It was a sad week in Hollywood this week as Oscar-winning actor Ernest Borgnine passed away at the age of 95. Most well-known for his relentless work ethic and distinctive facial features, the outspoken character actor was born in the town of Hamden, Connecticut in 1917. He lived there with his family for two years before he moved to Italy with his mother after his parents separated. In 1923, they returned to Hamden and he attended Hillhouse High School in New Haven since Hamden had not yet built its own high school. His parents later reunited, and settled a short distance away in North Haven, Connecticut.
Considered to be one of Hamden’s most famous sons, Mayor Scott Jackson told the Hamden Patch; “Ernest Borgnine had an incredible career and made a great impact on our town. We are saddened by his passing. He and his family often returned to the town of their youth and it has been wonderful to have them continue to be a part of the fabric of our community.”
The town honored Borgnine in person in 1993, when he attended several events in celebration of his numerous achievements. The actor often returned to Hamden to visit family and would give guest lectures at Hamden High School to the drama students. The town even maintains a public park named in his honor, where the flags were lowered to half-staff this week in his memory.
Starring in numerous both TV and movie roles, Borgnine is perhaps most well-known for the film Marty, which garnered him a string of awards, including an Oscar, Golden Globe, New York Film Critics Circle Award, and a National Board of Review award for best actor.
Borgnine died of renal failure on Sunday morning, July 8, at the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, California. His wife, Tova Traesnaes, and their children were at his side.