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Comedy Legend Leslie Nielsen Dead At 84

Posted by on November 28, 2010 at 9:55 PM EST

leslie-nielsen-dead-84Actor and comedy legend Leslie Nielsen has died at age 84. Nielsen, best known for his roles in the comedy classics “Airplane!” and “The Naked Gun” had a long career in show business that spanned more than 50 years. He has appeared in over 100 movies and 1,500 TV shows.

Survived by his two children and current wife Barabree Earl who he has been married to since 2001, Leslie Nielsen has been married four different times with his first marriage coming in 1950 to Monica Boyeur. His nephew announced this evening that he had died in his sleep in a hospital Fort Lauderdale, Florida. He had been in the hospital for 12 days being treated for pneumonia. His nephew, Doug Nielson, told CJOB radio in Canada that he, “just fell asleep and passed away.”

While Nielsen is mostly known as a comic, many of his early roles were in dramas or action movies. He had roles in such movies as “The Virginian,” the police drama “The New Breed” and the pilot movie for the would-be popular TV series Hawaii Five-0.

Nielsen’s career really kicked into high gear in the 1980’s when he was cast as the bumbling doctor aboard the doomed airliner in “Airplane!” in which he was part of the iconic exchange: “Surely you can’t be serious?” To which Nielsen replied with his trademark deadpan, “I am serious. And don’t call me Shirley.” That phrase went on to be listed in the AFI’s list of top 100 movie quotes. “Airplane!” was also listed by the AFI as one of the top ten comedies of all time.

Nielsen would go on to star in the Naked Gun series of movies which solidified him as one of the most popular and sought after comic actors working in Hollywood. Recently, even though he was in his 80’s, he returned to his roots and most recently had stared in series roles on screen and stage.

Leslie Nielsen left this world a better place than he found it. He will be missed.



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