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Ernie: The Autobiography
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Ernie: The Autobiography

4.03  ·  Rating Details  ·  150 Ratings  ·  30 Reviews
We wept at his Oscar-winning role in Marty. . .we gasped when he took on Frank Sinatra in From Here to Eternity. . .we were riveted by his compelling performances in The Dirty Dozen, Bad Day at Black Rock, and Ice Station Zebra. . .and we laughed at his television sitcom McHale's Navy. We loved all of Ernest Borgnine's many portrayals, but what did we know about the man be ...more
ebook, 272 pages
Published August 1st 2009 by Citadel (first published 2008)
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Sep 10, 2015 Jim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a very good book written by one of the hardest-working actors ever to grace the screen. In reading it, I got the sensation that he was personally relating his life's odyssey to me in simple but eloquent terms, more like a conversation between friends.

I had long been a Borgnine fan, so his military career and involvement in Freemasonry was no revelation. I have seen most of his movies, so there was little in the way of new information there. What impressed me most was the fact that he lo
Dec 09, 2008 Richard rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of all the greatest film stars
Recommended to Richard by: my wife

The rare diamonds in this book, mostly for the over-40 reader, are most evident in Chapter 9 where Borgnine describes his decision to become an actor. He is a great storyteller...
Mar 03, 2011 April rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a wonderful, wonderful autobiography —very easy and entertaining to read, the tone very conversational, as though the reader is sitting at Ernie's knee as he talks about his life. It's not bogged down with dry facts, with tons of names and dates, as I've seen in other biographies; there are plenty of well-known names mentioned, of course, but they're mentioned only when the people were a big part of the story being told. Also, the voice is very generous and warmhearted, as Ernie never se ...more
Feb 06, 2009 VJ rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ernie, at 92, is an old-fashioned guy. Manners. OG Catholic outta NY.

I never knew he was married to Ethel Merman and Katy Jurado.

His wife of 35 years, Tova, is beautiful. So was his sister when she was a young woman.

Never downbeat, or rude. Always a gentleman, Ernie was a fun, quick read.

I recommend it to film and television historians and all those who like reading the words of living legends.
Dec 26, 2014 Michael rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone
The writing was very conversational. He is talking to us and he tells us some good stories. He seemed to be a very upbeat guy. For me, the message of the book is follow your dream. Skill and a bit of luck helps, but hard work and determination are your best keys to success.
Jonathon Dabell
Sep 26, 2012 Jonathon Dabell rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ernest Borgnine's autobiography is a very worthwhile read. This guy outlived virtually every other actor of his generation (only Herbert Lom, Kirk Douglas and Eli Wallach could match Borgnine for sheer longevity). His story is remarkable and he tells it in a lovely straight-forward style, with honesty and perception. The first half of the book deals with his youth and his Navy career. The second half deals with his film work from the 1950s up to the present.
I expected to find the first half dul
Dec 21, 2008 Brodiew rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've found this book to be very entertaining. I have seen many of his films over the years, some I remember, many I don't. But, reading this memoir has inspired me to see Marty, which I had never seen before. There are others I am inspired to see, some I plan to revisit because I hadn't remembered Ernie's supporting role.

Mr. Borgnine is a compelling storyteller. You will be captivated by his humility and inspired by his easy going style. To hear him tell of his frienship with Lee Marvin, his "bu
Jun 11, 2015 Roxanne rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved his book. He is so humble and nice. He started out in the military before becoming an actor. He kept getting part so he kept going. He won an Academy Award. He describes all the movies he has made, which I loved. He was lucky in love until he met Tova. He said that was his best marriage.
Feb 07, 2011 Andrew rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Breezy, jovial, and heartfelt are words that best describe Borgnine's look back on his amazing careers in theater, film and television. Although I don't see eye to eye with him on politics, I can't help but to respect this man for his amazing work ethic and down-to-earth attitude. I read this book just after finishing a biography of Ethel Merman. Their short-lived marriage aside, these two top-notch entertainers are linked together in that the shallow, image-driven world of Hollywood today has l ...more
Brian Shirley
May 09, 2012 Brian Shirley rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I must admit my bias in rating this book a "5 star" as Ernest Borgnie is one of my favorite actors. "The Wild Bunch" star really laid it all out in this book. He's one of the good guys, but he also doesn't take any crap. The book not only gives a look into Ernie's life, but also some of the biggest stars in Hollywood for the last 60 years. He had and still has an incredible career, and for those with only a passing knowledge of his work, I think this book would still be a treat. If you love mov ...more
May 14, 2010 Allen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who like movies
An extremely good read. Ernie has been in about 100 movies. This really goes to show that looks aren't everything, or are they? He had the look they were after. Don Rickles has him in his act (sort of). Don would point at a girl in the audience and say, "Here she is, the winner of the Ernest Borgnine look alike contest!"

This book is as good as they get. Ernie telling us all about Ernie in his own words.

My second favorite autobiography. Second only to Brando: Songs My Mother Tought Me.
A straightforward and likable enough autobiography, mostly of interest to fans of Mr. Borgnine. No real surprises here, if you know he grew up Italian and poor in New York and went into the Navy after avoiding success in several other pursuits. Every once in a while, he drops a gem of an anecdote about himself or another star. But most stories are oddly short on too many details. Even McHale's Navy and Airwolf get very short shrift (especially the latter).
Rob Smith
Jan 10, 2012 Rob Smith rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2012
This is a really great autobiography. Not too much. Not too little. Just right. And clearly in the author's own voice. The honesty that comes through is refreshing and helps the entirety come to life. This is also a great primer for anyone thinking of going Hollywood. It ain't just flashbulbs and fans. It's lots of hard work and dedication. Something Borgnine fluidly points out throughout. The book is overall well constructed and great fun to read.
Jun 02, 2015 James rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Really a great book!
Aug 23, 2012 David rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
There was a vendor in New York selling roasted chestnuts and he got a little closer to smell them, not to buy and "I saw a sign on the vendor's cart that became my philosophy: The sign read, "I don't want to set the world on fire. I just want to keep my nuts warm."

I love that line!
Michael Smith
Jan 30, 2013 Michael Smith rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A lovely trip down memory lane by one of the best character actors in the business. Very upbeat and uplifting. Versatility thy name is Borgnine!
For a slightly longer review just follow the link!
Peter Wilson
Feb 14, 2014 Peter Wilson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
With me being an old movie buff,this book was right up my street.It was an enjoyable read with just the right amount of time spent on the movies and the old stories.I was glad it didn't spend a great deal of time on marriages/kids etc like some autobiographies do.
Oct 01, 2012 Elaine rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I found this to be a very readable book & very enjoyable. It sounded just like Ernie was talking to me. Don't know when I've enjoyed reading a bio this much. It is a little coarse in spots but not overly so.
Sep 15, 2014 Leeann rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very good book. Easy read, like you are sitting listening to stories.
Matthew Fray
I really enjoyed this. It's written with wit and enthusiasm and his heart on his sleeve and a great big grin that comes through when he's talking about childhood adventures and genuine feeling when he talks about family and friends. The most interesting part is before he got famous and for that part I'd give this book 4 stars. After he gets well known, particularly after he wins the Oscar, it becomes a list of films with some anecdotes; always readable, sometimes entertaining. But he always rema ...more
Sep 01, 2013 April rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013, non-fiction
I learned more about Ernie than I could have imagined.
Mark Desrosiers
At age 92, Ernest Borgnine ain't in the mood for poison pen or dishy gossip -- he's too busy masturbating! So he gives us the basics of his life story, including scores of G-rated anecdotes about his hardscrabble Italian-American youth, his stint in the Navy, and his drunk buddy Lee Marvin. Very few surprises or revelations: even his 'Johnny Guitar' anecdote is just a rehash of the usual Joan vs. Mercy gossip we've been hearing for years. His marriage to Ethel Merman gets a bit more explication ...more
Terry Sprouse
Jun 14, 2015 Terry Sprouse rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great compiliation of Hollywood stories by a genuinely nice actor. I expecially like his insights on the making of McHale's Navy and his warm relationship with Tim Conway.
Quick read. Interesting information on old time movie stars.
Robert Andres
Jun 30, 2015 Robert Andres rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting stories, but all too brief.
Jaime Contreras
Mr. Borgnine's autobiography is refreshingly simple but engaging. His homespun wit and at-ease writing style make s oe feel like they are sitting with him as he recalls stories from his life. What really came forth was his humility, love for acting and gusto for life. I loved his memories of his acting and adventures of life. He was honest and forthcoming with the lessons that he learned in life. I ate this book up nd enjoyed it thoroughly.
He's a simple, likable guy. Hard to believe he was married to Ethel Merman for 6 days. He doesn't explain it any better than anyone else has, but other than that he's very forthright and interesting. Worth reading, but no big revelations in it. Loved McHale's Navy!
Robert Attaway sr.
Great life w/ a great attitude
Nov 21, 2009 Sandy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
i love ernie and his book
Aug 18, 2008 Shelly is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
I'm really enjoying this! Who knew?
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ERNIE by Ernest Borgnine 2 6 Apr 18, 2013 07:28PM  
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Ernest Borgnine is an Academy Award winning actor whose film and TV career has spanned more than sixty years. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife, Tova.
More about Ernest Borgnine...

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