Margaret Wright’s interview with Western writing legend Max Evans a few weeks back got me thinking about actor Ernest Borgnine, recognizable by his wide, gap-toothed smile. Evans was a friend and collaborator with the great director Sam Peckinpah, whose most acclaimed film, 1969’s The Wild Bunch, starred Borgnine as a mean, old-school, whisky-swiggin’ gunslinger. Then, of course, there was Borgnine’s turn as the affable-but-homely, lovelorn butcher in 1955’s Marty—for which Borgnine took home the Best Actor Oscar. A character actor who worked well into his 90’s, Borgnine died today at the age of 95.
Literary legend Max Evans on the landscape of Western writing
By Margaret Wright
Age is relative for Max Evans. Technically 88, he’s many hundreds of years older, he says, if you count his extensive traversals of metaphysical time and space. When the Western Writers of America held its annual convention in Albuquerque the week of June 12, Evans—one of the association’s most acclaimed and long-standing members—didn't have to travel much further than his own backyard to attend.