Category Archives: the oscar

Ernest Borgnine 1917-2012

Ernest Borgnine passed away yesterday at the ripe old age of 95, from kidney failure.

I grew up with him in “McHale’s Navy,” but some of the younger folks might know him from “Airwolf” or surprisingly (at least to me) “Spongebob Squarepants.” Besides those roles, Borgnine also acted in dozens of television shows in his six decade career, including an Emmy nomination for his role in the last couple episodes of “ER” when he was 92.

Borgnine was also a stage star, and because his television credits are so dominant, many folks forget what a legendary screen actor he was. He won the Oscar for his role in 1955’s Marty, and was outstanding in many other films like From Here to Eternity, The Dirty Dozen, Willard, The Devil’s Rain, The Poseidon Adventure and even Harlan Ellison’s infamous The Oscar.

I recently saw the man interviewed on TCM. He was as boisterous and lively as he had ever been, happy to tell tales of the old days and more recent times, a happy library of the industry. We have lost one of the great actors of Hollywood.

Edie Adams 1927-2008


Probably best known as the Muriel cigar lady and Ernie Kovacs’ widow, television queen and Tony Award-winning actress Edie Adams has passed away.

She also gained fame bringing Daisy Mae to life in the Broadway musical production of “Li’l Abner,” based on Al Capp’s classic comic strip.

She appeared in dozens of television series up until a few years ago and also worked in film in the likes of Evil Roy Slade, The Honey Pot and even The Oscar.

Sorry, Harlan

The Oscar ~ This 1966 film was notorious in my teenage years. It was known as one of the worst movies ever made, and it was also the main reason my favorite author, Harlan Ellison, had so much contempt for Hollywood, as it was co-written by him. The really bad part was that it very rarely aired on TV. The one time it did, it was so boring I fell asleep before it had barely begun. Luckily (or maybe not) I got a chance to see it again recently, and in its entirety.

Based on the novel by Richard Sale and starring Stephen Boyd, hot off of Ben-Hur, the lovely Elke Sommer, and believe it or not, Tony Bennett in a dramatic role, the flick actually boasts quite a cast and crew of superstars and behind-the-scenes masters. At first glance, this could have been, and should have been a surefire hit. The question is – what happened?

Sorry, Harlan. Proof positive that you can have Jill St. John do a striptease, and your movie will still suck. The Oscar is so bad, it’s good, but not that good.