Monday, November 29, 2010

Leslie Nielsen, 1926-2010. R.I.P.

Actor Leslie Nielsen passed away yesterday due to complications of pneumonia. He was 84.

Born in Saskatchewan, Nielsen appeared in hundreds of films and television shows going back to the mid-1950s. Early in his career, he was cast a villain. But that all changed in 1980 when he was cast in Airplane as Dr. Alan Rumack when a comedy legend was born. He subsequently starred as Lieutenant Frank Drebin in the short lived TV series Police Squad. Nielsen would reprise the Drebin character in the three Naked Gun movies.

Nielsen's older brother, Erik, was a Conservative Member of Parliament from the Yukon who served as Canada's Deputy Prime Minister in the administration of Brian Mulroney from 1984 to 1986. The elder Nielsen passed away in 2008.

My favorite line from the Naked Gun? When Nielsen presents an engagement ring to a hypnotized Priscilla Presley and says, "It's a topsy-turvy world, and maybe the problems of two people don't amount to a hill of beans. But this is our hill. And these are our beans!"

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