A Hero Never Dies : Leslie Nielsen
Canadian-American actor and comedian Leslie Nielsen, one of the great deadpan comedians of the silver screen, who appeared in over 100 films and 1,500 television programs over the span of his career, portraying over 220 characters and discovered stardom after 35years of films and television.
The Canada native, who seemed perfectly cast as a handsome leading man when he came to Hollywood in the 1950s, had career-changing roles in the ‘Airplane!’ and ‘Naked Gun’ comedies.
Beginning with a television role in 1948, Leslie aimed to appear for long on small screen and within two years he appeared in over 50 television programs. Television gave him a pathway to big screen and in 1956, he appeared in his first film. His first film for that studio was auspicious — as the space ship commander in the science fiction classic “Forbidden Planet.” He found his best dramatic role as the captain of an overturned ocean liner in the 1972 disaster movie, “The Poseidon Adventure.”
His deadpan delivery as a doctor in 1980′s “Airplane!” marked a turning point in his career. Nielsen enjoyed further success with “The Naked Gun” and its sequels, based on a brief television series he starred in. He had stars on both Hollywood’s and Canada’s Walk of Fame. He was named an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2002.
Nielsen married four times and had two daughters from his second marriage. On November 28, 2010, Nielsen died in his sleep of complications from pneumonia.