Leslie Nielsen, RIP
If there’s one thing an entertainer should probably do, it’s entertain. And if any actor brought more entertainment and fun to the big and small screens in recent decades more than Leslie Nielsen did, I can’t think of him (or her).
According to IMBD’s note on Nielsen’s life, “Nielsen was born on February 11, 1926 in Regina in the Saskatchewan province of Canada. He was the son of a Canadian Mounted policeman and went on to serve in the Royal Canadian Air Force before becoming a radio announcer and DJ.”
Nielen is best known for his parts in slapstick spoofs like “Airplane” and “Naked Gun” (along with the related “Police Squad” TV series), but his career was far longer than that – even if he didn’t receive great critical acclaim earlier in life. His first parts on television were in 1950, and as far as I can tell his first starring movie appearance was in “Ransom!” in 1956.
Still, for me, it’s “Airplane” which I’ll always picture when I think of Nielsen, not least his repeated entrances into the cockpit of the plane (even after it’s crash-landed) saying to Ted and Elaine “I just want to tell you both ‘good luck’. We’re all counting on you." Nobody could deliver a funny like with a straight face like Leslie Nielsen.
So while I’m not in the habit of missing actors when they’re gone, Leslie Nielsen will indeed be missed.
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