Chief among those we lost last year, in this or any other category, is Ernest Borgnine. An Oscar-winner for 1955's Marty, that was only one of many, many compelling and fascinating roles that he played in his sixty-year career. From Here to Eternity (1953) and The Catered Affair (1956) spring to mind, but still only scratch the surface. Seen below in my favorite shot of him from The Poseidon Adventure (1972), in which he gave a brawny, blustery performance, as well as the far less successful 1980 film When Time Ran Out..., he also starred in the 1977 Irwin Allen TV-movie Fire! He was ninety-five when renal failure claimed him.
Airport, surveying the damage caused by a mad bomber and (amusingly) informing pilot Dean Martin of some of the passengers "puking." Married for forty-five years to former Miss America-turned-actress Mary Ann Mobley, he died of natural causes at the age of seventy-four.
The Hindenburg. He died of natural causes at the age of eighty-nine, but was still working steadily and will have two films released this year!
When Time Ran Out..., Karras played an oil rigger and part-time cockfighting aficionado who is confronted with a tidal wave caused by the eruption of a nearby volcano. He died of kidney failure at age seventy-seven and, sadly, had been suffering from dementia, possibly caused by all those head injuries he incurred on the football field.
The Concorde: Airport '79, opposite pilots Alain Delon and George Kennedy.
The Big Bus. Hagman was eighty-one when he died of complications for the treatment of throat cancer.
Once is Not Enough (1975) passed away all too soon last year of leukemia. She was only fifty-nine. In 1978, she starred in the telefim Ski Lift to Death along with Don Johnson, Charles Frank, Howard Duff and Veronica Hamel. The story concerned a disabled lift that threatened to plunge a variety of skiers to their deaths at any given moment. We salute these departed performers who faced a wide variety of disasters (and, in some cases, sharp-tongued critics!) during their acting careers.