Leslie Nielsen RIP

Talk about a life with a second and third act. Leslie Nielsen started out as a stock 50’s square in classics like FORBIDDEN PLANET (1956), moving into character actor roles on TV shows such as BONANZA, THE WILD, WILD WEST, COLUMBO, NIGHT GALLERY and in films like THE RELUCTANT ASTRONAUT,  THE POSEIDEN ADVENTURE (1972) and of course, AIRPLANE! (1980), which led to a career resurgence with his coldly malevolent husband in CREEPSHOW (1982), and as Lt. Frank Drebin in the Zucker brothers brilliant series, POLICE SQUAD! The huge success of THE NAKED GUN (1988) feature brought Nielsen back to the big screen as a star — I probably laughed the longest and loudest in a movie theater during his hilarious umpire scene. He continued to work all the way until his passing at the age of 84. I always liked his ability to go from calm to manic, and his straight-faced humor endeared Leslie Nielsen to generations.

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5 Responses to “Leslie Nielsen RIP”

  1. Nice tribute to a very versatile actor. When I first caught him on television as a kid, he was in that character actor/villain span of his. Then, I finally saw his J.J. Adams in FORBIDDEN PLANET. Later, you could clearly see the role was the precursor STAR TREK’s Captain Kirk. He always contributed so well to whatever genre he participated in. I know I’m going to miss him greatly as time goes by. May he rest in peace. Thanks, christian.

    • Thanks — it’s great he left behind a legacy that even tday’s kids will recall fondly. I have a VHS taped appearance with him on Arsenio Hall after THE NAKED GUN opened so I need to transfer that for youtube posterity…

  2. A parachute not opening – that’s the way to die. Getting caught in a combine, having your nuts bit off by a Laplander. That’s the way l want to go.

    RIP, you silly funny bastard.

  3. Starting at 0:53 is Nielsen’s finest moment on POLICE SQUAD!

  4. Nice tribute. He really showed some amazing comedic chops in the Zucker bros. films.

    One of my fave exchanges from AIRPLANE!:

    Dr. Rumack: What was it we had for dinner tonight?
    Elaine Dickinson: Well, we had a choice of steak or fish.
    Dr. Rumack: Yes, yes, I remember, I had lasagna.

    The way Nielsen says that last line is the best. The epitome of deadpan delivery.

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