Leslie Nielsen

Leslie Nielsen

Nielsen in 1982
Born Leslie William Nielsen
(1926-02-11)February 11, 1926
Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada
Died November 28, 2010(2010-11-28) (aged 84)
Fort Lauderdale, Florida, US
Cause of death Pneumonia
Nationality Canadian
Alma mater Neighborhood Playhouse School of the Theatre
Occupation actor, comedian, producer
Years active 1948–2010
Notable work
  • Monica Boyar (1950–1956)
  • Alisande Ullman (1958–1973)
  • Brooks Oliver (1981–1983)
  • Barbaree Earl (2001–2010)
Children 2

Leslie William Nielsen, OC (February 11, 1926  November 28, 2010) was a Canadian-American actor, comedian, and producer.[1][2] He appeared in more than 100 films and 150 television programs, portraying more than 220 characters.[3]

Nielsen was born in Regina, Saskatchewan. He enlisted in the Royal Canadian Air Force and later worked as a disc jockey before receiving a scholarship to study theatre at the Neighborhood Playhouse. Making his acting debut in 1948, he made more than 50 television appearances two years later. Nielsen made his film debut in 1956, with supporting roles in several drama, western, and romance films produced between the 1950s and the 1970s, with Nielsen crossing genres in both television and films.

Although his notable performances in the films Forbidden Planet and The Poseidon Adventure gave him standing as a serious actor, Nielsen later gained enduring recognition for his deadpan comedy roles during the 1980s, after being cast against type for the Zucker, Abrahams and Zucker comedy film Airplane!. In his routines, Nielsen specialized in his portrayal of characters oblivious to and complicit in their absurd surroundings, which gave him a reputation as a comedian.[4] Airplane! marked Nielsen's turning point, which made him "the Olivier of spoofs" according to film critic Roger Ebert;[5] his work on the film also led to further success in the genre with The Naked Gun film series, which are based on their earlier short-lived television series Police Squad!, in which he also starred. Nielsen received a variety of awards and was inducted into the Canada and Hollywood Walks of Fame.

Early life

Nielsen was born on 11 February 1926 in Regina, Saskatchewan.[6] His mother, Mabel Elizabeth (née Davies), was a Welsh immigrant, and his father, Ingvard Eversen Nielsen, was a Danish-born constable in the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.[7][8][9] Nielsen had two brothers; the elder, Erik Nielsen (1924–2008), was Deputy Prime Minister of Canada from 1984 to 1986.[10]

Nielsen's half-uncle Jean Hersholt (pictured here in the 1936 film His Brother's Wife) inspired him to become an actor.

Nielsen's half-uncle Jean Hersholt was an actor known for his portrayal of Dr. Christian in a radio series of that name and the subsequent television series and films.[11][12] In a 1994 Boston Globe article, Nielsen explained, "I did learn very early that when I would mention my uncle, people would look at me as if I were the biggest liar in the world. Then I would take them home and show them 8-by-10 glossies, and things changed quite drastically. So I began to think that maybe this acting business was not a bad idea, much as I was very shy about it and certainly without courage regarding it. My uncle died not too long after I was in a position to know him. I regret that I had not a chance to know him better."[11]

Nielsen lived for several years in Fort Norman (now Tulita) in the Northwest Territories where his father was with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.[11][13] His father was a troubled man who beat his wife and sons, and Leslie longed to escape. When he graduated from high school at 17, he joined the Royal Canadian Air Force even though he was legally deaf (he wore hearing aids most of his life).[14][15] Following graduation from Victoria School of Performing and Visual Arts in Edmonton, Nielsen enlisted in the Royal Canadian Air Force and trained as an aerial gunner during World War II. He was too young to be fully trained or sent overseas.[16] He worked briefly as a disc jockey at a Calgary, Alberta, radio station, before enrolling at the Lorne Greene Academy of Radio Arts in Toronto.[11][17] While studying in Toronto, Nielsen received a scholarship to the Neighborhood Playhouse. He noted, "I couldn't refuse, but I must say when you come from the land of the snow goose, the moose and wool to New York, you're bringing every ton of hayseed and country bumpkin that you packed. As long as I didn't open my mouth, I felt a certain security. But I always thought I was going to be unmasked: 'OK, pack your stuff.' 'Well, what's the matter?' 'We've discovered you have no talent; we're shipping you back to Canada.'"[11] He moved to New York City for his scholarship,[6] studying theatre and music at the Neighborhood Playhouse, while performing in summer stock theatre.[18] Afterward, he attended the Actors Studio,[19] until making his first television appearance in 1948 on an episode of Studio One, alongside Charlton Heston,[20] for which he was paid $75.[11]


Early career

"It was a strange era, the tail end of the golden age. A time when the Tiffany's of filmmakers was burying its head in the sand and trying to pretend that this new medium (television) was not happening."

Nielsen reflecting on the era when he started acting.[20]

Nielsen's career began in dramatic roles on television during "Television's Golden Age",[21] appearing in almost 50 live programs in 1950 alone.[22] He said there "was very little gold, we only got $75 or $100 per show."[22] He narrated documentaries and commercials and most of his early work as a dramatic actor was uneventful.[23] Hal Erickson of Allmovie noted that "much of Nielsen's early work was undistinguished; he was merely a handsome leading man in an industry overstocked with handsome leading men."[23] In 1956 he made his feature film debut in the Michael Curtiz-directed musical film The Vagabond King.[24] In the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Nielsen remembered Curtiz as "a sadist, a charming sadist, but a sadist".[20] Nielsen called this film "The Vagabond Turkey".[25] Though the film was not a success, producer Nicholas Nayfack offered him an audition for the science fiction film Forbidden Planet, resulting in Nielsen's taking a long contract with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM).[20][26]

Nielsen, along with co-star Anne Francis, in his second film, Forbidden Planet (1956). Nielsen: "Supposedly a science fiction version of Shakespeare's The Tempest, it was all about the id, or something like that. Who knows? The Trekkies today regard it as the forerunner of Star Trek. I just had to wear a tight uniform and make eyes at Anne Francis. I was pretty thin back then."[27]

Forbidden Planet became an instant success,[28] and roles in other MGM films such as Ransom! (1956), The Opposite Sex (1956) and Hot Summer Night (1957) followed.[29] In 1957 he won the lead role opposite Debbie Reynolds in the romantic comedy Tammy and the Bachelor, which, as a Chicago Tribune critic wrote in 1998, made people consider Nielsen a dramatic actor and handsome romantic lead.[30] However, dissatisfied with the films he was offered, calling the studios "a Tiffany, which had forgotten how to make silver", Nielsen left MGM after auditioning for Messala in the 1959 Ben-Hur. Stephen Boyd got the role.[31][32] After leaving the studios, Nielsen landed the lead role in the Disney miniseries The Swamp Fox, as American Revolutionary War hero Francis Marion.[33] In a 1988 interview he reflected on the series, saying, "That was a great experience, because the Disney people didn't do their shows like everyone else, knocking out an episode a week. ... We only had to do an episode a month, and the budgets were extremely high for TV at that time. We had location shooting rather than cheap studio backdrops, and very authentic costumes."[34] Eight episodes were produced and aired between 1959 and 1961.[33]

His television appearances include Justice, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, The Virginian, and The Wild Wild West. In 1961, he was the lead in a Los Angeles police drama called The New Breed. He guest-starred in a 1964 episode of Daniel Boone with Fess Parker in a minor but credited role. In 1968, he had a major role in the pilot for the police series Hawaii Five-O, and appeared in one of the seventh-season episodes. In 1969, he had the leading role as a police officer in The Bold Ones: The Protectors.

In 1972, Nielsen appeared as the ship's captain in the The Poseidon Adventure. He also starred in the William Girdler's 1977 action film, Project: Kill. His last dramatic role before mainly comedy roles was the 1979 Canadian disaster film City on Fire, in which he played a corrupt mayor. In 1980, he guest-starred as Sinclair on the CBS miniseries The Chisholms.

Airplane! and The Naked Gun

Main articles: Airplane! and The Naked Gun

Nielsen's supporting role of Dr. Rumack in Zucker, Abrahams and Zucker's 1980's Airplane! was a watershed in his career. The film, a parody of disaster films such as Zero Hour! and Airport, was based on building a comedy around the actors known for dramatic roles. Other stars included Robert Stack, Peter Graves, and Lloyd Bridges. Nielsen's deadpan delivery contrasted with the absurdity surrounding him. When asked, "Surely you can't be serious?", he responded with a curt, "I am serious. And don't call me Shirley." In several interviews he reflected on the line: "I thought it was amusing, but it never occurred to me that it was going to become a trademark. It's such a surprise ... the thing comes out, people say, 'What did he say?!'"[35] Nielsen said he was "pleased and honored that [he] had a chance to deliver that line."[36] As of 2010, the comedic exchange was at No. 79 on the American Film Institute's AFI's 100 Years...100 Movie Quotes.[37] The American Film Institute included the film in its list of the top ten comedy films of all time in 2008,[38] and a 2007 survey in the United Kingdom judged it the second greatest comedy film of all time,[39] while in 2012 Empire magazine voted it No. 1 in The 50 Funniest Comedies Ever poll.[40] Critics praised the film, which also proved a long-term success with audiences.[41] In 2010 Airplane! was selected for preservation in the National Film Registry by the Library of Congress.[42][43]

Leslie Nielsen (right) in the role that established him as a comedic actor: Dr. Rumack in 1980 movie Airplane!

The directors cast Nielsen for his ability to play like "a fish in water", saying "You could have cast funny people and done it with everybody winking, goofing off, and silly ... we wanted people to be oblivious to the comedy."[38] For Nielsen, Airplane! marked a shift from dramatic roles to deadpan comedy. When it was suggested his role in Airplane! was against type, Nielsen protested that he had "always been cast against type before", and that comedy was what he always wanted to do.[44] The same directors cast Nielsen in a similar style, in their TV series Police Squad!. The series introduced Nielsen as Frank Drebin, the stereotypical police officer modelled after serious characters in earlier police series.

Police Squad's opening sequence was based on the 1950s show M Squad, which starred Lee Marvin, which opened with footage of a police car roving through a dark urban setting with a big band playing a jazz song in the background. The voice-over and the show's organization into acts with an epilogue was homage to Quinn Martin police dramas including The Fugitive, The Streets of San Francisco, Barnaby Jones, The F.B.I., and Cannon. Nielsen portrayed a serious character whose one-liners appeared accidental next to the pratfalls and sight gags that were happening around him. Although the show lasted only six episodes Nielsen received an Emmy Award[45] nomination for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series.[46]

Six years after cancellation of Police Squad!, the film The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad! returned Nielsen to his role as Frank Drebin. It involved a ruthless drug king trying hypnosis to assassinate Queen Elizabeth II. Drebin, like the doctor in Airplane!, seemed unaware of the absurdity of the scenes he was in, even while contributing to it. Nielsen did many of his own stunts: "You have an idea of how you're going to do something, and it's your vision ... unless you do it, it really doesn't stand a chance."[35] This movie grossed over $78 million and was well received by critics.[47][48] Ebert's 3½–star review (out of four) noted, "You laugh, and then you laugh at yourself for laughing."[49]

The Naked Gun spawned two sequels: The Naked Gun 2½: The Smell of Fear (1991) and Naked Gun 33⅓: The Final Insult (1994). Naked Gun 2½ grossed more than the original, with $86.9 million, while Naked Gun 33⅓ grossed $51.1 million.[50][51] Nielsen remained open to a fourth Naked Gun film, although he doubted that it would be produced — "I don't think so", he said in 2005. "If there hasn't been one by now, I doubt it. I think it would be wonderful."[52]

Nielsen briefly appeared on the World Wrestling Federation program in the summer of 1994 on WWF Monday Night Raw; capitalizing on Frank Drebin. Nielsen (and George Kennedy) were hired as sleuths to unravel the mystery of The Undertaker who had disappeared at January's Royal Rumble event. At SummerSlam 1994, in a Naked Gun parody, they were hot on the case (in fact, they were standing on a case). Although they did not find The Undertaker, the case had been closed (the literal case had been shut) and thus, they solved the mystery.[53] In 1990, Nielsen appeared as a Frank Drebin character in advertisements in the United Kingdom for Red Rock Cider.

Non-comedic roles after Airplane! included Prom Night (1980) and Creepshow (1982), both horror films, and as a dramatic and unsympathetic character in the 1986 comedy Soul Man. His last dramatic role was as Allen Green, a violent client of a prostitute killed in self-defence by Barbra Streisand's character, Claudia Draper, in Martin Ritt's courtroom drama Nuts (1987).

Later comedies

After Airplane! and The Naked Gun, Nielsen portrayed similar styled roles in a number of other films. These mostly emulated the style of The Naked Gun with varying success and often targeted specific films: many were panned by critics and most performed poorly. Repossessed (1990) and 2001: A Space Travesty (2001) were parodies of The Exorcist and 2001: A Space Odyssey, respectively. Both attempted absurd comedy but were poorly received.[54][55] Even a leading role in a Mel Brooks comic horror, Dracula: Dead and Loving It, failed to generate much box office excitement, although it did gain a following later release to video. Both 1996's Spy Hard and 1998's Wrongfully Accused, a parody of James Bond films and The Fugitive, were popular on video but not well received by critics.[56][57]

His attempt at children's comedies met additional criticism. Surf Ninjas (1993) and Mr. Magoo (1997) had scathing reviews. Several critics were disappointed that Nielsen's role in Surf Ninjas was only "an extended cameo" and Chris Hicks recommended that viewers "avoid any comedy that features Leslie Nielsen outside of the Naked Gun series."[58][59] Jeff Miller of the Houston Chronicle panned Mr. Magoo, a live action remake of the 1950s cartoon, by saying, "I'm supposed to suggest how the film might be better but I can't think of anything to say other than to make the film again."[60]

Nielsen's first major success since The Naked Gun came in a supporting role in Scary Movie 3 (2003). His appearance as President Harris led to a second appearance in its sequel, Scary Movie 4 (2006). This was the first time Nielsen had reprised a character since Frank Drebin. In one scene, Nielsen appeared almost nude, and one critic referred to the scene as putting "the 'scary' in Scary Movie 4."[61]

Video, stage, and celebrity productions

Nielsen also produced instructional golf videos, which were not presented in a serious style, beginning with 1993's Bad Golf Made Easier. The videos combined comedy with golf techniques. The series spawned two additional sequels, Bad Golf My Way (1994) and Stupid Little Golf Video (1997). Nielsen also co-wrote a fictional autobiography titled The Naked Truth. The book portrayed Nielsen as a popular actor with a long history of prestigious films.

In his eighties, Nielsen performed serious roles on screen and stage (such as his one-man theatre show Darrow, in which he played Clarence Darrow), as well as providing voice-overs and appearances for commercials; cartoons like Zeroman where he had the leading role/voice; children's shows, such as Pumper Pups, which he narrated, in addition to comedic film roles. The sibling relationship with his elder brother, the Honourable Erik Nielsen, a former Deputy Prime Minister of Canada, served as the premise of an HBO mockumentary entitled The Canadian Conspiracy in which Leslie Nielsen appeared, along with other prominent Canadian-born media personalities. He was a celebrity contestant on CBS's Gameshow Marathon, where he played The Price Is Right, Let's Make a Deal, Beat the Clock, and Press Your Luck for charity.[22]

Final acting years

Leslie Nielsen in March 2009 at DeSales University in Center Valley, Pennsylvania

In 1999, Nielsen became a professor of stoogeology at New Yuk University of Knuckleheads (NYUK). [62]

Beginning in February 2007, Nielsen began playing a small role as a doctor in the humorous yet educational television show Doctor*Ology. The show chronicles real-life medical techniques and technology, on the Discovery Channel. Nielsen said: "There are any number of things that you think about when you ponder if you hadn't been an actor, what would you be, and I've always said I'd like to be an astronaut or a doctor. I have such admiration for doctors. I just don't know how you go around to thank them enough for coming up with the world's most remarkable new discoveries."[36]

In 2007, Nielsen starred in the drama Music Within. In 2008, he portrayed a version of Uncle Ben for Superhero Movie, a spoof of superhero films. He then appeared in the 2008 parody An American Carol, which David Zucker directed, produced and co-wrote. He appeared in the 2009 parody Stan Helsing. Nielsen portrayed the Doctor in the Spanish horror comedy Spanish Movie,[63] a spoof comedy like Scary Movie, but making fun of popular Spanish films.[64]

Nielsen appeared in more than 100 films and 1,500 television episodes, portraying more than 220 characters.[65][66]

Personal life

"I'm afraid if I don't keep moving, they're going to catch me ... I am 81 years old and I want to see what's around the corner, and I don't see any reason in the world not to keep working. But I am starting to value my down time a great deal because I am realizing there might be other things to do that I am overlooking."

—Nielsen reflecting on his career in 2007[36]

Nielsen married four times: nightclub singer Monica Boyar (1950–1956), Alisande Ullman (1958–1973), Brooks Oliver (1981–1983) and Barbaree Earl (2001–2010).[67][68] Nielsen had two daughters from his second marriage, Maura and Thea Nielsen.[68]

Nielsen often played golf.[69] He joked, "I have no goals or ambition. I do, however, wish to work enough to maintain whatever celebrity status I have so that they will continue to invite me to golf tournaments."[69] His interest in the sport led him to comedic instructional films.

Nielsen was a practical joker, and known for pranking people with a portable hand-controlled fart machine: "he always had that fart machine with him."[70][71][72][73] His epitaph read: "Let 'er rip", a final reference to his favourite practical joke.

Nielsen was legally deaf and wore hearing aids for most of his life.[15] Because of this impairment, he supported the Better Hearing Institute.[74] Later in life, Nielsen had knee osteoarthritis. He participated in an educational video from The Arthritis Research Centre of Canada (ARC), demonstrating the physical examination of a patient with knee osteoarthritis.[75]


Leslie Nielsen Gravestone
Leslie Nielsen's gravestone bearing his epitaph, a final reference to his favourite practical joke, a fart machine.

In November 2010, Nielsen was admitted to Holy Cross Hospital, Fort Lauderdale, Florida, with pneumonia. On 28 November, Doug Nielsen, Nielsen's nephew, told the CJOB radio station that 84-year-old Nielsen had died in his sleep from pneumonia around 5:30 pm EST surrounded by family and friends.[76][77][78][79] He was interred in Fort Lauderdale's Evergreen Cemetery.[80] As a final bit of humor, Nielsen chose "Let 'er rip" as his epitaph.[81]


Among his awards, in 1995 Nielsen received UCLA's Jack Benny Award.[46] In 1988, he became the 1,884th personality to receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6541 Hollywood Blvd.[82] In 2001 he was inducted into Canada's Walk of Fame.[83] The following year he was made an Officer of the Order of Canada, although he was also a naturalized US citizen.[1] With his American status, he maintained his Canadian heritage: "There's no way you can be a Canadian and think you can lose it ... Canadians are a goodly group. They are very aware of caring and helping."[1] On 19 May 2005, during the centennial gala of his birth province, Saskatchewan, Leslie Nielsen was introduced to HM Queen Elizabeth II.[84]

In 1997, a Golden Palm Star on the Palm Springs, California, Walk of Stars was dedicated to him.[85]

On 20 February 2002, Nielsen was named an honorary citizen of West Virginia and an Ambassador of Mountain State Goodwill. Nielsen visited the state many times to speak and visit friends.[86] In 2003, in honour of Nielsen, Grant MacEwan College named its school of communications after him.[87] Also in 2003, the Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists awarded him the ACTRA Award of Excellence.[87]



Year Film Role Other notes
1955 The Battle of Gettysburg Narrator
1956 Ransom! Charlie Telfer Film debut, as an actor
Forbidden Planet Commander John J. Adams First starring role
The Vagabond King Thibault
The Opposite Sex Steve Hilliard
1957 Hot Summer Night William Joel Partain
Tammy and the Bachelor Peter Brent
1958 The Sheepman Col. Stephen Bedford / Johnny Bledsoe
1964 Night Train to Paris Alan Holiday
See How They Run Elliot Green First television movie
1965 Harlow Richard Manley
Dark Intruder Brett Kingsford
1966 The Plainsman Col. George Armstrong Custer
Beau Geste Lieutenant De Ruse
1967 Code Name: Heraclitus Fryer
Gunfight in Abilene Grant Evers
The Reluctant Astronaut Major Fred Gifford
Counterpoint Victor Rice
Rosie! Cabot Shaw
1968 How to Steal the World General Maximilian Harmon The Man from U.N.C.L.E. film
Dayton's Devils Frank Dayton
Companions in Nightmare Dr. Neesden
1969 Deadlock Lieutenant Sam Danforth
Trial Run Jason Harkness
How to Commit Marriage Phil Fletcher
Change of Mind Sheriff Webb
1970 Four Rode Out Mr. Brown
Night Slaves Sheriff Henshaw
The Aquarians Official
Hauser's Memory Joseph Slaughter
1971 Incident In San Francisco Lieutenant Brubaker
The Resurrection of Zachary Wheeler Harry Walsh
They Call It Murder Frank Antrim
1972 The Poseidon Adventure The Captain
1973 Snatched Bill Sutting
Amanda Fallon Mr. Cummings
The Return of Charlie Chan Alexander Hadrachi
And Millions Will Die Jack Gallagher
1975 Can Ellen Be Saved Arnold Lindsey
Threshold: The Blue Angels Experience Narrator
1976 Brinks: The Great Robbery Agent Norman Houston
Project Kill Jonathan Trevor
Grand Jury John Williams
1977 The Kentucky Fried Movie Man in Feel-O-Rama Movie Uncredited cameo; Feel-O-Rama segment.
Day of the Animals Paul Jenson
Viva Knievel! Stanley Millard
The Amsterdam Kill Riley Knight
Sixth and Main John Doe
1978 Little Mo Nelson Fisher
The Mad Trapper
1979 The Albertans Don MacIntosh
Institute for Revenge Counselor Hollis Barnes
Riel Major Crozier
City on Fire Mayor William Dudley
1980 OHMS Governor
Airplane! Dr. Rumack First comedy role.
Prom Night Mr. Raymond Hammond
1981 A Choice of Two Unknown
1982 Twilight Theater Various Characters
Murder Among Friends Unknown
Creepshow Richard Vickers "Something To Tide You Over" segment
Wrong Is Right Mallory
Airplane II: The Sequel Dr. Rumack
Foxfire Light Reece Morgan
1983 Prime Time Unknown
The Night the Bridge Fell Down Paul Warren
Cave-In! Joseph 'Joe' Johnson
The Creature Wasn't Nice (Spaceship) Capt. Jamieson
1985 Blade in Hong Kong Harry Ingersoll
Striker's Mountain Jim McKay
1986 Reckless Disregard Bob Franklin
The Patriot Admiral Frazer
Soul Man Mr. Dunbar
1987 Nightstick Thad Evans
Home Is Where the Hart Is Sheriff Nashville Schwartz
Nuts Allen Green Final non-comedy role
1988 Dangerous Curves Greg Krevske
The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad! Lt. Frank Drebin
1989 The Railway Dragon Narrator First animated film.
1990 Repossessed Father Jedediah Mayii
1991 The Naked Gun 2½: The Smell of Fear Lt. Frank Drebin Nominated—MTV Movie Award for Best Kiss
(shared with Priscilla Presley)
All I Want for Christmas Santa Claus Family holiday film
Chance of a Lifetime Lloyd Dixon
1993 Surf Ninjas Colonel Chi
Digger Arthur Evrensel
1994 Naked Gun 33⅓: The Final Insult Lt. Frank Drebin
S.P.Q.R.: 2,000 and a Half Years Ago Lucio Cinico
1995 Rent-a-Kid Harry Haber
Mr. Willowby's Christmas Tree Willowby's butler
Dracula: Dead and Loving It Count Dracula
1996 Harvey Dr. Chumley
Spy Hard Dick Steele, Agent WD-40
1997 Family Plan Harry Haber
Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo
1998 Safety Patrol Mr. Penn
Wrongfully Accused Ryan Harrison
1999 Pirates 4-D Captain Lucky 4D Cinema Show presented at various Busch Gardens amusement parks
2000 Santa Who? Santa Claus
2001: A Space Travesty Marshal Richard 'Dick' Dix
2001 Camouflage Jack Potter
Kevin of the North (Chilly Dogs) Clive Thornton
2002 Men with Brooms Gordon Cutter
2003 Scary Movie 3 President Harris
Noël Noël English Narrator
2006 Scary Movie 4 President Harris
2007 Music Within Bill Austin
2008 Superhero Movie Uncle Albert
An American Carol Grampa / Osama Bin Laden
Slap Shot 3: The Junior League Mayor of Charlestown
2009 Stan Helsing Kay
Spanish Movie Doctor
2011 Stonerville Producer
Unknown The Waterman Movie Ready Espanosa Voice acting[88]


Year Title Role Other Notes
1953 Jukebox Jury Himself
1958–1961 Alfred Hitchcock Presents Lloyd Ashley & DA Rudolph Cox Two episodes
1959 The Swamp Fox Colonel Francis Marion
1960 Thriller Alan Patterson (lead role) Episode "The Twisted Image"
1960, 1964 Wagon Train Jeremy Dow, Brian Conlin Two episodes
1960 The Untouchables Tom Sebring Episode "Three Thousand Suspects"
1960 Route 66 (TV series)
1961 The Islanders Howard Cavanaugh Episode "Willy's Millionaire"
1961 The New Breed Lt. Price Adams Regular
1963 Channing Professor Paul Stafford Single episode
1963–1965 Kraft Suspense Theatre Dr. David Cord & Paul Maytric Two episodes: "One Step Down" & "The Green Felt Jungle"
1963–1964 The Fugitive (TV series) Martin C. Rowland & Harold Cheyney Two episodes
1964 Your First Impression As himself Single episode
1964 The Alfred Hitchcock Hour Steven Grainger Single episode
1964–1969 The Virginian Ben Stratton Five episodes
1965 Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea Capt. Wayne Adams One episode "The Creature"
1965 Peyton Place Vincent and Kenneth Marham (twins) 19 episodes
1965 The Wild Wild West General Ball Single episode
1967 Bonanza Sheriff Paul Rowan One episode
1968 The Man from U.N.C.L.E. General Maximillian Harmon Single episode "The Seven Wonders of the World Affair Pt 1 & 2"
1969 The Bold Ones: The Protectors Deputy Police Chief Sam Danforth Seven episodes
1969 The Big Valley Sgt. Maj. Earl Conway One episode "Town of no Exit"
1969–1974 Hawaii Five-O Brent & Colonel Faraday Two episodes
1970 Bracken's World John Bracken Fifteen Bracken's World episodes total
1971 Columbo: Lady in Waiting Peter Hamilton Two Columbo episodes total
1971 Bearcats! Col. Ted Donovan Single episode
1971 Night Gallery The Phantom, Col. Dennis Malloy Two episodes: "Phantom of What Opera?" and "A Question of Fear"
1973 M*A*S*H Col. Buzz Brighton Episode "The Ringbanger"
1973–1974 The Streets of San Francisco Ofc. Joe Landers, Insp. John T. Connor, & Big Jake Wilson Three episodes
1974 Cannon Eric Strauss Single episode
1974 Kojak Michael Hagar Single episode "Loser Takes All"
1975 Kung Fu Vincent Corbino Four episodes[89]
1975 Columbo: Identity Crisis Geronimo Two Columbo episodes total
1975–1976 S.W.A.T. Larry Neal/Vince Richie Three episodes
1978 The Love Boat Dan Episode "Parents Know Best; A Selfless Love; The Nubile Nurse"
1979 Backstairs at the White House Ike Hoover Three episodes
1980 The Littlest Hobo Mayor Chester Montgomery Episode "Romiet and Julio"
1982 Police Squad! Det. Frank Drebin Nominated—Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series
1984 Shaping Up Buddy Fox
1985–1986 Murder, She Wrote Captain Daniels & David Everett Two episodes
1987 Highway to Heaven Richard R. Benson Episode "Gift Of Life"
1988 Who's the Boss? Max
1988 Day By Day Jack Harper Episode "Harper and Son"
Nominated—Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series
1989 Saturday Night Live Himself Single episode
1992 The Golden Girls Lucas Hollingsworth Series finale
1993 Herman's Head God Single episode
1994–1999 Due South Sgt. Buck Frobisher Four episodes
1994–1996, 2001–2002 Katie and Orbie Narrator
1995 Mr. Willowby's Christmas Tree Mr. Willowby's Butler, Baxter Television Christmas special
2000 Santa Who? Santa Claus Television film
2001 Liocracy Terrence Brynne McKennie
2002 Chilly Beach Santa Claus Single episode
2002 This is America with Dennis Wholey Himself, Panelist Single episode
2004 Zeroman Les Mutton / Zeroman
2007 Doctor*Ology Himself, Host
Lipshitz Saves the World Lipshitz's mentor Pilot
Robson Arms Cado Vasco
Family Guy Dr. Barry Rumack Blue Harvest




  1. 1 2 3 "Comedian returning home to host fundraiser". The Record. 16 June 2005. Archived from the original on 25 August 2006. Retrieved 23 February 2009.
  2. "I played a lot of leaders, autocratic sorts; perhaps it was my Canadian accent", he said." – http://topnews360.tmcnet.com/topics/associated-press/articles/2010/12/02/122613-naked-gun-airplane-actor-leslie-nielsen-dies.htm
  3. Collins, Glenn (21 December 1988). "Mr. Nondescript Becomes a Star in 'Naked Gun'". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 1 December 2010.
  4. Maslin, Janet (2 December 1988). "Review/Film; A Fall Guy as Antihero". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 1 December 2010.
  5. Ebert, Roger (24 October 2003). "Scary Movie 3". Chicago Sun-Times. Archived from the original on 1 December 2010.
  6. 1 2 Ross, Bob (24 May 1996). "Worth the Rent" (Fee required). The Tampa Tribune. Retrieved 28 November 2010.
  7. Simpson, Kieran (1980). Canadian Who's Who, Volume 15. University of Toronto Press. ISBN 0-8020-4579-0.
  8. Lumley, Elizabeth (2003). Canadian Who's Who 2003, Volume 38. University of Toronto Press. p. 1,103. ISBN 0-8020-8865-1.
  9. "Leslie Nielsen, the comic with the Danish roots: "Comedy is what endures"". Scandinavian Press. 4 (1). 31 March 1997. Proquest Document ID: 494375361. Retrieved 16 December 2009. (registration required (help)).
  10. "Erik Nielsen dies at B.C. at 84". The Globe and Mail. Toronto. 5 September 2008. Archived from the original on 1 December 2010.
  11. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Carr, Jay (13 March 1994). "If Leslie Nielsen has learned anything, it's how to play slapstick with a ... straight face" (Fee required). The Boston Globe. Retrieved 1 December 2010.
  12. Nielsen, Leslie; David Fisher (1994). Leslie Nielsen the naked truth. Pocket Books. p. 289. ISBN 0-671-79578-3.
  13. "Playing Defense Funny Man Turns Serious with One-man Darrow Show" (Fee required). Chicago Tribune. 30 January 2000. Retrieved 1 December 2010.
  14. Biodata about Nielsen's abusive father
  15. 1 2 "Leslie Nielsen, RIP. "And don't call me Shirley"". Chicago Sun-Times. Associated Press. 29 November 2010. Archived from the original on 1 December 2010.
  16. "No Joke! Nielsen in Drama". Rocky Mountain News. Reuters. 14 June 1996. Retrieved 1 December 2010. (registration required (help)).
  17. Churchill, Bonnie (20 December 1997). "Leslie Nielsen Doesn't Take Himself Seriously, Nor Does Anyone Else" (Fee required). St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Retrieved 1 December 2010.
  18. Hopper, Hedda (6 January 1957). "These New Faces Will Go Places in 1957!". Chicago Tribune. p. H16.
  19. Wise, James E. Jr.; Baron, Scott (2002). International Stars at War. Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press. p. 221. ISBN 1-55750-965-4.
  20. 1 2 3 4 Arnold, William (6 December 1988). "Shy actor loves his life as a comic". Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Archived from the original on 1 December 2010.
  21. Terry, Clifford (7 July 1991). "Gunning for a Laugh". Sun-Sentinel. Archived from the original on 1 December 2010.
  22. 1 2 3 "Leslie Nielsen". CBS. Archived from the original on 1 December 2010.
  23. 1 2 Erickson, Hal. "Biography". Allmovie. Archived from the original on 1 December 2010.
  24. Thomas, Bob (9 September 1993). "Nielsen is Serious About Comic Side". The Times Union. Retrieved 1 December 2010. (registration required (help)).
  25. Dalton, Andrew; Thomas, Bob (29 November 2010). "Leslie Nielsen, 84; versatile actor's career took off with comedies". The Boston Globe. Archived from the original on 1 December 2010.
  26. Thomas, Bob (28 June 1991). "The Naked Gun 2½: The Smell of Fear – Funnyman Nielsen Used to be Serious". The Cincinnati Post. p. 1C.
  27. Vincent, Mal (18 March 1994). "It's no Fun Playing it Straight" (Fee required). The Virginian-Pilot. Retrieved 1 December 2010.
  28. "Forbidden Planet (1956)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 23 February 2009.
  29. Craft, Dan (24 September 1999). "From Drebin to Darrow". The Pantagraph. p. D1.
  30. Petrakis, John (24 August 1998). "Nielsen Still Kicking in `Wrongfully Accused'". Chicago Tribune. p. 2.
  31. Bawden, Jim (18 August 2002). "Leslie Nielsen comes home for CBC's 50th – Veteran actor and comedian is the host of comedy special". Toronto Star. p. D3.
  32. Clark, Mike (15 September 2005). "New on DVD". USA Today. Archived from the original on 1 December 2010.
  33. 1 2 Wahl, Ken (9 December 2009). "Stargazing answers your questions; 'The Swamp Fox'; 'Silent Night, Lonely Night'". The Kansas City Star. p. D12.
  34. Brode, Doug (12 December 1988). "Nielsen Makes the 'First String' in Films". The Post-Standard. p. D10.
  35. 1 2 "Leslie Nielsen Interview (Radio)". KJZZ 91.5 FM. Archived from the original on 2 December 2010.
  36. 1 2 3 "Legendary Leslie Nielsen reluctant to slow down at 81". The Vancouver Sun. 2 March 2007.
  37. "AFI.com". AFI's 100 Years...100 Movie Quotes. Archived from the original on 2 December 2010.
  38. 1 2 Dudek, Duane. "25 years and still laughing; Airplane!' maintains its cruising". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Archived from the original on 30 April 2008. Retrieved 23 February 2009.
  39. "Life of Brian named best comedy". BBC News. Retrieved 18 January 2014
  40. "The 50 Funniest Comedies Ever – 1. Airplane!". empireonline.com.
  41. "Airplane! (1980)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 23 February 2009.
  42. "'Empire Strikes Back' among 25 film registry picks". Retrieved 28 December 2010.
  43. Barnes, Mike (28 December 2010). "'Empire Strikes Back,' 'Airplane!' Among 25 Movies Named to National Film Registry". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on 30 December 2010. Retrieved 28 December 2010.
  44. Dalton, Andrew; Thomas, Bob. "'Airplane!', 'Forbidden Planet' actor Nielsen dies". The Monitor. Archived from the original on 2 December 2010.
  45. "Leslie Nielsen". Television Academy.
  46. 1 2 "Leslie Nielsen". The Biography Channel. Archived from the original on 2 December 2010.
  47. "The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad!". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 23 February 2009.
  48. "The Naked Gun – From the Files of Police Squad! (1988)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 23 February 2009.
  49. Ebert, Roger (12 December 1988). "The Naked Gun". Chicago Sun-Times. Archived from the original on 2 December 2010.
  50. "The Naked Gun 2½: The Smell of Fear". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 23 February 2009.
  51. "The Naked Gun 33⅓: The Final Insult". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 23 February 2009.
  52. Topel, Fred. "Scary Movie 3". About.com. Archived from the original on 25 December 2005. Retrieved 23 February 2009.
  53. Baer, Randy; R.D. Reynolds (2003). Wrestlecrap: The Very Worst of Pro Wrestling. ECW Press. p. 168. ISBN 1-55022-584-7.
  54. "Repossessed". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 23 February 2009.
  55. "2001: A Space Travesty (2001)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 23 February 2009.
  56. "Spy Hard". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 23 February 2009.
  57. "Wrongfully Accused". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 23 February 2009.
  58. Kimmel, Daniel M. (23 August 1993). "Surf Ninjas". Variety. Archived from the original on 2 December 2010.
  59. Hicks, Chris (26 August 1993). "Surf Ninjas". Deseret News. Archived from the original on 2 December 2010.
  60. Miller, Jeff. "Looking for laughs? 'Magoo' loses its way". Houston Chronicle. Archived from the original on 25 January 2008. Retrieved 23 February 2009.
  61. Berardinelli, James (2006). "Scary Movie 4". ReelViews. Archived from the original on 2 December 2010.
  62. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lpz9ixFPzj0
  63. "Spanish Movie Looking to Bring Some Comedy into Spanish Horror". Dreadcentral.com. 7 December 2009. Archived from the original on 2 December 2010.
  64. "'Spanish Movie' Spoofs Popular Flicks from Spain". Bloody-disgusting.com. 7 December 2009. Archived from the original on 2 December 2010.
  65. "Leslie Nielsen, 2001 Inductee". Canadaswalkoffame.com. Archived from the original on 2 December 2010.
  66. Leonard, J.T. (10 February 2000). "Nielsen Serious About Clarence Darrow Role" (Fee required). Greensboro News and Record. Retrieved 23 February 2009.
  67. "Leslie Nielsen". NNDB. Archived from the original on 2 December 2010.
  68. 1 2 "Leslie Nielsen". Yahoo! Movies. Archived from the original on 2 December 2010.
  69. 1 2 "Leslie Nielsen". Tribute.ca. Archived from the original on 2 December 2010.
  70. Will Harris, "Surely You Can't Be Serious: An Oral History of Airplane!", A.V. Club, 17 April 2015.
  71. Cal Fussman, "What I've Learned: Interview with Leslie Nielsen", Esquire, 28 November 2010.
  72. See, e.g., Leslie Nielsen using his fart machine on a British morning show.
  73. Jim Dawson, Blame It on the Dog: A Modern History of the Fart, p.17.
  74. "About BHI- Celebrities Who Have Supported BHI". Better Hearing Institute. Archived from the original on 2 December 2010.
  75. "Partner Corner" (PDF). IMHA on the Move. CIHR – Institute of Musculoskeletal Health and Arthritis. March 2011. p. 4. Retrieved 30 January 2016.
  76. Dalton, Andrew (28 November 2010). "Leslie Nielsen of 'Naked Gun' fame dies at age 84". Toronto Star. Archived from the original on 1 December 2010.
  77. "Leslie Nielsen dead at 84". CJOB. 28 November 2010. Archived from the original on 2 December 2010.
  78. "Leslie Nielsen, star of 'Airplane!' and 'Naked Gun,' dead at 84". CNN. 28 November 2010. Archived from the original on 2 December 2010.
  79. "Canadian movie star Leslie Nielsen dead at 84". Canada.com. Postmedia News. 2 November 2010. Archived from the original on 2 December 2010.
  80. Leslie Nielsen at Find a Grave
  81. Emery, Debbie (3 June 2011). "Leslie Nielsen keeps fans laughing from beyond the grave with 'let 'er rip' epitaph". Daily Mail. London.
  82. "Leslie Nielsen Gets Star on Walk of Fame". Deseret News. 12 December 1988. Archived from the original on 2 December 2010.
  83. "The Canada Honours". Canada's Walk of Fame. 2010. Retrieved 1 January 2011.
  84. "The Royal Homecoming" (PDF). Centennial. Archived from the original (PDF) on 4 July 2007. Retrieved 22 February 2009.
  85. Palm Springs Walk of Stars by date dedicated
  86. "Nielsen Honored By West Virginia". Kentucky New Era. 21 February 2002. Retrieved 28 November 2010.
  87. 1 2 "Leslie Nielsen wins excellence award". CBC News. 23 October 2003. Archived from the original on 2 December 2010.
  88. Labrecque, Jeff (30 November 2010). "Leslie Nielsen's final film, 'The Waterman Movie,' remains in limbo, says the director". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 26 September 2011.
  89. "Television's Top 'Heavy'". Victoria Advocate. Associated Press. 10 March 1975. p. 3B. Retrieved 21 November 2015.

External links

This article is issued from Wikipedia - version of the 11/28/2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.