I wonder if somebody had to make the movie studios “An offer they couldn’t refuse” to get him the movie roles.
Coincidentally, I watched From Here to Eternity (again) last week when Turner Classic Movies ran a tribute to Ernest Borgnine. Anyone who saw Frank Sinatra act knew that he did not need Mafia help to earn movie roles; he was terrific as Private Maggio.
And Borgnine as Fatso—wow! I had just watched Marty (on right before FHTE), and moviegoers must have been shocked to see Borgnine’s performance as the gentle butcher after having seen him as Fatso.