Written by Kirk Baird
With the recent deaths of beloved TV actor Andy Griffith and Oscar-winning film star Ernest Borgnine, here are some of their best film and television performances to remember and celebrate their careers.
The Andy Griffith Show (1960-1968): Griffith anchored one of the great and enduring sitcoms.
No Time for Sergeants (1958): A classic fish-out-of-water comedy that previewed Griffith’s downhome charm and impeccable timing — this time as the instigator of the jokes rather than as the straight man.
A Face in the Crowd (1957): Directed by Elia Kazan and written by Budd Schulberg, this film about a country boy changed by fame is proof that Griffith could handle drama as well as comedy.
Escape From New York (1981): John Carpenter’s cult classic has Kurt Russell sent into New York City — now an island prison — to save the U.S. President, with Borgnine as an inmate who offers him help.
The Poseidon Adventure (1972): Borgnine joins an all-star cast in one of Irwin Allen’s classic — and better — disaster flicks.
The Wild Bunch (1969): Sam Peckinpah’s violent Western masterpiece focuses on the last days of an outlaw gang, including Borgnine, looking for one final big score before they retire.
The Dirty Dozen (1967): This classic World War II action-adventure about convicted murderers trained to kill Nazis features Borgnine as part of a tremendous cast led by Lee Marvin.
McHale’s Navy (1962-1966, TV series): Before he became an actor, Borgnine was in the navy, and plays the titular character in this lighthearted TV series.
Jubal (1956): A loose version of Othello set in the Wild West with Borgnine as a good-natured rancher betrayed by the woman he loves.
Marty (1955): Borgnine won his only Oscar — it was also his only nomination — playing a shy Bronx butcher who finds love.
Bad Day at Black Rock (1955): John Sturges directed this classic drama with Spencer Tracy as the mysterious hero who shows up in a small town and Borgnine as one of the villain’s henchmen determined to make his life miserable.
From Here to Eternity (1953): Borgnine is memorable as a murderous sergeant who swears revenge on Frank Sinatra’s Private Maggio.
For these titles and more, SmartBrowse each actor’s name on www.midwesttapes.com.