Starting 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 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.