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Naked Gun, Airplane! star Leslie Nielsen dies at 84

11.29.2010

A sad day in the world of comedy as NAKED GUN, AIRPLANE! and "Police Squad" star Leslie Nielsen died yesterday at 84 years old of complications from pneumonia. His family released a statement saying: "We are sadden by the passing of beloved actor Leslie Nielsen, probably best remembered as Lt. Frank Drebin in The Naked Gun series of pictures, but who enjoyed a more than 60-year career in motion pictures and television."

It's true that despite a late-career flourish in comedy, Nielsen was actually cast in AIRPLANE! because of his history as a serious character actor. Nielsen played the role straight and got many of the funniest and most memorable lines in the movie ("I am serious. And don't call me Shirley.")

His work in AIRPLANE! would reteam him with the creative team affectionately known as ZAZ (Zucker Abrams Zucker) for the TV series "Police Squad." It was so ahead of its time, it might still be ahead of its time and was sadly cancelled after just six episodes. Six years after the cancellation, ZAZ and Nielsen collaborated on a big-screen adaptation and THE NAKED GUN was born. It spawned two sequels (the first almost as good as the original and the third, not nearly as good as the previous two) and launched Nielsen as an unlikely comic star.

He would go on to make a ton of comedies after the NAKED GUN series and sadly none of them were of the commercial or critical success (in fact, most of them were terrible). But Nielsen gave movies he knew were crap 110% anyway and it was impossible to dislike him, even in a terrible movie.

If you've never seen them, go watch the NAKED GUN movies again and especially the "Police Squad" episodes. And if you've seen them all as many times as I have, go watch them again and enjoy a great actor at work.

Source: JoBlo.com

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10:35PM on 11/30/2010
Leslie gone, surely you cannot be serious. I can hear him now saying it is serious but you still can't call me Shirley. Thank so much Leslie for so much fun, silliness, and pure underrated comic genius. The man is a legend. There will never be another.
Leslie gone, surely you cannot be serious. I can hear him now saying it is serious but you still can't call me Shirley. Thank so much Leslie for so much fun, silliness, and pure underrated comic genius. The man is a legend. There will never be another.
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+1
5:36PM on 11/30/2010

RIP

Leslie Nielsen was one of my all-time heroes and among the greatest comedians ever. I even liked, own and often watch Spy Hard and Wrongfully Accused, 2 extremely underrated Nielsen-vehicle spoofs.

The world will not be as funny without him.
Leslie Nielsen was one of my all-time heroes and among the greatest comedians ever. I even liked, own and often watch Spy Hard and Wrongfully Accused, 2 extremely underrated Nielsen-vehicle spoofs.

The world will not be as funny without him.
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2:43AM on 11/30/2010
Very sad news. Dracula Dead & Loving It was my favorite although not regularly mentioned as one of his best. I watched that flick more than a decade ago and still crack up to some of the antics. Naked Gun was genius. He could be in the dumbest of movies (Superhero Movie) and save the day by just being himself and doing his regular routine. Plus, being a wrestling fan and all, watching him pull the "Where Is The Undertaker?" skit at Summerslam 1996 was hilarious. This is sad stuff. A toast to an
Very sad news. Dracula Dead & Loving It was my favorite although not regularly mentioned as one of his best. I watched that flick more than a decade ago and still crack up to some of the antics. Naked Gun was genius. He could be in the dumbest of movies (Superhero Movie) and save the day by just being himself and doing his regular routine. Plus, being a wrestling fan and all, watching him pull the "Where Is The Undertaker?" skit at Summerslam 1996 was hilarious. This is sad stuff. A toast to an awesome career in showbusiness.
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8:07PM on 11/29/2010
R.I.P. Mr. Nielson. You were a legend. And no one better call him Shirley.
R.I.P. Mr. Nielson. You were a legend. And no one better call him Shirley.
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7:52PM on 11/29/2010
RIP Enrico Palazzo. A hilarious man that will be greatly missed.
RIP Enrico Palazzo. A hilarious man that will be greatly missed.
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7:00PM on 11/29/2010
R.I.P Surely he will be missed.
R.I.P Surely he will be missed.
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6:45PM on 11/29/2010
Rest in peace, Leslie Nielsen. I will always remember you as Frank Drebin, the man who stopped Reggie Jackson from assassinating Queen Elizabeth II.
Rest in peace, Leslie Nielsen. I will always remember you as Frank Drebin, the man who stopped Reggie Jackson from assassinating Queen Elizabeth II.
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+7
5:04PM on 11/29/2010

Gutted

Nielsen was a brilliant actor and all-around class act. Thanks for all the laughs - R.I.P.
Nielsen was a brilliant actor and all-around class act. Thanks for all the laughs - R.I.P.
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4:13PM on 11/29/2010
so sad. The same thing happened to Bernie Mac. You will be missed Mr. Nielsen!
so sad. The same thing happened to Bernie Mac. You will be missed Mr. Nielsen!
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+4
4:04PM on 11/29/2010
it is a great loss, for a comedian world, may his soul rest in peace , so long Lt. Frank Drebin , we'll be miss u
it is a great loss, for a comedian world, may his soul rest in peace , so long Lt. Frank Drebin , we'll be miss u
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+0
1:15PM on 11/29/2010
this is messed up, what a great loss for the world, a great entertainer has just left our world, R.I.P. Mr Leslie Nielsen :(
this is messed up, what a great loss for the world, a great entertainer has just left our world, R.I.P. Mr Leslie Nielsen :(
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12:51PM on 11/29/2010

R.I.P to a true comedy legend

The great thing about Leslie was whenever he showed up on screen, you knew it was going to hilarious. He will be missed.
The great thing about Leslie was whenever he showed up on screen, you knew it was going to hilarious. He will be missed.
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12:44PM on 11/29/2010
This sucks! I just got "Forbidden Planet" on BR, I should watch in rememberance.
This sucks! I just got "Forbidden Planet" on BR, I should watch in rememberance.
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12:40PM on 11/29/2010

This man is was a true king of comedy

If i am to ever have children, the first comedy they will ever see will be Airplane. made me laugh as a kid, my kids will like it too (or they arnt mine! jp)
R.I.P Mr.Nielsen
If i am to ever have children, the first comedy they will ever see will be Airplane. made me laugh as a kid, my kids will like it too (or they arnt mine! jp)
R.I.P Mr.Nielsen
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12:34PM on 11/29/2010

Well, this kinda sucks

Not that he'd been making the rounds in any kindof quality for the last fifteen-to-twenty years, but that's not really his fault. He had a bit part in a movie called "Wrong is Right" with Sean Connery, that I swear seemed to satirize the Bush presidency thirty years before it ever was. He was the guy who reminded me of Howard Dean's "I have a scream" speech, as the crazed presidential challenger from Texas.
Not that he'd been making the rounds in any kindof quality for the last fifteen-to-twenty years, but that's not really his fault. He had a bit part in a movie called "Wrong is Right" with Sean Connery, that I swear seemed to satirize the Bush presidency thirty years before it ever was. He was the guy who reminded me of Howard Dean's "I have a scream" speech, as the crazed presidential challenger from Texas.
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12:06PM on 11/29/2010
damn , now I'm stuck with so-called satire like Meet the Spartans and all the other shit that TRY to copy the greatness of the Naked Gun and Airplane movies. Will really miss you Mr. Nielsen
damn , now I'm stuck with so-called satire like Meet the Spartans and all the other shit that TRY to copy the greatness of the Naked Gun and Airplane movies. Will really miss you Mr. Nielsen
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+5
11:43AM on 11/29/2010

R.I.P. Mr. Nielsen

Thank you for the many years of laughter, "The Naked Gun" movies still crack me up to this day. And you were awesome in "Creepshow".
Thank you for the many years of laughter, "The Naked Gun" movies still crack me up to this day. And you were awesome in "Creepshow".
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11:39AM on 11/29/2010
the only man I knew who would record his own farts, to "use" them later... One of the funniest people ever and one hell of an underrated actor (remember Forbidden Planet... An adaptation of W. Shakespear's The Tempest... So YES, Leslie was a Shakespearian actor !)
the only man I knew who would record his own farts, to "use" them later... One of the funniest people ever and one hell of an underrated actor (remember Forbidden Planet... An adaptation of W. Shakespear's The Tempest... So YES, Leslie was a Shakespearian actor !)
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+4
11:38AM on 11/29/2010

RIP

Leslie was one of the funniest men in film, sad to hear of his passing.
Leslie was one of the funniest men in film, sad to hear of his passing.
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11:36AM on 11/29/2010

"In fact, most of them were terrible."


Not sure that's a fact, more an opinion. I love SPY HARD and WRONGFULLY ACCUSED. Both had me in hysterics when I first saw them.

Rest in peace Leslie, you will always be a legend.

Not sure that's a fact, more an opinion. I love SPY HARD and WRONGFULLY ACCUSED. Both had me in hysterics when I first saw them.

Rest in peace Leslie, you will always be a legend.
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11:31AM on 11/29/2010
R.I.P. Leslie Nielsen.

Heaven just got a little funnier.
R.I.P. Leslie Nielsen.

Heaven just got a little funnier.
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+8
11:28AM on 11/29/2010
Leslie was one of the funniest people I've ever seen. I will always remember him in the umpire scene from naked gun, and he was the highlight of scary movie 3 and superhero movie. I'm glad to hear he passed peacefully with his wife by his side. He'll be missed!
Leslie was one of the funniest people I've ever seen. I will always remember him in the umpire scene from naked gun, and he was the highlight of scary movie 3 and superhero movie. I'm glad to hear he passed peacefully with his wife by his side. He'll be missed!
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10:15AM on 11/29/2010

Leslie was a class act!

Leslie was a class act whom I had the pleasure of working with back in 1992. While he will always be remembered for the funny Airplane!, Naked Gun, and a host of other movies...I­'ll always remember him for farting in front of some beautiful Russian dancers! Complete story/trib­ute is on my personal blog here -

http://gru­mpydudes.c­om/compone­nt/content­/article/3­4-gdblog/2­39-leslien­ielsen.htm­l
Leslie was a class act whom I had the pleasure of working with back in 1992. While he will always be remembered for the funny Airplane!, Naked Gun, and a host of other movies...I­'ll always remember him for farting in front of some beautiful Russian dancers! Complete story/trib­ute is on my personal blog here -

http://gru­mpydudes.c­om/compone­nt/content­/article/3­4-gdblog/2­39-leslien­ielsen.htm­l
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+11
10:06AM on 11/29/2010
Rest in peace Nielsen

Airplane is one of the funniest movies ever made.
Rest in peace Nielsen

Airplane is one of the funniest movies ever made.
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9:45AM on 11/29/2010
Finding this out yesterday was like a punch in the stomach. Nielsen, even at his worst, seemed to enjoy what he was doing. He will be missed.
Finding this out yesterday was like a punch in the stomach. Nielsen, even at his worst, seemed to enjoy what he was doing. He will be missed.
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9:23AM on 11/29/2010

A major loss.

I was so devastated when I found out this morning, A truly major loss to film and comedy. RIP Leslie Nielsen, thank you for making me laugh since before I can remember.

...also RIP Irvin Kershner, thank you for the best Star Wars movie ever made.
I was so devastated when I found out this morning, A truly major loss to film and comedy. RIP Leslie Nielsen, thank you for making me laugh since before I can remember.

...also RIP Irvin Kershner, thank you for the best Star Wars movie ever made.
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