BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. – Not every Golden Globes party was cancelled.
Despite the scrapping of Sunday’s ceremony and official studio events, Ernest Borgnine – who, at 90, was the oldest Globes nominee ever – still threw a private bash at his hilltop home. The evening started with pizza and champagne as an assortment of publicists, photographers and friends joined Borgnine, his wife, Tova, and daughter, Nancy, to watch the awards-presentation news conference in his living room.
Borgnine carried big barstools into the room to accommodate his guests. He was comfortable in his black slacks and matching sweater – much better than a stuffy tux, he said.
“I don’t like wearing the union suit anymore.”
“I’m past that stage,” he said, recalling when he won his Oscar for “Marty” in 1956, he was wearing a wool tuxedo with tails – “I never perspired so much in all my life.”
The ever-smiling Hollywood veteran said he was happy to be home instead of wrapped up in the “hullabaloo” of the ceremony, “because if I want a beer or I want a sandwich or whatever, I’m able to get up and go.”
“These people have to sit there and wait until somebody tells them to go pee.”
He acknowledged his wife might have preferred to attend the event, as she already had a dress selected. Still, she looked camera-ready in a ruffled blouse, slim black slacks and diamond jewelry. The couple sat on matching white leather chairs in the dark wood living room. Star-shaped balloons bounced above the old-school fat television, framing the Oscar and Globe statuettes. A congratulatory bouquet of pink roses sat in the centre of the coffee table.
When the news conference began, all eyes focused on the screen. Borgnine was up for best actor in a miniseries for his starring role in the Hallmark Channel’s “A Grandpa for Christmas.” He was last nominated, and won, more than 50 years ago.
Tension grew as each category was announced.
“This is like going into labour, for God sake,” Tova said of the long wait.
Finally, the actor’s category came up. Jim Broadbent was announced as the winner.
Tova and Nancy Borgnine booed but Borgnine clapped.
“Hey, I already got one,” he said.
“I was nominated and I think that’s wonderful. You don’t have to win them all.”
A win would have been good for the Hallmark Channel, he said, “but for me, I’ve got one. And I’ve got the big guy, too.”
Tova Borgnine said she was disappointed.
“But what I’m thrilled about is everyone in the whole world…was truly rooting for you,” she said to her husband.
“In my eyes, you’ll always be the Golden Globe.”
Moments later, television crews from two local news channels came to conduct on-camera interviews. Borgnine mugged and showed off his Golden Globe and Academy Award from 1956. Then he took a tray of party leftovers – sandwiches and cheese – to the nearby fire station, where he typically brings a Thanksgiving dinner each year.
With all the action at the house, Borgnine missed the name of his category’s winner.
“I don’t know who the hell won or anything else.”