Ernest Borgnine died at the age of 95. He was still a working actor. Often people like to flap their lips about who is up and who is down in Hollywood and they cynically go about talking about who's hot and who's not. What they forget about is that these are people living their lives trying to make a wage and pay for the other things in life like, say, family. The crown jewel seems to be crowned an icon like Brando. The other side of the coin is the journeyman who tries to find fun and interesting projects, and if that isn't sufficient, a pay check. It's great to pontificate about the giants of the industry but they are so few. The others, players behind the scenes and in front of the camera are trying to put together a decent living and trying to enjoy the process. Fame is bullshit.
Ernest Borgnine is famous but I am sure most of my film students never heard of him. Some will discover him in various films and television reruns. In the end, this is the life of a creative person. He worked hard. He didn't need to be Brando. He was a great talent and left a body of wonderful work. Whether or not it's seen or revered doesn't matter. He added to a great tradition of talent and inspiration and he lived and worked to the age of 95. Who can have a better life than that?