Hilarious Master of Spoofs Leslie Nielsen Has Passed Away at 84
"Surely you can't be serious?" "I am serious. And don't call me Shirley." Earlier this year we said goodbye to actor Peter Graves, and now sad news hits again as another legendary cast member of the comedy Airplane! has passed away. Canadian talk radio station CJOB 68 in Manitoba reports actor Leslie Nielsen has passed away due to complications from pneumonia at age 84. His nephew Doug Nielsen revealed the very sad news tonight that after being hospitalized for nearly two weeks, the infection was "just too much and at 5.30, with his friends and his wife by his side, he just fell asleep and passed away." We remember Leslie Neilsen below.
When I was a kid there were plenty of movies I saw well before I was old enough to truly enjoy them. Ones that stick out the most are Airplane! and the first two installments of the Naked Gun series. Though there were plenty of jokes that went over my head, I remember loving the goofy nature and slapstick elements of the comedy. Later I would be excited about lesser praised comedies like Spy Hard, Dracula: Dead and Loving It and even Surf Ninjas simply because of the presence of Leslie Nielsen. The man was truly a master of comedy.
However, Nielsen started out on television back in the 60's with more dramatic roles in classic TV series like "Peyton Place" and "The New Breed" and even appearances in "Alfred Hitchcock Presents", "Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color" and "The Untouchables." But it was his turn as Dr. Rumack in Airplane!, from directors Jim Abrahams, David Zucker and Jerry Zucker, that would lead him to one of his most iconic turns as Detective Frank Drebin in the trio's comedy series "Police Squad!"
Later he would take the same role to the big screen with The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad and two sequels to follow. It's hard to imagine a time when O.J. Simpson was funny and spoofs weren't just box office dredge that hit theaters in the dead season of January and February, but Leslie Nielsen worked hard to deliver some of the best laughs people have ever had. Those run circles around and dig graves for the dead-on-arrival spoofs like Epic Movie. Though we greatly admire his early work in drama, below we've included a montage video of some our favorite funny Leslie Nielsen moments:
The hilarious work of the late and infinitely great Leslie Nielsen:
This is truly a sad loss today for the entertainment industry and audiences alike. As I continue to get older, the celebrities passing away are hitting a little too close to home more than they were before. Fortunately, Leslie Nielsen has left behind a legacy of greatness in drama and comedy stirring up a myriad of emotions throughout a wonderful career that spans over 60 years, and we will remember him fondly. Rest in peace.
Reader Feedback - 49 Comments
movie mike on Nov 28, 2010
=( RIP Mr. Nelson. condolences to his famly.
lego on Nov 28, 2010
8=D on Nov 28, 2010
🙁 he will be missed...
DarkPadme on Nov 28, 2010
Huge loss! I grew up watching his hilarious flicks and he surely impressed me with his sinister turn in the, "Creepshow," segment, 'Something To Tide You Over'. Rest in peace, Mr. Nielsen. I extend my deepest condolences to Mr. Nielsen's family!! 🙁
Spider on Nov 28, 2010
8=D on Nov 28, 2010
#3 M exact reaction when I read the title. I feel as if someone punched me in the gut, the death of an icon that truly matters. What a great actor he was. RIP Mr. Nielsen! I hope he's laughing his ass off wherever he is...
Cruzer on Nov 28, 2010
Damn I forgot to put an "y" for My!
Cruzer on Nov 28, 2010
This is a terrible thing to hear going into the week. I wish his family the best.
Eli on Nov 28, 2010
and the world just became a little less funny... RIP Leslie, one of the true good guys in Hollywood.
Colt on Nov 28, 2010
Lina on Nov 28, 2010
Damn. I suppose I'll watch Surf Ninjas in his honor.
Cracky on Nov 28, 2010
FUCK!!!! FUCK THIS SHIT!!!
LINKFX on Nov 28, 2010
Sad news...Leslie Nielsen was truly a great comedic genius...and before he found his niche in comedy, he did some very passable turns in serious roles as well. I will always remember him in Police Squad, the TV show that gave birth to his Naked Gun series...and, of course, his role in Creepshow, which although meant as a serious role turned out to be somewhat comedic as well. Rest in Peace, Mr. Neilsen...you will be missed.
The Credenza Kid on Nov 28, 2010
He was a funny man. 84 is a good age to get to, seems he's been around forever. Rest in Peace mister.
Crapola on Nov 28, 2010
Man, this is sad news. He always made me crack up in his movies. Not only was his line delivery always hilarious, but he often didn't have to say anything at all; his facial expressions were enough for me to lose my shit. =(
SuicidalOptimist on Nov 28, 2010
Really sad news, but I know he's in a better place. RIP Leslie 🙁
Akumared on Nov 28, 2010
rest in piece, you made me laugh
igor on Nov 28, 2010
Have you ever seen a grown man naked?
ocp on Nov 28, 2010
This would be the first and only time you never made me laugh, RIP Leslie...
Justin on Nov 28, 2010
Wow. I was talking to a friend when I read this and almost started crying instantly. Good day gone bad in a matter of seconds. He was truly a comedic genius. We'll definitely miss him. Rest in peace, Mr. Nielsen...and please, don't call him Surely.
FriendlyFire on Nov 28, 2010
The man was a true comedy legend, he will never be forgetten.Will be missed, though. God Rest His Soul In Peace, true legends never die.
Fisherr on Nov 29, 2010
I dont think Ive quite comprehended this yet, I feel so fucking empty inside right now RIP, my prayers go out to his family.
Cody w on Nov 29, 2010
Was just talking about him with my girlfriend, saw the guy who played Renfield in Dracula Dead and Loving it, she said she hadn't seen it, went to put it on my netflix queue and then checked here for trailers only to find this, had the same reaction as everyone here, such a shame.
Mars on Nov 29, 2010
shero on Nov 29, 2010
Airplane was the very first VHS video I ever hired from a shop! Now I like to think i have the very cream of his career within my movie collection. We had only watched Dracula, dead and loving it a few nights ago too! I find it difficult to decide who I will remember him for.... I suppose it has to be Frank Drebin. RIP Lesley, I will never call you "Shirley".
FOOM on Nov 29, 2010
he will shirley be missed
Alex Morrison on Nov 29, 2010
THANK YOU SIR FOR MAKING US LAUGH WHEN WE NEEDED TO. R.I.P
David on Nov 29, 2010
Leslie Neilson: Dead and Loving it.
Adam on Nov 29, 2010
Robbie on Nov 29, 2010
From Forbidden Planet all through the Naked Gun movies, he has always entertained me. Thank U and RIP Tester
Tester on Nov 29, 2010
RIP leslie 🙁 ur a legend!
Spider94 on Nov 29, 2010
R.I.P, thank you for everything!!! you will be miss but not forgotten!!!
george on Nov 29, 2010
RIP... great memories
Nick on Nov 29, 2010
'I never did get over macho grande'
LEE on Nov 29, 2010
A true comedic genius, you'll be remembered all around the globe. Our prayers to all his family from Mexico. R.I.P. Mr. Leslie Nielsen "I wanted to say good luck, and we're counting on you"
spideyfan84 on Nov 29, 2010
R.I.P., Mr. Nielsson...will always remember you from Forbidden Planet, to the Posiden Adventure, to Airplane and the Naked Gun. Heaven has just gotten a little funnier.
weezy1 on Nov 29, 2010
Theres just something sadder about this than any other recent celebrity death, and I think the difference with Nielsen is, simply put, he was a goofball. Its always tragic when the world loses one of those. 🙁 rip Leslie Nielsen, you always seemed like a great guy.
Al on Nov 29, 2010
I'm surprised God waited this long to bring this comedian to heaven
Jamie on Nov 29, 2010
I noticed recently that the Naked Gun series was playing on a few channels a lot the last couple of weeks. I didn't think much of it. Come to find today that he passed away, and he had been sick the last couple of weeks. I hope his family was by his side for the holidays. He'll be missed for his comedy and overall talent.
SapphireD910 on Nov 29, 2010
Damn This guy was sooo freaking funny. Loved His movies.
filmfan111 on Nov 29, 2010
"Nice Beaver!" "Thanks i just had it stuffed!" RIP You will be missed
Jimmy Love on Nov 29, 2010
R.I.P Leslie Nielsen!
Mark.E on Nov 29, 2010
One of the best things to come out of Canada, and that's saying a lot! He was great in the final season of Golden Girls, too. Comedy doesn't get the critical praise it deserves in film or music. His comedic work on TV and film has cheered up probably hundreds of millions of people over the years. That is a good legacy.
Name: Mark on Nov 29, 2010
RIP Leslie Nielsen, surely he is doing research for Dracula: Dead and Loving It Part 2!.....and don't call him Shirley.
Peace Love & GaGa on Nov 29, 2010
HAHAHAH...reading over these quotes of his are making me remember how funny it was hearing them for the first time and how so many of his quotes are part of our culture.. gotta give it up for a man who spent most of his life entertaining and making us laugh our asses of!! maybe in death we realize just how important they have been in our lives. I hope there is a lounge in the afterlife with all the greats just being themselves Rest in Peace LN. Thanks for the laughs!!
lando on Nov 30, 2010
I'll always remember seeing his jokes coming before most people in the crowd and being the only one in the theater laughing before the punchline hit and had everyone roaring!
BillieD on Nov 30, 2010
I couldn't believe the news when I read it yesterday. I remember when I was younger, my father rented Naked Gun 2 1/2 on video. We watched it and even though I didn't get a chunk of the jokes, it was still hilarious, and Nielsen was the main reason. He knew how to be funny; whether being deadpan or acting flat-out goofy, he always floored me. In fact a few weeks ago, I was watching the funeral scene from Superhero Movie (underrated) and Leslie's performance really made that scene work. I replayed that scene over and over. It's that funny. He will be missed. I hope he enjoys his stay in Heaven and hangs with the other comedy greats (Candy, Pryor, Farley, Mac, etc), making 'em laugh. Rest In Peace, Mr. Nielsen.
AJ on Nov 30, 2010
He loved us British we understood his humour and he more importantly ours. Lots of love and lots of laughs. What more can you give the world than to make someone smile or better still laugh? Rest in peace.
victor on Dec 3, 2010
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