Ernest Borgnine (born Ermes Effron Borgnino; January 24, 1917- July 8, 2012) was an American actor of television and film. His career had spanned more than six decades. He was an unconventional lead in many films of the 1950s, including his Academy Award-winning turn in the 1955 film Marty. On television, he played Quinton McHale in the 1962-66 series McHale's Navy and costarred in the mid-1980s action series Airwolf, in addition to a wide variety of other roles. Borgnine earned an Emmy Award nomination at age 92 for his work on the series ER.
On Nickelodeon, he was also known for his role as Mermaid Man in SpongeBob SquarePants. In "Mermaidman Begins", it is revealed that Mermaid Man's identity before becoming the superhero was named Ernest as well.
After Borgnine's death in 2012, Nickelodeon ran a two-hour marathon of SpongeBob episodes featuring Mermaid Man as a tribute on July 11th. The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water was also dedicated in memory of him.