Pop Culture

RIP Leslie Nielson

Legendary comic actor Leslie Nielson died on Sunday at 84, from complications related to pneumonia.  After the cut, a look at some of his most memorable roles and the timeless quotability they provided. Leslie Nielson began his acting career 60 years ago, in 1950.  His IMDB credit list is enormous, and it appears he’s been working consistently, with a recently completed film on which he served as producer, and an unfinished project where he was doing voice over work.  Nielson was prolific in both movies and on TV, including guest spots on Due South, The Golden Girls, Kojak and the original Hawaii Five – O.  His movie credits include roles in iconic films like Airplane and Naked Gun.

Nielson was a brilliant comedian, and he will be missed.  Here’s one of the many examples of just how funny he was.

By [E] Selena MacIntosh*

Selena MacIntosh is the owner and editor of Persephone Magazine. She also fixes it when it breaks. She is fueled by Diet Coke, coffee with a lot of cream in it, and cat hair.

2 replies on “RIP Leslie Nielson”

You guys! I have to mention the terrific sci-fi adaptation of The Tempest, Forbidden Planet (1956 Fred M. Wilcox). Nielsen is handsome and heroic as Commander John J. Adams. He had the wavy brown hair, the blue eyes, and that low silky voice.

This film scared and inspired young Steven Spielberg as a future film maker. He was frightened about the inverted diamond-shaped door that kept the “monster” away from the humans. What kind of beast would require such a wide berth?! It’s a worthy film to see for fans of classic Hollywood and sci fi. This film represents Nielsen during his straight man/handsome dude phase. Watch it for young Leslie, Robby the Robot, and the special effects.

Decades later it took the two Zuckers, David and Jerry, and Jim Abrams to realize “there was a nut inside Nielsen” waiting to be unleashed. I remember he used to play the celebrity golf tournaments in the 70’s. He was a B/C list star and said he worked just enough to be invited to these events. Ha, good one.

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