Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Is That An Irreconcilable Difference?

Ernest Borgnine & Ethel Merman
Married: June 26, 1964
Split after 32 days

The coupling of thrice-wed Broadway belter Ethel Merman and twice-wed Oscar-winner Ernest Borgnine is one of the kookiest in Hollywood history. The unlikely duo's knot began unraveling on their honeymoon, when, according to Borgnine, he garnered the lion's share of fan attention, which left Merman seething. "By the time we got home, it was hell on earth," he recalled in 2001. "And after 32 days I said to her, 'Madam, bye.'" But things weren't exactly coming up roses for the Merm: she was allegedly subjected to the silent and deadly "Dutch Oven," which involved Borgnine releasing toxic fumes in bed while trapping her under the sheets. Merman, who never again married, devoted a chapter of her autobiography to the Borgnine marriage: It consisted of one blank page.

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