exordia

"How are we to help those who die and those who have died?" --
Reb Zalman Schachter-Shalomi

"By writing or reading obituaries,
we can discover ways to make our time on earth more worthwhile, more productive, more meaningful to others." -- Alana Baranick, "Life on the Death Beat"

"'I always read the obituaries in The Times,' I explained to her. 'They make me bloody glad to be alive.'" -- John Mortimer, "Rumpole's Return"

Ernest Borgnine aka Ermes Effron Borgino

Actor -- via CBS News.

How many 60-year careers in anything you know about? Huh? Much less a performing career, especially one that stayed substantial and interesting to the very end.

Ernest Borgnine first appeared on my radar as the star of the "Bilko of the Navy" TV sitcom "McHale's Navy" (both Pacific and European theaters).





But as I began to work through the great films, I was surprised to find Borgnine in so many of them. Try this list: "From Here to Eternity,"

Borgnine as Fatso Judson, the sadistic prison chief, in "From Here to Eternity."
"Johnny Guitar,"





 "Vera Cruz," "Bad Day at Black Rock,"





 of course "Marty," for which he won an Oscar;





 the original "Flight of the Phoenix,"





 "The Dirty Dozen,"





 "Ice Station Zebra," "The Wild Bunch,"





 "Escape from New York." And some howlers, of course -- "Willard," "The Devil's Rain," "The Poseidon Adventure." A disciplined professional, he elevated even TV movies such as "Legend in Granite," a biography of Vince Lombardi, and the wily Katz in "All Quiet on the Western Front."

"All Quiet in the Western Front," 1979.
To younger viewers he was Dominic Santini in "Airwolf" or Doorman Manny in "The Single Guy" -- and to my kids, he is the voice of Mermaid Man in "SpongeBob SquarePants." 



203 credits worth of pure Borgnine pleasure. Thanks, Ernie.


Jonathan Speirs

Lighting designer, most notably for grand architectural projects -- via the Guardian.

Martin Jenkinson


Photographer -- via the Guardian.

Robert Jean-Marie de la Rochefoucauld

Resistance fighter -- via the Telegraph.


Marjorie Chibnall

Historian and translator -- viu the Telegraph.

Doris Sams

Pro baseball pitcher and outfielder -- via the New York Times.


Norman Sas

Inventor of Electric Football -- via northjersey.com.






Yomo Toro aka Victor Guillermo Toro Vega Ramos Rodríguez Acosta

Guitarist and cuatrista -- via the New York Times.





Jim Drake

Perfector of the sailboard; engineer who worked on the X-15 and Tomahawk missile as well -- via the New York Times.

Ivan Karp

Colorful and enthusiastic art dealer and gallery owner -- via the New York Times.

Takeo Chii

Actor and TV show host -- via aroundtokyo.net. One of the villains in the cult film classic "Lady Snowblood," he later hosted informative programs.

Julian Goodman

Former president of NBC, who stuck up for the First Amendment -- via the New York Times.