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Leslie Nielsen

Leslie Nielsen

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Also Known As: Died: November 28, 2010
Born: February 11, 1926 Cause of Death: Complications from pneumonia
Birth Place: Regina, Saskatchewan, CA Profession: actor, radio announcer, disc jockey, screenwriter, radio engineer

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Leslie Nielsen disproved the adage that American lives have no second acts. After decades as a rather stolid, unexciting leading man in genre motion pictures like "Forbidden Planet" (1956) and "The Plainsman" (1966), Nielsen inserted his serious, authoritative persona into the parody-based comedies of the Zucker brothers and enjoyed a highly successful second career arc in films like "Airplane" (1980) and especially the "Naked Gun" series (1988, 1991, 1994), as well as "Scary Movie 3" (2003) and "Scary Movie 4" (2006). The key to the silver-haired leading man's timeless success was his deadpan delivery and seeming obliviousness to situations rife with sight gags and slapstick comedy. There was simply no one like him and people of all ages responded for over two decades to his brilliantly empty-headed persona.

Leslie Nielsen disproved the adage that American lives have no second acts. After decades as a rather stolid, unexciting leading man in genre motion pictures like "Forbidden Planet" (1956) and "The Plainsman" (1966), Nielsen inserted his serious, authoritative persona into the parody-based comedies of the Zucker brothers and enjoyed a highly successful second career arc in films like "Airplane" (1980) and especially the "Naked Gun" series (1988, 1991, 1994), as well as "Scary Movie 3" (2003) and "Scary Movie 4" (2006). The key to the silver-haired leading man's timeless success was his deadpan delivery and seeming obliviousness to situations rife with sight gags and slapstick comedy. There was simply no one like him and people of all ages responded for over two decades to his brilliantly empty-headed persona.

Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Stan Helsing (2009)
2.
 Spanish Movie (2009)
4.
5.
 Superhero Movie (2008)
6.
 Music Within (2007)
8.
 Scary Movie 4 (2006)
9.
 Scary Movie 3 (2003) President Harris
10.
 Men With Brooms (2002) Gordon Cutter
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
Spent his boyhood living near the Arctic Circle
:
Served in Canadian Air Force during WWII
:
Worked as a disc jockey and announcer on Canadian radio; was also a radio engineer
1949:
Moved to New York City
1950:
Made TV debut in the "Studio One" production, "Battleship Bismarck"
1954:
Moved to Hollywood when put under contract by Paramount
1956:
Played the ship's commander in the cult sci-fi movie, "Forbidden Planet"
1957:
Starred opposite Debbie Reynolds in "Tammy and the Bachelor"
1957:
Cast as Revolutionary War hero Francis Marion in "Swamp Fox," a limited series aired on "Walt Disney" (ABC)
1961:
Headlined the ABC police drama series, "The New Breed"
1965:
Portrayed Dr. Vincent Markham on the ABC primetime serial, "Peyton Place"
1966:
Co-starred in the big screen remake of "Beau Geste"
1966:
Played George Armstrong Custer in "The Plainsman"
1969:
Headlined the NBC rotating series, "The Protectors"
1970:
Cast as the head of a motion picture studio in "Bracken's World" (NBC)
1972:
Was the ship's captain in the "disaster" film, "The Poseidon Adventure"
1972:
Hosted the syndicated documentary series, "The Explorers"
1979:
Toured America in one-man stage show, "Darrow"
1979:
Portrayed the chief usher of the White House staff in the NBC miniseries, "Backstairs at the White House"
1980:
First collaboration with the Zucker brothers, "Airplane!"
1982:
Starred as bumbling detective Frank Drebin on the cult ABC sitcom "Police Squad!"; only six episodes aired
1982:
Had featured role in the horror anthology film, "Creepshow"
1984:
Had lead role of an aging health club owner in the short-lived ABC sitcom, "Shaping Up"
1986:
Played recurring role of Max Muldoon, Mona's beau, on "Who's the Boss?" (ABC)
1987:
Co-starred as Barbra Streisand's murder victim in "Nuts"
1988:
Reprised television role of Frank Drebin in the big screen comedy, "The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad!"
1991:
Again played Drebin in the sequel, "Naked Gun 2-1/2: The Smell of Fear"
1992:
Played the man who wins the heart of Dorothy (Bea Arthur) in the finale of the NBC sitcom, "The Golden Girls"
1993:
Published a fake autobiography, <i>Leslie Nielsen: The Naked Truth</i>
1994:
Had yet another turn as Frank Drebin in "Naked Gun 33 1/3: The Final Insult"
1994:
Originated part of Mountie Buck Frobisher in an episode of the CBS series "Due South"; reprised role in 1996 episode
1995:
Played title role in Mel Brooks' "Dracula: Dead and Loving It"
1996:
Starred in the spoof "Spy Hard"
1997:
Had title role in live-action version of "Mr. Magoo"
1998:
Played lead in the broad comedy, "Wrongfully Accused"
1999:
Appeared as Dr. Chumley in the small screen remake of "Harvey"
:
Toured America and Great Britain in one-person stage show, "Leslie Nielsen as Clarence Darrow"
2000:
Portrayed an amnesiac Kris Kringle in "The Wonderful World of Disney" (ABC) presentation, "Santa Who?"
2002:
Had featured role in "Men with Brooms"
2006:
Played President Harris in the comedy "Scary Movie 4"
2007:
Starred in the comedy film, "Christmas in Wonderland"
2008:
Co-starred in the comedy spoof, "Superhero Movie"
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

Victoria High School: Edmonton , Alberta -
The Neigborhood Playhouse School of the Theatre: New York , New York -
Lorne Greene's Academy of Radio Arts: Toronto , Ontario -

Notes

His official Web site is at http://www.amiamsterdam.on.ca/ln/.

"When I was twenty I was scared I'd be perceived as a country bumpkin . . . I found it necessary to cultivate a worldliness I really didn't possess, to protect myself against all my insecurities. People believed my act, and soon I was known as a serious actor who played serious roles . . . I spent the first four years waiting for the acting police to knock on my door, tell me I have no talent and send me back to Canada . . . I don't think I'm getting funnier, I'm getting freer. The more confident you become, the freer you are to become who you really are." --Leslie Nielsen quoted in Parade Magazine, November 20, 1994.

Companions close complete companion listing

wife:
Monica Bayar. Married in 1950; divorced in 1955.
wife:
Sandy Ullman. Married in 1958; divorced; mother of Nielsen's daughters.
wife:
Brooks Nielsen. Married in 1981; divorced in 1983.
companion:
Barbaree Earl. Together since c. 1983.
VIEW COMPLETE COMPANION LISTING

Family close complete family listing

father:
Ingvard Nielsen. Royal Canadian mounted policeman.
mother:
Maybelle Nielsen. Welsh; died in 1953.
daughter:
Thea Nielsen. Horse trainer. Born on July 15, 1960; mother, Sandy Nielsen.
daughter:
Maura Nielsen. Real estate developer. Born on November 29, 1962; mother, Sandy Nielsen.
VIEW COMPLETE FAMILY LISTING

Bibliography close complete biography

"The Naked Truth" Pocket Books
"Bad Golf My Way" Doubleday

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