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Oscar-Winner Ernest Borgnine Dies At 95

Ernest Borgnine, the larger-than-life actor with the affable, gap-toothed grin, known for often villainous roles, has died, according to spokesman Harry Flynn. He was 95.

Flynn told the Associated Press that Borgnine died of renal failure at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center with his wife and children at his side.

Borgnine won the best-actor Oscar in 1955 for playing against type as a lovesick butcher in Marty.

The AP reports:

"Borgnine, who endeared himself to a generation of Baby Boomers with the 1960s TV comedy McHale's Navy, first attracted notice in the early 1950s in villain roles, notably as the vicious Fatso Judson, who beat Frank Sinatra to death in From Here to Eternity.

Then came Marty a low-budget film based on a Paddy Chayefsky television play that starred Rod Steiger. Borgnine played a 34-year-old butcher who fears he is so unattractive he will never find romance. Then, at a dance, he meets a girl with the same fear."

Borgnine's career, which spanned nearly seven decades and more than 200 film and television parts, continued almost until the end of his life, as The New York Times reports. In the 1980s he took a role as a helicopter pilot in the television adventure drama Airwolf and a supporting role as a bubbly doorman in the 1990s sitcom The Single Guy.

Borgnine married five times, including to singer Ethel Merman in late June 1964. The marriage was notoriously brief, however, and ended barely a month later in early August.

In 1973 he married for the fifth and last time, to Tova Traesnaes. In addition to his wife, his survivors include a son, Christopher, and two daughters, Nancy and Sharon.

Update at 7:15 a.m. ET: We should also note that for a very young set of fans, Borgnine's was a voice they would recognize as Mermaid Man on Spongebob SquarePants.

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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