Leslie William Nielsen, OC (February 11, 1926 – November 28, 2010) was a Canadian actor and comedian. Although his acting career crosses a variety of genres in both television and films, Nielsen achieved his greatest successes in the comedy films Airplane! and The Naked Gun. His portrayal of serious characters seemingly oblivious to (and complicit in) their absurd surroundings gives him a reputation as a comedian.
Nielsen’s lead roles in the films Forbidden Planet and The Poseidon Adventure came long before he considered a turn to comedy. His deadpan delivery as a doctor in 1980’s Airplane! marked a turning point in Nielsen’s career, one that would make him, in the words of film critic Roger Ebert, "the Olivier of spoofs." Nielsen appeared in over 100 films and 1,500 television programs over the span of his career, portraying over 220 characters.
Death of Leslie Nielsen
In November 2010, Nielsen was admitted to a Fort Lauderdale, Florida hospital for pneumonia. On November 28, Nielsen’s nephew announced to the CJOB radio station that Nielsen had died in his sleep around 5:30 p.m. EST, surrounded by family and friends. His nephew reflected on Nielsen’s life, "He was truly a nice man. A very caring, naturally funny guy in day-to-day life, not just because someone wrote something on paper for him. He was a very tender-hearted man. He was one of my best friends and I loved him dearly. I’ll miss him greatly."
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Naked Gun – Umpiring