Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times
At 94, Ernest Borgnine is still a ham. Together with his wife, Tova, and stars Tim Conway and Morgan Freeman, Borgnine made his way through the maze of post-lifetime-achievement-award press that was 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 pop of multple flashbulbs, he swayed right and left, smiling, thumbs hooked onto the waistline of his pants, inside his jacket. Conway, Freeman and his wife filed out into the lobby. But Borgnine stayed on stage, addressing the throng of photographers, reveling in his moment.
His wife said there was a long evening of festivities planned: They'd head to the SAG after-gala; then continue partying with close friends Doug Briggs (CEO of QVC network) and his wife, 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."
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 his acting. He says he's nowhere near finished. "Of course I plan to keep going!" he said. Then he nudged his wife: "We need the money, right?"
-- Deborah Vankin
Photo: Ernest Borgnine and wife Tova.