Ernest Borgnine, Milwaukee's Circus Parade favorite, dead at 95
Ernest Borgnine dies in Los Angeles Video by 620wtmj.comvideo
LOS ANGELES - Hollywood has lost a famous actor and Milwaukee has lost a familiar face.
Oscar-winning actor Ernest Borgnine has died at the age of 95. For years, Borgnine was a fixture at Milwaukee's Great Circus Parade.
Milwaukee is a long way from the fame and fortune of Hollywood but for Ernest Borgnine, Milwaukee was very special place.
"Coming to Milwaukee is like coming home every year and my wife and I look forward to it very much," Borgnine said.
If the circus parade was in town, there was a good chance Ernie and his wife Tova were working the crowd, waiving and laughing.
We are having the best time," laughed Tova Borgnine.
Ernie first showed up as a clown in the 1970s. Circus Parade promoter, the late Ben Barkin, invited Borgnine to Milwaukee after seeing him on NBC's Tonight Show with Johnny Carson saying he would love to play a clown. The rest they say is history.
"Where else can you find a parade like this?" Borgnine said. "I mean this is the parade of the year."
Borgnine would also visit Children's' Hospital while in town. But, it was his big smile and big shoes that will bring back memories for parade fans.
He was the grand clown but he seemed like the guy who was having the grandest time.
"Ernest Borgnine loved Milwaukee," Mayor Tom Barrett said Sunday night in a statement. "He was generous with his time and gracious to his fans. In return, Milwaukee loved Ernie. He will be missed from eternity."