Ernest Borgnine Accepts Lifetime Achievement Award From Screen Actors Guild

Ernest Borgnine accepts the Lifetime Achievement Award during the 17th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards held at The Shrine Auditorium on January 30, 2011 Ernest Borgnine accepts the Lifetime Achievement Award during the 17th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards held at The Shrine Auditorium on January 30, 2011

What do you wanna do tonight, Ernie?

To accept the Screen Actors Guild award for lifetime achievement was perhaps far more glamorous than Ernest Borgnine’s most famous character — the humble butcher Marty Piletti — could have possibly dreamed.

And for the 94-year-old Borgnine, it was a moving moment when he took the stage to a standing ovation at Sunday night’s SAG Awards.

In a still-continuing career that included such movies as “From Here to Eternity,” '‘The Wild Bunch,” '‘McHale’s Navy” and so many more, Borgnine rarely failed to put a charge of humility into his work.

How fitting it was that the actor who personified humility in his Oscar-winning performance in 1955’s “Marty” would take the opportunity of the lifetime achievement award to remind his colleagues ofthat quality.

“There are millions of those in the world who would love to be in our shoes,” said Borgnine. “We are a privileged few who have been chosen to work in this field of entertainment.”

He added: “I hope we will never let our dedication to our craft fail.”

His words washed touchily over the crowd.

Borgnine, a World War II veteran, is still acting. He provides the voice of Mermaid Man in the Nickelodeon cartoon “SpongeBob SquarePants” and he made a cameo in last year’s action film “Red.”

“Comedy is just part of this man’s wonderful career,” said his “McHale’s Navy” co-star, Tim Conway, who introduced him Sunday.

Morgan Freeman, who appeared with him in “Red,” presented a misty-eyed Borgnine the award, pronouncing the old adage: “Life is what you make of it.”

Copyright 2014 by Associated Press. All rights reserved.
This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.