Veteran comic actor Leslie Nielsen, 84, has died in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. The star of comedy hits such as “Airplane” and the “Naked Gun” series dies of complications from pneumonia, we were notified by his nephew Doug Nielsen, who lives in Richmond.
Leslie William Nielsen, (February 11, 1926 – November 28, 2010) was a Canadian actor and comedian. Although his acting career crosses a variety of genres in both television and films, Nielsen has achieved his greatest successes in the comedy films Airplane! and The Naked Gun. His portrayal of serious characters seemingly oblivious to (and complicit in) their absurd surroundings gives him a reputation as a comedian.
Nielsen’s lead roles in the films Forbidden Planet and The Poseidon Adventure came long before he considered a turn to comedy. His deadpan delivery as a doctor in 1980’s Airplane! marked a turning point in Nielsen’s career, one that would make him, in the words of film critic Roger Ebert, “the Olivier of spoofs.”Nielsen has appeared in over 100 films and 1,500 television programs over the span of his career, portraying over 220 characters.