Talk:Ernest Borgnine/Archive 1

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We ought to add a bit about Merlin's Shop of Mystical Wonders, which was mst3k'd quite hilariously.

His name

He was born either Ermes Effron Borgnine or Ernesto Charles Borgnine. So he even doesn't know it by himself?

It seems to me Borgnine prefers playing with a captain's hat (as it was the case in Escape from New York, for example). --Abdull 18:03, 12 March 2006 (UTC)

His NY Times bio/filmography [1], as well as IMDB and Halliwell's Film Companion all give his birth name as Ermes Effron Borgnino.--Mantanmoreland 14:55, 10 September 2006 (UTC)

Ernest Borgnine is my great-uncle. He has told me on several occasions that his birth name is Ernesto Charles Borgnine.

Not that I doubt that, but anyone can claim that he is a relative of someone. That is why sources must be verifiable. Do you know of any interviews he has given, or any books or whatever, in which he has given his birth name? Lots of sources and references give "Ermes" etc. as you may know. I don't know of any that give Ernesto etc. --Mantanmoreland 12:49, 18 September 2006 (UTC)

I can't find any interviews where he gives his birth name. I don't know how IMDB and NNDB got Ermes Effron Borgnino as his birthname. But he does have an army discharge form framed in his house that says Borgnine, Ernesto C.

I've changed the entry to include both names, but I am reluctant to include the Ernesto at all, since most references to "Ernesto" seem to be from a previous Wikipedia version. There's a LOT more Google hits on Ermes Effron Borgnino than Ernesto. "Ermes Effron Borgnino" is also his birth name in Halliwell's and is mentioned by the Times and BBC. So either we have here a long-running hoax that Mr. Borgnine was never corrected, or that is his birth name. Mr. Borgnine does not have an official website. If anyone can find a good source, preferably quoting Mr. Borgnine, giving his birth name as "Ernesto Charles," please site it. Sorry, we can't base info in Wiki entries based on unsubstantiated things said by people claiming to be relatives of subjects of articles. There's nothing to stop someone else to come along and say, "I'm his niece and I say otherwise." We have to go with verified sources. WP:V --Mantanmoreland 12:38, 19 September 2006 (UTC)
Oh, and about that "army discharge": he served in the navy. Which got me to thinking.... you know what? I'm taking out "Ernesto." I think better sourcing is needed to mention it. If anyone has access to an online version of who's who, that would be definitive as the entries as given to the subjects.--Mantanmoreland 12:40, 19 September 2006 (UTC)
Just to clarify, as best as I can tell the "Ernesto Charles Borgine" references I saw in Google all came out of this Wikipedia article, which apparently is OR from this editor. That is why I took out the "some sources say" reference to it. Also I had a library run "Ernesto Charles Borgnine" in a newspaper database and nothing came up.--Mantanmoreland 14:09, 20 September 2006 (UTC)

We need a published source, period. That's what the verifiability policy says. I haven't started looking into this matter myself, but I take it that we have published sources for Ermes Effron Borgnino, and we don't have any published sources for Ernesto Charles Borgnino. If that's correct, then the article should give only Ermes Effron Borgnino. When and if we have sources for both, then, pursuant to the neutrality policy, both names and their sources should be mentioned in the article. Good published source, it goes in; no published source, it stays out. Dpbsmith (talk) 18:39, 3 October 2006 (UTC)

I have to say Ermes Effron doesn't sound a very Italian name, and both of his parents seem to have been Italian so that would really seem to exclude other ethnic backgrounds. Although of course maybe they tried to give him a name that (they perhaps thought at the time) sounded American, not Italian, but maybe either they or Ernest changed their minds at a later stage? Biscuitman 23:46, 15 November 2006 (UTC)
Yes and I even did some OR, going into census records sto try to settle the issue. No luck. I guess we are left with the WP:V sources. I hope that Mr. Borgnine gives an interview someday settling the issue.--Mantanmoreland 23:55, 15 November 2006 (UTC)
A little searching has turned up a couple of interesting titbits- the name Ermes or Hermes is used in Italy and Spain but doesn't seem to be that common- Hermes was the Olympian god of boundaries and of the travellers who cross them so perhaps his name commemorated his parents immigration into the U.S.? More curiously, Effron (or Efron) seems to be a Jewish surname originating in Russia so it seems a little odd if he was of "pure" Italian Catholic descent for him to be given a Jewish middle name. Biscuitman 00:08, 16 November 2006 (UTC)
True. So what is your theory as to how this came to be?--Mantanmoreland 13:20, 16 November 2006 (UTC)
Maybe his mother remarried someone named Effron? Helga Van Clink 21:59, 19 November 2006 (UTC)
According to this (possibly completely unreliable source) a wife of Borgnine's was Jewish, and he converted to Judaism to marry her. His first wife was Rhoda Kemins and I know Kamins can definitely be a Jewish name. Maybe he just made up the Effron part to convince his wife's parents that he was Jewish enough to marry her? Helga Van Clink 22:25, 19 November 2006 (UTC)

Year of Birth

While we're on the topic, what should we say about his year of birth? As noted in the reference I just added, the International Dictionary of Films and Filmmakers "Born: Ermes Effron Borgnino in Hamden, Connecticut, 24 January 1917 (some sources say 1915 or 1918)." Here's an example of a source that says 1918.

IMDB says 1915 [2]--Martin8721 01:30, 12 September 2006 (CET)


WP:V disallows unverifiable accounts from relatives. Sorry - and I say this respectfully - but memories can be faulty. Durova 02:34, 20 September 2006 (UTC)

I agree. If our rules allowed it, we could say in the article, "Editor X reports that Mr. Borgnine, his granduncle, says his birth name was Ernesto Charles Borgnine." We have no way of knowing if Editor X is who he claims to be. This is why there is a rule against original research. We cannot verify the claims made by editors but we can verify what appears in reputable publications.
If indeed this editor is the grandnephew of Mr. Borgnine (who I totally idolize by the way) I would suggest that he and other members of the family organize an official Ernest Borgnine home page authorized by Mr. Borgnine. Such a website would be a reliable source and could be used for facts on this fine actor.--Mantanmoreland 14:01, 20 September 2006 (UTC)
Concur. I think the article needs to be correct, we can't accept heresay. Herostratus 09:50, 25 September 2006 (UTC)

Mr Borgnine's Italian speaking abilities

While not wishing to be crass or demeaning, having heard Mr Borgnine speaking Italian recently on Italian TV, I would NOT say that his Italian speaking abilities are 'fluent', since he really struggled to say anything more than 'Yes' and 'No' in Italian. 'Conversational' may be the best way to describe them. Thanks for creating this web page. Jim, 23/09/06

The broader problem is that Trivia sections are frowned upon by Wiki, and that the "fluent in Italian" and other statements in the article are unsourced. I wish whoever put that statement in the article originally would source it please.--Mantanmoreland 19:23, 23 September 2006 (UTC)
May I insert a little plug for trivia and ephemera? If there's enough trivia then consider creating a daughter article. At Joan of Arc the trivia section grew for a couple of years. It got branched off into its own page. Then, with some translations from the French Wikipedia and expansions and sources, Cultural depictions of Joan of Arc became a featured list. Durova 04:32, 25 September 2006 (UTC)

Uncited trivia items

I'm snipping this one because a recent edit makes it clear that the truth of the matter is, in fact, unclear. It formerly reads:

It recently was changed to:

I don't know which it is, but whichever way it is it shouldn't go back in the article without a source citation. Dpbsmith (talk) 09:47, 10 October 2006 (UTC)

Newsmeat shows he donated money to Bush-Cheney in 2004. Borgnine also holds conservative views - doesn't like swearing in movies, opposes gay rights etc. His hero was John Wayne, Hollywood's number 1 Republican.
Fine, but if you put it back put it back with a source citation. Dpbsmith (talk) 21:20, 10 October 2006 (UTC)

So many trivia items sourced to imdb?

I was pleased to see the trivia items sourced, so I'm sorry to be nit-picking again... but now I see that so many of them are sourced to imdb, and in fact appear in the same order... so that in fact the trivia section,

starting at "Borgnine spent 10 years in the Navy prior to acting"
through "Twice-wed Borgnine married thrice-wed Broadway..."

is essentially a long almost-verbatim copy from imdb.

Are we verging on copyright violation territory here? Dpbsmith (talk) 00:45, 15 October 2006 (UTC)

  • Absolutely, to say nothing of making ourselves look ridiculous. I'll take a stab at integrating the list into the article.Mackensen (talk) 23:33, 14 November 2006 (UTC)

For example, the article asserted that Borgnine is a Democrat, citing this page here: [3]. For the lazy, he gave $500 to Democratic senate campaign in '80 and $2000 to Bush's presidential campaign in '04. This is why trivia sections are bad. Mackensen (talk) 23:47, 14 November 2006 (UTC)

Actually trivia sections are not favored (WP:TRIVIA), so it is good that you removed/redeployed the section. Your point re IMDB is well taken, as there are no controls whatsoever as to the quality of what goes in there. Though I do believe it is a considered a reliable source, it should be used with caution. I have seen a lot of goofs on IMDB.--Mantanmoreland 04:22, 15 November 2006 (UTC)


This article cries out for a good public domain or otherwise usable photo of Mr. Borgnine, up top. --Mantanmoreland 16:05, 14 November 2006 (UTC)

Hi, I'm also a Borgnine fan- I've added an infobox with his most notable roles, also a more up to date picture. The page is still bit of a mess though- the trivia needs to be incorporated in the main text and the quotes need to go to wikiquote. Biscuitman 19:40, 14 November 2006 (UTC)
Great picture! No copyright issue either, thank heavens.--Mantanmoreland 19:53, 14 November 2006 (UTC)

Randall School of Drama?

I can't find any references to the existence of this school. Every single hit on Google is in an article relating to Mr. Borgnine himself![4] I tried casting an even wider net using Dogpile with the same results.[5] I found this out because I intended to link this article to an article about the school. I can't find any information whatsoever, much less enough to make a stub. I want to be clear, I don't mean to bash on Mr. Borgnine in any way, but this is weird! Can anyone help? --Elipongo 23:03, 19 November 2006 (UTC)

Okay, I was finally able to find some hints at references to this school... under slightly different names[6]. All of them are from bios of actors and artists who either attended or taught there. I would still like it if anyone knows about this school to contact me so an article can be started. --Elipongo (Talk|contribs) 07:04, 4 January 2007 (UTC)

Birth name

I've restored to Ermes Effron Borgnino, as per IMDB, Halliwell's Filmgoer's Companion and All Movie Guide biography cited by New York Times website[7]. If anyone has a WP:RS source with a different birth name than is cited by these three sources, please cite it. Otherwise please do not revert to "Ernesto." --Mantanmoreland 20:38, 3 March 2007 (UTC)

New resource

The University of North Alabama, to whom Mr. Borgnine has donated his scripts, has a website with a bio and so forth[8]. This is about as close to an official home page as I have found. Note the birth name. I'll write the webmaster to see if the page itself can state if Mr. Borgnine himself is the source of that data, as it would be greatly helpful to us here I think and would resolve the questions that often arise concerning his birth name, bio and such.--Mantanmoreland 22:32, 17 May 2007 (UTC)

Unfree images

This article has four unfree images. I don't see the critical need for any of them. The main image is just wonderful (and free), and I'm going to remove the others if no objectors persuade me otherwise. __meco (talk) 00:55, 29 January 2008 (UTC)

Oldest Living Oscar Winner

I took out the line about him being the oldest Oscar winner because I know Karl Malden is older, though I'm not sure if he's the oldest. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:47, 26 March 2008 (UTC)

Age, name and place of birth confirmed

The Ellis Island database confirms that "Ermes Borgnino," born Jan. 24,1917 in Centerville, Conn., arrived from Genoa in 1923, accompanied by his Mom. This resolves questions that have been raised before concerning his birth name and his age. Not sure what the policy is on quoting Ellis Island records.--Mantanmoreland (talk) 17:19, 7 May 2008 (UTC)

Masturbation Quote

Is a goofy little quote about masturbation really significant enough to be included in his biography? I'm not doubting he said it, but it doesn't seem nearly important enough to warrant inclusion. ThomasLB (talk) 14:32, 23 February 2009 (UTC)

Certainly. It's a major talking point. __meco (talk) 18:57, 3 March 2010 (UTC)

McHale's navy

I just commented out over half of the McHale’s navy section for a number of reasons that should be addressed before it is restored:

  1. The grammar and style were almost incomprehensible. Missing antecedents, unclear pronoun references, bad grammar, etc. I would have cleaned it up myself, but the following comments explain why I couldn't. I had no idea who was referred to half the time or what the relevance was.
  2. Due to the convoluted and unclear reference, I couldn't disambiguate the paragraph in question enough to make it clear.
  3. It assumes all sorts of knowledge that is not included in the article...
  4. It's questionable whether the paragraph should be in the article at all since it is more about Tim Conway (I think: I'm not even clear on that) than Ernest Borgnine. If it's kept, it should be in a separate section about Borgnine’s relationship with Tim Conway, not in a section on McHale’s Navy, which it has little or nothing to do with.

Maybe someone who is more knowledgeable about Borgnine and/or Conway than I could clean this section up and supply what's missing and fix the grammar accordingly.

-Fenevad (talk) 21:33, 25 May 2009 (UTC)


He did SpongeBob, so shall we put that on, cause I don't see it.--Daisy18108 Talk to me here! Sign my Guestbook! 03:44, 31 December 2009 (UTC)