Leslie Nielsen (1926 – 2010)

Dramatic actor-turned-deadpan comedian Leslie Nielsen, 84, best known for appearing in the Zucker, Abrahams and Zucker comedies “Airplane!” and “The Naked Gun” passed away Sunday from complications resulting from pneumonia.

The Canadian-born actor broke into the TV scene in the early ’50s and eventually earned his first big starring role in a motion picture in 1956’s sci-fi classic, “Forbidden Planet.” Other than a role in the hit disaster film “The Poseidon Adventure” (1972), Nielsen’s career was mostly marked by guest appearances on a myriad of television shows. Then his career renaissance came in the form of the disaster spoof “Airplane!”

More than 50 years old at the time, Nielsen proved himself one of the best deadpan actors to ever grace the screen. Perhaps years of training in short and ultimately meaningless serious roles primed him as a spoof actor, but regardless, his performance in “Airplane!” is priceless as well as in “The Naked Gun,” which he single-handedly made a terrific film. Lovably oblivious might be the best way to describe him. As such, other than cameos in the “Scary Movie” films and other modern spoofs from the Zucker-Abrahams-Zucker cannon, his last most notable film would have to be the live-action film version of “Mr. Magoo” (1997).

Nielsen was in a Ft. Lauderdale  hospital being treated for a staph infection when he contracted pneumonia. He is survived by Barbaree Nielsen, his fourth wife, and two daughters from his second wife, Sandy Ullman.

Read the rest at imdb.com


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