Wednesday, April 27, 2011

From Here to Eternity:
Ernest Borgnine

By Amanda Bellafiore
BeansTalk Special Correspondent

In celebration of the TMC Classic Film Festival hitting Hollywood April 28, TMC’s Road to Hollywood Tour arrived at the Egyptian Theater in Los Angeles on Friday with a screening of 1953 classic, From Here to Eternity.

Among the crowded theater at least half of the audience admitted to host, Ben Mankiewicz, to never having seen the movie before; but judging by the loud standing ovation Oscar-winner Ernest Borgnine received upon his entrance, it was clear why they were present.

At 94 years old, Borgnine has every ounce of wit and energy in tact as he recalls the finest moments of his career, starting with the day he stepped home after serving 10 years in the Navy during World War II.  After searching for a job with no avail he questioned going back into service when his mother said, “Tell me, have you ever thought of becoming an actor? Because you always like to make a damn fool of yourself.” Ten years later, he won his first Oscar.

His first break came in 1951 when he was cast in The Mob, with Broderick Crawford. It was here when he was approached by Columbia Pictures and offered a contract. During the two years it took for Columbia to find him a role, he read the novel From Here to Eternity and said, “Knowing there’s a God above, I’m going to play Sgt. ‘Fatso’ Judson.” Days later the phone rang, it was Columbia, and they wanted him for the part of Fatso Judson.

“I nearly dropped dead,” said Borgnine. “The rest is history.”

Since then he has kept an active and lucrative career in Hollywood. His most recent work can be heard in SpongeBob SquarePants, with his reoccurring role as Mermaid Man.

“You think it’s a piece of cake, this road to Hollywood,” says Borgnine. “Don’t kid yourself, it’s one of the hardest roads you’ll ever walk on.”