Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
First Look: Matt Damon As An Astronaut In Ridley Scott’s ‘The Martian’ First Look: Matt Damon As An Astronaut In Ridley Scott’s ‘The Martian’ Cannes Review: Justin Kurzel's 'Macbeth' Starring Michael Fassbender & Marion Cotillard Cannes Review: Justin Kurzel's 'Macbeth' Starring Michael Fassbender & Marion Cotillard Watch: Incredible Vintage Footage Of Audience Reactions To 'The Exorcist' In 1973 Watch: Incredible Vintage Footage Of Audience Reactions To 'The Exorcist' In 1973 Cannes Review: Gaspar Noé's Hardcore And Softhearted 'Love' Cannes Review: Gaspar Noé's Hardcore And Softhearted 'Love' Here's The Character Backstory For Doof aka Guitar Flamethrower Dude In 'Mad Max: Fury Road' Here's The Character Backstory For Doof aka Guitar Flamethrower Dude In 'Mad Max: Fury Road' Cannes Review: Hou Hsiao-Hsien's 'The Assassin' Is An Epic Visual Poem Cannes Review: Hou Hsiao-Hsien's 'The Assassin' Is An Epic Visual Poem The 10 Most Controversial Cannes Films Ever The 10 Most Controversial Cannes Films Ever Roger Deakins To Shoot Denis Villeneuve's 'Blade Runner' Sequel Roger Deakins To Shoot Denis Villeneuve's 'Blade Runner' Sequel More NSFW Posters For Gaspar Noe's 3D 'Love' Plus The Official Director's Statement More NSFW Posters For Gaspar Noe's 3D 'Love' Plus The Official Director's Statement Cannes: Watch A Three Way Makeout In The First Clip From Gaspar Noe’s 3D ‘Love’ Plus New NSFW Image Cannes: Watch A Three Way Makeout In The First Clip From Gaspar Noe’s 3D ‘Love’ Plus New NSFW Image Simon Pegg Worries That Adults Obsessed With Comics & Sci-Fi Have Become "Infantilized By Our Own Taste" Simon Pegg Worries That Adults Obsessed With Comics & Sci-Fi Have Become "Infantilized By Our Own Taste" Cannes Review: Denis Villeneuve's 'Sicario' Starring Emily Blunt, Josh Brolin And Benicio Del Toro Cannes Review: Denis Villeneuve's 'Sicario' Starring Emily Blunt, Josh Brolin And Benicio Del Toro George Miller Says He Courted Heath Ledger To Lead 'Mad Max' In 2006, Reveals Title For 'Fury Road' Sequel George Miller Says He Courted Heath Ledger To Lead 'Mad Max' In 2006, Reveals Title For 'Fury Road' Sequel Watch: Michael Fassbender Takes The Stage In First Trailer For 'Steve Jobs' Watch: Michael Fassbender Takes The Stage In First Trailer For 'Steve Jobs' George Miller Says 'Interstellar' Came Close To What His Version Of 'Contact' Would've Been Like George Miller Says 'Interstellar' Came Close To What His Version Of 'Contact' Would've Been Like New NSFW, Extremely Graphic, Adults-Only Poster For Gaspar Noe's 'Love' New NSFW, Extremely Graphic, Adults-Only Poster For Gaspar Noe's 'Love' The 25 Best Films Of 2015 We've Already Seen The 25 Best Films Of 2015 We've Already Seen The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season All The Songs In 'Pitch Perfect' Including La Roux, David Guetta, Azealia Banks, Nicki Minaj & More All The Songs In 'Pitch Perfect' Including La Roux, David Guetta, Azealia Banks, Nicki Minaj & More

Don't Call Me Shirley: Leslie Nielsen Dead At 84

Photo of Kevin Jagernauth By Kevin Jagernauth | The Playlist November 29, 2010 at 2:28AM

The Montreal Alouettes may have won the Grey Cup yesterday, but the news on the lips of every Canadian -- and everyone around Hollywood -- was that Leslie Nielsen had passed away at the age of 84.
1


The Montreal Alouettes may have won the Grey Cup yesterday, but the news on the lips of every Canadian -- and everyone around Hollywood -- was that Leslie Nielsen had passed away at the age of 84.

The actor, who boasted over one hundred television and movie credits, began his career as a serious dramatic actor starring in the likes of "The Forbidden Planet" and "The Poseidon Adventure" as well as appearing in programs such as "Columbo," "Kojak," "M.A.S.H.," "Hawaii Five-O" and "The Man From U.N.C.L.E." (and yes, he even made an appearance on the cult Canadian program "The Littlest Hobo"). Essentially, if you needed someone who could wear a suit and deliver a line with authority, he was your man. However, it would be his ability to take his gift for pitch-perfect line readings to deadpan comedic heights that found his career revitalized as a comedy actor. The breakthrough came with "Airplane!" in 1980, a parody of "Airport" and other likeminded disaster flicks of the 1970s.

From there, Nielsen would star in the shortlived "Police Squad!," a riff on police procedurals of the area and while it would only last a scant six episodes (and later developed a cult following), it would serve as the catalyst for what became his best-known and most beloved work, "The Naked Gun" trilogy. “The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad!,” “The Naked Gun 2 ½: The Smell of Fear” and “The Naked Gun 33 1/3: The Final Insult” were a highly successful trio of films that along with "Airplane!" and "Police Squad!" form his most recognized and cherished work.

The films allowed Nielsen to find a new niche in the genre of parody films appearing in the likes of “Repossessed,” “Dracula: Dead and Loving It,” “Spy Hard,” "Wrongfully Accused" and “2001: A Space Travesty.” And while those films weren't quite worthy of his considerable talents, the new crop of parody filmmakers cast him in "Scary Movie 3" and "Scary Movie 4" where he played the politically incorrect, paranoid President of the United States. One of Nielsen's final appearances will be in "Scary Movie 5" where once again reprises his role.

Nielsen relished his late career turn as a comedic actor and was one of Canada's favorite screen stars. In 2003, he became an Officer of the Order of Canada (like a Canadian knighthood). Nielsen was battling pneumonia in Fort Lauderdale hospital when he passed away in his sleep on Sunday, and is survived by his fourth wife Barbaree Earl and his daughters Maura Nielsen Kaplan and Thea Nielsen Disney. [The National Post/New York Times]














This article is related to: Actors, Leslie Nielsen


The Playlist

The obsessives' guide to contemporary cinema via film discussion, news, reviews, features, nostalgia, movie music, soundtracks, DVDs and more.


E-Mail Updates