"He is serious. And don't call him Shirley."
"I'm afraid if I don't keep moving, they're going to catch me ... I am 81 years old and I want to see what's around the corner, and I don't see any reason in the world not to keep working. But I am starting to value my down time a great deal because I am realizing there might be other things to do that I am overlooking."Leslie Nielsen
— Leslie Nielsen (reflecting on his career)
(February 11, 1926 — November 28, 2010) was a Canadian-born actor and comedian. Originally trained at Toronto's Neighborhood Playhouse, he first became known as a dramatic lead debuting in The Vagabond King
. Though the movie wasn't a success, Nielsen soon achieved fame as Commander John J. Adams in Forbidden Planet
, and subsequently starred in many films and television shows as a romantic or dramatic leading man.
He is, however, best known for his comedic career
, starting with a Casting Gag
role in Airplane
, where his deadpan delivery in the face of nonstop absurdity stole the film.
The film's success rejuvenated his career, and Nielsen soon found himself starring in other comic works, most notably Police Squad!
and The Naked Gun
. All together, he has appeared in over a hundred films and 1,500 television programs.
In many of his comedic roles, he grew somewhat notorious for keeping his fellow actors (and even the directors) on their toes by concealing and manipulating a whoopee cushion, making farting noises with it at unexpected times, often cracking the whole cast and crew up.
He died of complications from pneumonia in November 2010, at the age of 84.His epitaph reads: "Let 'er Rip."
Because that's how he rolls. When interviewed, he asked what he would want inscribed on his gravestone, and he answered with this. And yes, he added in a perfectly timed squeeze of the whoopee cushion to punctuate the answer. (You can virtually visit his grave on Find a Grave.com, here.)
His start as a dramatic actor, which eventually transitioned into doing comedies instead inspired the name of the trivia item Leslie Nielsen Syndrome
(the inversion of Tom Hanks Syndrome
Leslie Nielsen appears in the following works detailed on TV Tropes:
Leslie Nielsen's career and works demonstrate the following tropes: