The Oscar winning character actor, star of 1955's Best Picture Marty, died today at 95. His career was so healthy that his IMDb page requires much scrolling through 200+ titles. The prolific filmography obscures the fact that he didn't even get started until this thirties. Starting late isn't always a drawback when you've got the goods... particular for character actors; you can't have matinee idol looks and sell an everyman schlub like "Marty". Borgnine's career was so enduring that his latest completed role was a starring one: The Man Who Shook The Hand of Vicente Fernandez (2012) just recently debuted on the festival circuit.
A career that long is bound to have its rough patches, its controversies and divisiveness. Borgnine generated some deserved internet ire seven years back for publicly refusing to see Brokeback Mountain (2005) despite voting on the Oscars. [The Film Experience's position on this has always been that AMPAS members should be required to see all nominees in order to vote on a win in any particular category. Currently you have to for foreign film but most categories do not require that you actually watch the movies.]
Borgnine had been very active for a 90something actor. In addition to Vicente Fernandez, he'd done a lot of television, voicework on Spongebob Squarepants and popped up in a memorable cameo in the action comedy Red (2010). But it's his work in the 1950s and 1960s that will be his legacy: McHale's Navy, The Dirty Dozen, The Wild Bunch and two best picture winners From Here to Eternity (1953) and Marty (1955) among them.
Have you ever seen Marty? What role first pops to mind when you think of Borgnine?