Leslie Nielsen

Leslie Nielsen (1926–2010)

Memory of Leslie Nielsen
Leslie Nielsen, Hollywood legend and comedic actor, has died at the age of 84. TMZ reports Nielsen died of complications from pneumonia in a hospital near his home in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida on Nov. 28. He was surrounded by his wife and family.

Nielsen played several serious roles early in his career but is perhaps best known for his comedy starring in such films as "Airplane!" and "Naked Gun." His film career spanned more than 50 years when he starred in 1956's "Forbidden Planet."

People magazine reports Nielsen was Canadian, the son of Royal Canadian Mounted Police officer. His brother, Eric, was deputy prime minister of Canada from 1984 to 1986.


Leslie Nielsen was raised in Tulita (formerly Fort Norman), Northwest Territories. His father was a mountie and a strict disciplinarian. His mother was Welsh. Leslie studied at the Academy of Radio Arts in Toronto before moving on to New York's Neighborhood Playhouse. His acting career started at a much earlier age when he was forced to lie to his father in order to avoid severe punishment. Leslie has starred in over fifty movies and many more TV films. One of his two brothers became the deputy prime minister of Canada.

Film Career

Nielsen played in many films during Hollywood's Golden Age that would be considered some of the best films during the time. "The Plainsman" was a western filmed in 1966 in which Nielsen played George Armstrong Custer as a colonel and before his famous "Last Stand." Nielsen also played in "Beau Geste" with Telly Savalas.

Nielsen is most often associated with the original "Airplane!" movie in which he plays a dimwitted doctor on a doomed commercial airline flight. The sequel did not have Nielsen in it but launched him to stardom when he starred in the campy television show "Police Squad" and its subsequent movies.

"Forbidden Planet" became a cult classic with sci-fi fans as Nielsen played Commander Adams as the leader of a crew of astronauts landing on a seemingly lifeless planet. When an alien stalks his crew, Nielsen must fight to save his crew.

Nielsen also gained fame for playing the captain of the ill-fated cruise ship in 1972's "The Poseidon Adventure." Later in his career, Nielsen played in many comedic spoof movies.


The New York Daily News wrote about tributes coming in from celebrities all over the globe. Ryan Seacrest, Russell Brand, Nia Vardalos and Marlee Matlin all paid tribute via their Twitter accounts.

Nielsen was married four times and has two children. Nielsen authored an autobiography "Leslie Nielsen: The Naked Truth" in 1993. The book chronicles the actor's life in a hilarious take of his 40 years in show business at the time the book was printed.


Pic. Of His Past film
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Dracula: Dead and Loving It (1995)
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Naked Gun 1(1988), 2(1991), & 3(1994)
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Airplane! (1980)
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Superhero Movie (2008)
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Scary Movie 3(2003) & 4(2006)
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Santa Who? (TV 2000)
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Repossessed (1990)
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Safety Patrol (TV 1998)

Other Information


Barbaree Earl Nielsen (2001 - present) Brooks Oliver (13 November 1981 - 5 December 1984) (divorced) Alisande Ullman (10 September 1958 - 1974) (divorced) 2 children Monica Boyer (1950 - 1956) (divorced)

Trade Mark

Delivering sophomoric punchlines with a deadpan expression.

"Whoopee cushion" gags

Appearing oblivious to everything that's happening around him.


Nephew of the late actor Jean Hersholt.

Born at 5:00 am MST.

Brother was a high-ranking Canadian politician. Eric Nielsen was the Government Leader of the Yukon Territory before becoming a Member of Parliment and the Deputy Prime Minister of Canada.

His grandfather on father's side was Danish.

While in Winnipeg, Canada, to promote their movie Men with Brooms (2002), he and co-star Paul Gross received Honorary Citizenships from Winnipeg Mayor Glen Murray at the Granite Curling Club.

Naturalized U.S. citizen.

Attended Victoria Composite High School in Edmonton, Alberta.

He has a half brother named Gilbert Nielsen who lives in Hobbs, New Mexico.

Was made an "Honorary West Virginian and Ambassador of Mountain State Goodwill" on February 20, 2002, by then-Secretary of State of West Virginia Joe Manchin, now the Governor (elected 2004).

In the Fall of 2003, the Grant MacEwan College in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada opened the Leslie Nielsen School of Communications, with the actor on hand for the ceremony.

He was awarded an O.C. (Officer of the Order of Canada) on October 10, 2002 for his services to entertainment.

Has two daughters: Maura Nielsen Kaplan and Thea Nielsen Disney.

At age 17 1/2 enlisted in the Royal Canadian AirForce and trained as an aerial gunner.

Tested for the role of "Messala" in Ben-Hur (1959).

Film critic Roger Ebert once called him "the Laurence Olivier of spoofs".

Was considered for the role of Willy Wonka in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005).

His father was a Royal Canadian Mounted Police officer for Northwest Territory and Saskatchewan.

Avid Motorcylist.

Attended the Chiller Theater Expo in Parsippany, NJ along with actress Jamie Luner of "Profiler" (1996), John Schneider, Angie Dickinson, Brian O'Halloran, Danny Woodburn, David Hedison, Erik Estrada, Audra Lynn, Barry Williams, on October 24, 2008.

Was considered for the role of Jack Torrance in The Shining (1980).

Lives in Phoenix, Arizona.

Personal Quotes

Doing nothing is very hard to do . . . you never know when you're finished.

The reason they call it 'golf' is that all the other four-letter words were used up.

on the part of his career when he played almost exclusively bad guys The best part is always the heavy. And the meaner and crueler and the worse you are, the more vicious you are as the heavy, the better the hero looks when he whips you. So, the heavy is liable to be a very dramatic, fine acting part. I told my agent at that time, "I want to play heavies who are really vicious and cruel and terrible. I want them to know that they're terrible and I want them to enjoy it."

[on his wrestling a "wild grizzly bear" (it was actually a docile honey bear] in Day of the Animals (1977)] I had to weave and play around with a honey bear, and I could wrestle with him a little bit, but there's no way you can even wrestle a honey bear, let alone a grizzly bear that's standing ten feet to eleven feet tall! Can you imagine? But it was fascinating to work that close to that kind of animal.

Where Are They Now

(June 2007) Paradise Valley, Arizona

(September 2008) Chiller Theater Expo in Parsippany, New Jersey, signing autographs for fans.