Canadian-born actor Leslie Nielsen dies aged 84

Monday, November 29, 2010

Leslie Nielsen in 2008
Image: Jerry Angelica.

Leslie Nielsen, a Canadian-born US actor, has died at the age of 84. Nielsen appeared in over 100 films in which he played several different roles ranging from romance and drama to comedy. The cause of death was announced as pneumonia. His death was announced by his agent, John S. Kelly. Nielsen was in Fort Lauderdale being treated for the illness at the time of his death.

Born February 11, 1926 in Regina, Saskatchewan, Nielsen started his film career in the 1950s. He starred in the science fiction film Forbidden Planet in 1956 and went to on gain several other roles including the captain in The Poseidon Adventure in 1972. One of his biggest appearances was in the 1980s disaster-parody Airplane!. After that appearance he gained more of a reputation as a comic actor.

One of his most notable roles came in 1988 when he played Lt. Frank Drebin in The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad. He also appeared in the The Naked Gun 2 ½: The Smell of Fear in 1991 and The Naked Gun 33 1/3: The Final Insult in 1994.

Nielsen was the younger brother of Erik Nielsen, who was deputy prime minister of Canada from 1984 to 1986. Erik died in 2008. Leslie Nielsen is survived by his fourth wife Barbaree Earl, and his two daughters from his second marriage, Maura Nielsen Kaplan and Thea Nielsen Disney.