November 29, 2010


Canada has exported an incredible roster of comedic actors to Hollywood. One of the earliest was Leslie Nielson (Feb 11, 1926-Nov 28, 2010), who began his film career in 1956. Leslie actually began his career as a dramatic actor on television. In 1950 alone he appeared in over 50 live dramatic shows. Viewers of his generation will remember Nielson for his roles in  Forbidden Planet (1956) --a forerunner to Star Trek-- and The Swamp Fox (1959-1961).

Nielson's career renaissance came after he was cast in Airplane! (1980), in a supporting role as Dr. Rumack. Flawlessly delivering his comedic lines, Nielson emerged as the go-to guy for deadpan one-liners. He was central to the success of The Naked Gun franchise as the hapless Detective Frank Drebin. He also appeared in the third and fourth instalments of the spoof franchise Scary Movie.  

Airplane! is my all-time favourite comedy and it never fails to make me giggle like a little kid. Some of Nielson's best moments are captured in this online tribute. RIP Mr. Nielson.

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