Ernest Borgnine

Ernest BorgnineStarting in 2011, readers remembered the death of actor Ernest Borgnine (January 24, 1917 – July 8, 2012) . He was in McHale’s Navy and ER. He was the voice of Mermaid Man in SpongeBob SquarePants, and he won an Oscar for his bittersweet leading role in Marty.

In April 2011, Cliff said in a longer comment:

I often find myself having conversations with people who do not or differently remember events from the past.

Here are a few… The death of Ernest Borgnine.

I replied:

I remember Ernest Borgnine’s death a while ago. At the time, I thought, “Wow… he had to be pretty old. I didn’t know he was still around.” Borgnine’s death didn’t surprise me until I later saw him interviewed on TV, and he is (obviously) still alive. (As of April 2011, anyway.)

He’s always had such a rubbery, craggy face, I never had a clear impression of his age.

But, when he died, I also remember being surprised that people didn’t make a bigger deal about it. I also recall no one mentioning him in the context of his Academy Award-winning performance in the movie, Marty. I thought that was sad, because that performance showed a range of talent far beyond his fame on McHale’s Navy.

Margaret said, in May 2011:

I also remember Nelson Mandela’s funeral and the deaths of Billy Graham, Dom Deluis, Ernest Borgenine.

In July 2011, lorrie @ clueless in carolina said:

Ernest Borgnine is ALIVE? I KNOW I remember hearing that he died. I follow pop culture very carefully; Hollywood fascinates me.

In March 2012, Jeff said:

I remember hearing about Ernest Borgnine dying, but he is still alive apparently!

That same month, blob said:

Earnest Borgnine has left us, he was a great actor !

In April 2011, Wosiu said:

I clearly remember news in Polish TV, few years ago, about death of Ernest Borgnine!

How it is possible?

In June 2012, Elaine said:

This is all fascinating! I distinctly remember Ernest Borgnine dying and was just jolted to read in these comments that he is alive – I went to Wikipedia immediately to confirm. I grew up watching McHale’s Navy, and I had a little girl’s crush on him and have loved him as an actor ever since.

That same month, aragami said in a longer comment:

I remember … ernest borgnine (sp?) being dead until i saw him in a new-ish movie.

Six days after Borgnine’s July 2012 death, nigel said in a longer comment:

I remember … ernest borgnine  … died a long time ago too.

(Fiona’s note: I included that because a death six days prior wouldn’t be remembered as “a long time ago.”)

Initially, I thought we were all mixing up Ernest Borgnine’s death with someone else, like his wife, Tova Traesnaes.  However, as of November 2013, Tova is still alive.  So, I’m baffled by this mixup, unless it really is an event we recall from a different timestream.

Can anyone add anything to this? I’m willing to agree that I may have mistaken what I heard in the news, or a pre-written obituary was released early, in error. It happens, but I’d like something a little more solid to base that assumption on.

9 thoughts on “Ernest Borgnine”

  1. i do not have any memory of Ernest dying before 2012, but other website forums have many people who remember him dying. The only thing I should add is that Ernest borgnine, Nelson Mandela and Billy Graham were all born within 1 year of each other (Nelson and Billy both born in 1918 & Ernest in 1917) Nelson died in this timeline aged 95. Ernest died in this timeline aged 95. Coincidence???

    1. In the earlier times that i have lived the entropy worked so that people very aware of mortality and decline and finiteness desired a peak survival of 70 yrs and then it was 80 and now it seems that 90 is quite reasonable,5 yrs extra can be added as a good measure or as a granted boone to a greedy aspirant.Most of the dynamic and active people don’t live long,having used up their energy in strenous exertion.The mandela effect alive again celebrities were all active people in their youth but somewhere along they metamorphed,presumaably at their first remembered demise,they got their extra years as a consequence,that they fulfilled somebody’s agenda in their second avatar is open to speculation.

  2. This one I DO remember, I remember hearing the reason he was written off of Airwolf( show about a high-tech helicopter) was because he died in real life… A decade or so later I saw him in the cast of a sitcom where he played the doorman. I had thought he was dead as well.

  3. I have a weird memory regarding Borgnine.
    I don’t remember him dying before 2012, but I do remember him NOT dying in 2012, and dying in early (possibly April) 2014 instead. I remember reading this on an online forum and being sad because I remembered watching him as a child on Sponge Bob.

  4. I saw a movie on an app I have that had Earnest in it and freaked out. I remember him dying and the press reporting on it and I think it was in the early 1990s or late 1980s.

    The weirdest thing for me was not this though. For me it was the movie Gladiator and the actor who played the dying king in the movie. He went from acting the role to really having cancer in real life and dying and then a year later alive again finally to die of the same disease a few years later. The thing was that wen I watched the movie and saw him the first time when he was healthy but acting the role he had much more weight on him. A year later I watch the movie again and I see that he was literally skin and bones and then the next time he was the same as he was in the first version.

  5. But he’s dead! I remember the tribute fanart for him as mermaid man and being pissed off that he was only being remembered for SpongeBob.

  6. I vaguely remember making a very bad joke about him when he died after airwolf. something about soylent green, then around the time Borg of nine appeared in star trek voyager making another bad joke..

  7. Specifically about him: I was/am quite the cinema buff and he died in the early 80’s in my timeline (still feels like a weird thing to say). I vividly recall listening, more than ten years ago, to a DVD commentary track of “Escape From New York”, in wich Borgnine plays the role of Cabbie, where John Carpenter talked a bit about EB’s career and how honored and grateful he felt to be one of the last directors to ever work with him… I’ve never had any interest about something like Spongebob so I can’t comment on that. It just feels wrong to me that he’s been around that long here.

  8. I also remember him dying, I’d say in the early 90’s. I saw him in a film as a very old man about 6 years ago and was shocked.

    Strangely, I remember Betty White dying too. This more recently – last 2 years.

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