At 94, Ernest Borgnine is still a ham. Together with his wife, Tova Borgnine, Tim Conway and Morgan Freeman, he made his way through the maze of post-lifetime-achievement-award press awaiting him just outside the backstage exit -- TV crews, roaming reporters, stray photographers. A few minutes later, in the photo pool room, which was electric with the constant flash of cameras, he swayed right and left, smiling, thumbs hooked into the waistline of his pants, then inside his jacket. Conway, Freeman and Tova filed out into the lobby but Borgnine stayed onstage, addressing the throng of photographers, reveling in his moment.
Tova Borgnine said the couple had a long evening of festivities planned: They'd head to the SAG after-gala; then they'd continue partying with close friends who'd flown into L.A. for Borgnine's award. Of her husband, she said:
"Life to him is always possible. In that way, he's a ham. But a good one."
Ernest Borgnine wasn't as sure as his wife about the plans to continue partying -- he said he just wanted to go home and relax. But one thing he will continue with, he hopes, is acting. He says he's nowhere near finished with that. "Of course, I plan to keep going!" he said. Then he nudged his wife: "We need the money, right?"
— Deborah Vankin
Photo: Ernest Borgnine onstage at the 17th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards. Credit: Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times.