Varla Jean Merman remembers Ernest Borgnine

Monday Jul 9, 2012

With the death of Ernest Borgnine this week, many have wondered how Varla Jean Merman, the illegitimate daughter of Borgnine and Ethel Merman, felt about the loss.

Besieged with messages on her Facebook page, the cabaret superstar responded:

"Thank you all for your kind words. The loss of a parent is devastating, and my love for him was unrestrained. He was a quiet man, but his lawyers often conveyed his true feelings for me, and at least reassured me that he did know I was out there, especially when I came within 400 feet of him."

Varla Jean Merman appears in her latest show, "Topping Myself," at the Art House in Provincetown, MA through September 3, 2012.

For more information, visit the Varla Jean Merman website.


  • Oh Jed said:, 2012-07-09 17:43:22

    Seems kind of harsh and archaic to use the word illegitimate even though that is correct. Why didn’t they use lovechild instead since their relationship was shorter than the time to conceive? Seems like Ernie was kind of a Dick if she had to hear that he cared about her through his attorneys.

  • Lean, 2012-07-10 09:59:17

    She isn’t really Borgnine’s or Merman child! This is all part of Jeffrey Roberson’s act as Varla. The reference about the lawyers is most likely about Borgnine objecting to this part of Varla’s act.

  • Oh Jed said:, 2012-07-11 12:08:49

    Oh, so this was all "tongue in cheeks"? Thanks for explaining, :) I thought it was odd that they’d consider her illegitimate since they were married, albeit briefly.

Add New Comment

Comments on Facebook