Leslie Nielsen 1926-2010

What a terrible way to start the week. Comedy legend Leslie Nielsen passed away at a hospital near his home in Florida yesterday after fighting off a staph infection for the past week or so. He eventually died due to complications from pneumonia. He was 84 years old. Nielsen worked for over 60 years in TV and movies, first gaining attention as a serious actor in such films as Forbidden Planet and The Poseidon Adventure, before eventually becoming best known as the muse of David Zucker, Jerry Zucker, and Jim Abrahams, creators of the cult classic Police Squad! TV series and the popular Airplane and The Naked Gun films. He was still working right up until his death, most recently starring in the horror spoof Stan Helsing, with appearances in Spanish Movie, Stonerville and The Waterman Movie still forthcoming.

As someone who grew up on The Naked Gun movies, I can honestly say that Leslie Nielsen’s deadpan performance as Lt. Frank Drebin helped shape my own sense of humour. Although the Zucker / Zucker / Abrahams style of parody very quickly wore out its welcome moving into the ’90s, it was always nice to see Nielsen continuing to find work, and he was able to return to form with supporting roles in fairly recent movies like Scary Movie 3 and 4 and Superhero Movie. Either way, he has definitely left behind some comedy masterpieces that will continue to live on without him. What will you remember him for most? What are your favourite Leslie Nielsen performances?

  • Gil

    Ah dammit. I was recently thinking of watching Forbidden Planet for the first time… Now I gotta watch it with teary eyes.

  • Hugh


    FB is well worth watching.

    Mr Nielsen was a comedy legend and he brings a smile to my face just thinking about his antics in Police Squad in particular.

    RIP Leslie Nielsen.

  • I guess humor is very subjective. I didn’t find Leslie (or his movies) to be funny in the slightest…

  • Chris

    Just watched Airplane last week again. My best memory of his movies was watching them with my dad and my brother when we were kids.

  • kyri

    I love Forbidden Planet.
    Rest in peace Leslie..

  • Mark In Ottawa

    This shirley sucks.

  • Fatbologna


    I’m sure everyone appreciates the honesty of your opinion. Are you proud to be the first one on the boards to let everyone know how much you hated the dead man’s comedy? Maybe you should go to his funeral and tell it to his family and friends along with his old dead face…

    I think you’re just jealous that he did more with his last name than you ever will.


    RIP LES.

  • MikeH

    one of my fav flicks of all time was one of mister nielsens, The Posiedon Adventure.


  • Elton

    I was so shocked when I discovered his dead this morning. I also grew up watching his comedies The Naked Gun series being my favorite followed by Dracula: Dead & Loving it.

  • cronenfly

    Naked Gun films were good. I really liked his bad guy role in Creepshow.

  • Brendan

    I re-watched the first Naked Gun a little while ago. I remembered liking it on previous watches, but sometimes movies don’t hold up like you thought, especially comedies. But it really was a great film from beginning to end. He obviously got pigeon-holed into the same type of roles over the years with varying success, but when he was on his game, he was great.

  • Name: Mark

    I still get a wild laughing when he landed on the lap of the Queen of England. I will really miss his great double takes, too. Leslie will not be an easy one to double.

  • Gil

    Ah man. Now you’re gonna make me cry. I forgot about Creepshow. Saw it really young. That segment terrified me. Such a weird segment. “You’ve gotta hold your breath.”

  • cronenfly