Actor Leslie Nielson passed away last night due to complications from pneumonia, but he’ll forever be remembered as one of the masters of slapstick comedy.
Nielson’s career began in television in the late 1940’s, but his comedic turn in Airplane! and the Naked Gun film series gained him the reputation of “the Olivier of Spoofs.” His later roles didn’t gain the public attention as much as his portrayal of Frank Drebin, but his inept Dracula (Dracula: Dead and Loving It) and oddball President (Scary Movie 3 & 4) were the highlights of otherwise mediocre films.
While his deadpan delivery and seemingly obliviousness to the odd and zany goings-on surrounding his character were Nielson’s trademark, he was also quite prolific in serious roles on stage and screen. Perhaps his most geeked-out (and quite serious) role was in the film Creepshow, the comic book horror anthology in which Nielson portrayed a murderously jealous husband who ingeniously dispatches his wife and her lover.
Regardless of the part, Leslie Nielson was always a joy to watch. His long and varied career left us with many fine performances and innumerable quotable one-liners. He may have left us, but his legacy will live forever.
After all, who would get tired of this little gem?: