "nobody has asked me to be a clown" led to the request by the sponsors of Milwaukee's Great Circus Parade for Mr. Borgnine to participate as the parade's Grand Clown. An honor he and wife Tova enjoyed for 30 years!
Ernie lived by the Motto: "Life is what you make of it.". He passionately with steadfast dedication entertained the world with his roles, lovable smile, infectious laugh and sense of humor. He traveled the United States in his Prevost bus, with his son Cris filming, to take in the beauty of the United States of America and to meet fans. Cherished moments by many who have memories of wonderful conversations, pictures and a good laugh!
Having been set up on a blind date by good friend Marty Allen and his wife Frenchie with his soon to be wife, Tova, both felt an immediate connection and spark! Married for over 38 years, until his passing, Ernie and Tova shared a vibrancy for life, romantic moments- they renewed their vows numerous times and family. It was not unusual for Ernie to call into QVC when Tova was on air selling her ΤΟVΛ® Beverly Hills Beauty products or ΤΟVΛ® Diamonique Jewelry to surprise her...and viewers!
Today we celebrate this milestone birthday with remembrances, pictures and stories from family, friends, and fans! To participate in this celebration, please include the hashtag #ErnestBorgnine100 in your Social Media posts. A special announcement came today, one that would touch the heart of Ernie. Mayor Curt Balzano Leng of Hamden, Connecticut, Ernie's hometown, made an Official Proclamation of January 24, 2017 being Ernest Borgnine Day!
We miss your infamous smile, strength and immense talent! Happy 100th Birthday dear Ernie!