November 29, 2010, - 5:07 pm

Leslie Nielsen, RIP: Funny Actor Served in WWII (Plus VIDEO)

By Debbie Schlussel

Can’t let the day go by without marking the passing of Leslie Nielsen, a usually funny actor.  He’s best known for his later-in-life comedic role as Dr. Rumack in “Airplane”–which I love (and his role in “The Poseidon Adventure”).  But my favorite Leslie Nielsen movie is the campy “Forbidden Planet.”  He was also in “The Naked Gun” and “Spy Hard,” among so many others. I also liked when he played himself in “An American Carol” (read my review), dressed as an Islamic terrorist. Nielsen also did a series of comical Medicare ads, all of which you can find on YouTube.

Check out the trailer, below, followed by a cute Monday Night Football promo he did, and under that, some “highlights” (if you can call it that) from some of his movies. During World War II, Nielsen, enlisted in the Royal Canadian Air Force at age 17, and he was trained as a gunner. Leslie Nielsen dead? “Surely, you can’t be serious.” Leslie Nielsen, Rest In Peace.

What’s your fave Leslie Nielsen movie, and why?

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12 Responses

One of the great actors of Hollywood’s “Golden Age”. Leslie Nielsen played straight to type in his early career and later in life switched to comedy as though to make fun of his “B” movie roles. Nielsen was an incredibly funny guy and his last movies were his real hits. He will be sadly missed.

He’s as Canadian as me. Born in Regina, Saskatchewan and I was born in Montreal, Quebec. He was awarded the Order Of Canada in 2002 and has stars on both the Walk Of Fame in Hollywood and in Toronto.

NormanF on November 29, 2010 at 5:19 pm

Loved his films. Most memorable for me was “Wrongfully Accused”. The Mentos scene and when he gets out of the low-rider car scene are classic Nielsen. He will be missed in our household.

Pats on November 29, 2010 at 5:46 pm

The best are the 6 Police Squad! episodes from which the Naked Gun movies are based. Don’t forget Tammy and the Bachelor… Airplane! is a classic… He’ll always be one of my faves!

Jennifer on November 29, 2010 at 6:07 pm


And don’t call me Shirley.

What a good man. Thank you for your kind remembrance.

“Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord, and make eternal Light to shine upon him.”

Mack on November 29, 2010 at 10:27 pm

    Amen, Mack.

    JeffE on November 30, 2010 at 12:25 am

God Bless Leslie Nielsen…a total favourite of mine. It’s humbling to know he was Canadian…usually like to make fun of them (my apologies to Norman F…you are more proud of USA than lots of Yanks) but as with everything, there are exeptions to the rule.

Jennifer beat me to “Police Squad”…gosh, I love that series. I wanted it to last, but it was before it’s time. Still pisses me off to think of it.

I NEVER get sick of the “Shirley” line. It still makes me laugh. How blessed we were to have such a great, funny guy entertain us.

Skunky on November 29, 2010 at 10:30 pm

If it wasn’t for that Canadian thing . . .

gmartinz on November 29, 2010 at 11:59 pm

Total clown but without the scary makeup.
What made him really funny to me was his all too serious look and delivery. It just made everything he said and did even more off the wall. A man in suit and tie just shouldn’t be that funny unless he’s maybe Rodney Dangerfield. I would have loved to see him in a scene with Betty White. I’m surprised that no-one (as far as I know) put those two together in some movie. I could imagine them playing a pair of eccentric grandparents, or anything else for that matter, the two together would have been side-splitting hillarious.

Thank You Leslie Nielsen for the wonderfull memories and great laughs. Rest in Peace. You were a one-of-a-kind and will be missed.

My vote BTW also goes for Police Squad with Airplane and Naked Gun movies right behind.

theShadow on November 30, 2010 at 1:54 am

I like the Airplane movies, and Dracula: Dead and Loving It, especially when he said of having a “Daymare”, instead of a nightmare. But I remember him as a villain in the 1960’s TV, Big Valley among others. He must have been really young to join in WWII. G-d bless his family during this sad time.

Bruce A. Burr on November 30, 2010 at 2:09 am

Forbidden Planet. Many in the sci-fi community feel that the film lead to the development of “Star Trek”.

Tanstaafl on November 30, 2010 at 10:53 am

Actually Debbie, the line from “Airplane” was “Surely you can’t be serious.”

P: You’re right. Fixed. DS

Phineas on November 30, 2010 at 12:01 pm

Loved the guy. One that hasn’t been mentioned yet was his
part in one of the Creep Show flicks. He plotted revenge for
his unfaithful wife and her lover played by Ted Danson. He
played it in his old dramatic style until the end of the story
when he was buried up to his neck in the sandy beach with the
tide coming in. He yelled, “I can hold my breath for a long, long time…” and it was probably one the first comedic scenes
of his career. At least I think that preceded the Police Squad

Those Creep Shows were awful, but Leslie definitely added some
much needed class.

Daniel K on November 30, 2010 at 2:59 pm

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