Leslie Nielsen: Dead and Loving It

November 29, 2010


Leslie Nielsen, the dramatic actor who would become best known for his roles in slapstick comedies and spoofs, has died at age 84 due to complications of pneumonia.

Canadian-born Nielsen began his US acting career in the '50s, earning authoritative roles in Forbidden Planet, The Poseidon Adventure, and on innumerable television shows (none of which were Golden Girls spin-off Empty Nest; that was Richard Mulligan). His career-changing moment came in 1980, when his deadpanned comedic role as the doctor in Airplane! would forever link him to genre parody and an aversion to the name "Shirley." He would again work with Airplane! creators Zucker, Abrahams, and Zucker on the short-lived ABC cop-drama spoof, Police Squad!--a show that eventually found more success in cinemas as The Naked Gun, forever associating Nielsen with bumbling detective Frank Drebin. Sadly, that popularity would lead to more, less reputable comedic roles--like in Mr. Magoo, the Scary Movie franchise, and Superhero Movie-- but let's forget all of those and instead remember a great actor for something better. Like how funny it was whenever he wished people good luck because everyone is counting on them:

I hope no one thinks the title is disrespectful. It was either that or "Lived Hard, Spied Hard."

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