Actor Leslie Nielsen Dies At 84

Leslie Nielsen, the dramatic lead in Forbidden Planet and The Poseidon Adventure and the bumbling detective in The Naked Gun comedies, died on Sunday in Fort Lauderdale, Fla from complications from pneumonia.  He passed away in hospital surrounded by his wife, Barbaree, and friends, his agent John S. Kelly said in a statement.  He was 84.

“We are saddened by the passing of beloved actor Leslie Nielsen, probably best remembered as Lt. Frank Drebin in The Naked Gun series of pictures, but who enjoyed a more than 60-year career in motion pictures and television,” said Kelly.

The feature film, The Naked Gun, with George Kennedy, O.J. Simpson and Priscilla Presley as Nielsen’s co-stars. Its huge success led to sequels The Naked Gun 2 1/2 and The Naked Gun 33 1/3.

He will be fondly remembered for his performance in Airplane! the 1980 hit that turned the actor from dramatic leading man to comic star and gave him what was probably his best known line.

“Surely you can’t be serious,” an airline passenger says to Nielsen “I am serious,” Nielsen replies. “And don’t call me Shirley.”

Nielsen arrived in Hollywood in the mid 1950’s after 150 live TV dramas in New York and first performed as the king of France in the Paramount operetta The Vagabond King with Kathryn Grayson and although the film flopped MGM signed him to a seven-year contract.

His later movies included All I Want for Christmas, Dracula: Dead and Loving It and Spy Hard.

Born on Feb. 11, 1926 in Regina, Saskatchewan Neilson grew up at Fort Norman, where his father was an officer of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.  He was one of three sons, and Nielsen once recalled, “There were 15 people in the village, including five of us. If my father arrested somebody in the winter, he’d have to wait until the thaw to turn him in.”

His father was a troubled man who beat his wife and sons, and Leslie left home as soon as he graduated from high school at 17.  He joined the Royal Canadian Air Force, even though he was legally deaf (he wore hearing aids most of his life.)

Nielsen also was married to: Monica Boyer, 1950-1955; Sandy Ullman, 1958-74; and Brooks Oliver, 1981-85 and had two daughters, Thea and Maura to his second wife.

Leslie Neilsen Movies

Related Blogs

Liked this article? Read another similar article.
Stumble! for WP
VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
If you enjoyed this post, make sure you subscribe to my RSS feed!

Tags: , , , ,

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.