And Don’t Call Me Shirley…

Leslie Nielsen has left this mortal coil.

Nielsen, best known to many for his comedic performances in the Airplane and Naked Gun movies, found his comic voice in later life. In his early career he worked heavily in television and was primarily a dramatic actor, featured in films like Beau Geste, The Posiedon Adventure and Forbidden Planet  (the latter was only his second film and became a sci-fi classic. It made his outrageously offbeat character in the Airplane movies seem even more absurd than it was.

The Zucker Brothers, who mined comedy gold via Nielsen’s deadpan delivery in Airplane, also created the underappreciated series Police Squad. Lieutenant Frank Durbin got his start there, and after the series was cancelled, the character hit the big screen in the Naked Gun films. Soon he became the go-to guy for parody movies, and the congenial Canadian actor was happy to keep working. Although most of these later films paled in comparison to the earlier classic, he was usually good for a great scene or two.

Video: Leslie Nielsen highlights

Surely his place in film history is secure.

And don’t

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Filed under Comedy, Film/TV

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