Leslie Nielsen Passes Away at Age 84

Published 4 years ago by , Updated February 24th, 2014 at 12:26 pm,

leselie nielsen dead at 84 Leslie Nielsen Passes Away at Age 84

Legendary film and television star Leslie Nielsen passed away on Sunday due to complications from pneumonia. He was surrounded by family and friends in a hospital near his home in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. He was 84 years old.

His nephew broke the news to Winnipeg radio station CJOB and revealed that Nielsen had entered the hospital twelve days prior and that his condition had taken a turn for the worse in the 48 hours before his passing. He died in his sleep at 5:30 p.m. EST.

Nielsen was born in 1926 in Regina, Saskatchewan.  At the age of 17, he enlisted in the Royal Canadian Air Force where he was trained as an aerial gunner. Afterwards, he worked as a DJ at a Calgary, Alberta radio station and later enrolled at the Lorne Greene Academy of Radio Arts in Toronto. While studying there, he was offered a scholarship to the Neighborhood Playhouse – a renowned acting school in New York City.

After appearing in numerous live dramas, Nielsen made his television debut in 1948 on an episode of Studio One. He continued to work steadily as a dramatic actor for the next several years, but not on anything he considered particularly significant. In 1956, he was cast in director Michael Cutiz’s The Vagabond King, and although the film was a box office dud, Nielsen made an impression on producer Nicholas Nayfack, who offered him a role in his next film - Forbidden Planet.

leslie nielsen forbidden planet Leslie Nielsen Passes Away at Age 84

Nielsen (far right) in ‘Forbidden Planet’

Forbidden Planet was a huge hit for MGM and they quickly locked Nielsen into a long-term contract. He made several films for the studio, including Ransom! and Hot Summer Night before branching out into television.  Nielsen made guest appearances on shows like Alfred Hitchcock PresentsThe Wild Wild West, and Hawaii Five-O. He also had leading roles in the police dramas The New Breed and The Bold Ones: The Protectors.

In the 1970s, Nielsen appeared in films like The Poseidon Adventure and Project: Kill before making one of his last dramatic performances in City on Fire.

In 1980, Nielsen appeared in Airplane! – a parody film that would forever change the course of his career. His deadpan delivery was a hit with critics and audiences and the film’s producers later cast him as the lead in their television series Police Squad – a show that featured the same brand of absurdist humor.

The series was short-lived, but Nielsen’s Frank Drebin character was resurrected for the 1988 film The Naked Gun: From The Files of Police Squad!. Its success lead to two follow-ups – 1991′s The Naked Gun 2 1/2: The Smell of Fear and 1994′s Naked Gun 33 1/3: The Final Insult. A fourth film was considered, but plans never materialized.

leslie nielsen the naked gun Leslie Nielsen Passes Away at Age 84

The success of the Naked Gun films lead to Nielsen being cast in other spoof films like Spy HardWrongfully Accused, and more recently Scary Movie 3, Scary Movie 4, and Superhero Movie.

Although some expressed disappointment with the way Nielsen had been typecast during the latter part of his career, the actor had no regrets. He insisted that comedy was always what he had wanted to do.

Screen Rant would like to express our sincere condolences to the friends and family of Mr. Nielsen.

R.I.P. Leslie Nielsen: February 11th, 1926 – November 28th, 2010.

Source: CJOB.

Get our free email alerts on the topics and author of this article:
TAGS: obituaries

40 Comments

Post a Comment

GravatarWant to change your avatar?
Go to Gravatar.com and upload your own (we'll wait)!

 Rules: No profanity or personal attacks.
 Use a valid email address or risk being banned from commenting.


If your comment doesn't show up immediately, it may have been flagged for moderation. Please try refreshing the page first, then drop us a note and we'll retrieve it.

  1. WHAT?! Surely you can’t be serious?

    • I am serious…and don’t call me “Shirley.”

  2. The world just got less funny.
    WILL be missed

  3. R.I.P Leslie Nielson :(

    I loved WRONGFULLY ACCUSED it has always been my favorite film from his *sigh*

  4. I would like to add my condolonces to Mister Nielsens family and friends.
    And thank you Leslie for a bit of wonder with Forbidden Planet, and also for all the Laughs.

  5. RIP.

    Absolute legend. He will be greatly missed and always remembered.

  6. RIP.

  7. I may go buy Airplane and Dracula today. I raised many a glasses of wine to him last night and got quite a few laughs out of remembering the movies and the lines.

  8. He’ll always be the guy that killed Ted Danson to me. Airplane! was his all time defining classic.

  9. I just rewatched “Airplane” the other night – no one could spout absurdities with a straight face like Nielsen, who made even the most painfully unfunny of spoof movies entertaining when he was onscreen. R.I.P.

  10. R.I.P. Leslie, I always grew up on Airplane!, The Naked Gun movies, and Scary Movie 3 so when a few years ago my dad told me about Forbidden Planet I was amazed. Leslie was a great actor, my thoughts are with him and his family.

  11. I still say ‘Forbidden Planet’ is his greatest film, but to each their own.

    • I do too, its a classic but Airplane! wouldnt be the same if it wasnt for Leslie.

  12. So sad, and the day before his passing my friends and I were watching The Naked Gun films, we’re all shocked by this.

  13. It’s the same old story. Boy finds girl, boy loses girl, girl finds boy, boy forgets girl, boy remembers girl, girl dies in a tragic blimp accident over the Orange Bowl on New Year’s Day.

    *salute*

    • Goodyear?

      • No, the worst.

  14. Cheer up, Ed. This is not goodbye. It’s just I won’t ever see you again

  15. Sad News – Just watched an old Western on TV the other day where he was the bad-guy. Thanx for all the laughs Les.

  16. Leslie Nielsen was comedy gold, he will be missed.

  17. Brilliant dude. Sad day.

  18. Dammit. :(

    Vic

  19. Roger. Ovur. Unger. WHat?!?

  20. Leslie was one of my favorite comedians
    This has made my day really sad. :(

  21. A huge loss…

  22. He was a dramatic actor of the 60s who was able to remake himself over for a new generation in comedy. His Commander JJ Adams (in Forbidden Planet) was Captain Kirk before Captain Kirk was “born”. Great character!

  23. RIP Mr Nielsen.

  24. Im shocked and sad and…..ahh damnit!
    why him :(

  25. A Great Canadian we here in the North were and will forever be proud of.

  26. Very sad day to this day Airplane is still one of my fave comedies.

    Have you ever seen a grown man naked?

    • Do you like gladiator movies?

  27. RIP Leslie!

    Your Naked Gun films were hilarious and timeless!

    No one will ever call you Shirley again either.

    You and Irvin will be missed!

  28. Surely you can’t be serious…

    Still one of the funniest bits ever…

    RIP Mr. Nielsen.

  29. Seriously? Spam on an obituary? You should be ashamed of yourself.

    • Not only here, but in a couple of other articles as well.

      • You guys realise this thing is likely a bot right? I doubt there’s anybody reading your comments to it.

        And even if it is a real person, don’t feed the troll.

        • Yeah I did think it was a bot, but my point still stands.

          • WTF is her/his problem? I cant believe theyd put that on this thread i agree Drsam,unbelievable its been on every thread im pissed now.