R.I.P. Leslie Nielsen

11.29.10 7 years ago 10 Comments

As you probably noticed by the explosion of “surely/Shirley” jokes last night, beloved actor Leslie Nielsen passed away from complications of pneumonia yesterday. He was 84 and Canadian.

While Nielsen was best known as a film actor (see his FilmDrunk obit), I’m paying tribute to him here because The Naked Gun series was based off the brilliant but short-lived “Police Squad!” on ABC (see video below). If not for “Police Squad!,” there would be no Enrico Palazzo, and that would be a sad world indeed.

In a 1988 interview with The New York Times, Leslie Nielsen discussed his career-rejuvenating transition to comedy, a development that he had recently described as “too good to be true.”

“It’s been dawning on me slowly that for the past 35 years I have been cast against type,” he said, “and I’m finally getting to do what I really wanted to do.” [NYT]

This is a bummer, but I don’t think anyone should be too surprised. I mean, the dude was sporting white hair 30 years ago.

(images via It’s Strictly Business)

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