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Leslie Nielsen

Date of birth : 1926-02-11
Date of death : 2010-11-28
Birthplace : Saskatchewan, Canada
Nationality : Canadian-American
Category : Arts and Entertainment
Last modified : 2010-11-29

Leslie William Nielsen was a Canadian-American actor and comedian. Nielsen appeared in over 100 films and 1,500 television programs over the span of his career, portraying over 220 characters.

Born in Saskatchewan, Canada, Nielsen enlisted in the Royal Canadian Air Force and worked as disc jockey before receiving a scholarship to Neighborhood Playhouse. Beginning with a television role in 1948, he quickly expanded to over 50 television appearances two years later. Nielsen appeared in his first films in 1956 and began collecting roles in dramas, westerns, and romance films. Nielsen's lead roles in the science fiction film Forbidden Planet and disaster film The Poseidon Adventure garnered him positive reviews as a serious actor.

Leslie Nielsen spent his early childhood in the isolated Yukon Territories, where his father was a Mountie. After graduation, Nielsen joined the Royal Canadian Air Force near the end of the Second World War and served for only a year as an aerial gunner. After his service, he found work as a disc jockey at a Calgary radio station, where he realised his talent for show business.

Nielsen studied at the Lorne Greene Academy of Radio Arts in Toronto, before going to the United States, where he was accepted by the Neighbourhood Playhouse in New York City. There, he took lessons in theatre and music, and performed, until he landed his first television role, in an episode of 'Studio One'.

His first film was Paramount’s The Vagabond King. Initially a serious dramatic actor, whose breakthrough role was in the 1950s science fiction classic 'Forbidden Planet', his career shifted as Nielsen starred in a succession of comedies.

His successes include 'The Naked Gun' series, 'Airplane', 'Dracula, Dead and Loving It', and a number of other spoofs and comedies.

Nielsen had his own hit TV series when he starred as Frank Drebin in 'Police Squad', which earned him an Emmy nomination in 1982. He would go on to play the clueless detective three more times in the popular cop show parody, 'The Naked Gun', and its sequels. He received UCLA's Jack Benny Award for his comedic talents in 1995.

Incredibly, Nielsen says he has appeared in over 1,500 television programs. His early television appearances include parts in Alfred Hitchcock Presents, The Virginian, and Wild, Wild West.His first leading role in a tv series was as American Revolutionary War hero Francis Marion in Disney’s The Swamp Fox, a spin-off of the Davy Crockett series, it also featured his singing of the theme song. In 1961, he was the lead in a taut L.A. police drama called The New Breed.

In 1968, he had a major role in the pilot movie for the popular police series Hawaii Five-O. In 1969, he had the leading role as a police officer in The Bold Ones: The Protectors. Nielsen also starred in the by William Girdler directed 1977 cult-classic Project: Kill.

He has been married and divorced three times, and has two children from his second marriage. His brother, Eric Nielsen, is a former Deputy Prime Minister of Canada. On November 28, 2010, Nielsen died in his sleep of complications from pneumonia.

Filmography :

1956 Ransom! ; Forbidden Planet; The Vagabond King ; The Opposite Sex
1957 Hot Summer Night ; Tammy and the Bachelor
1958 The Sheepman
1964 See How They Run ; Night Train to Paris
1965 Dark Intruder ; Harlow
1966 The Plainsman ; Beau Geste
1967 Code Name: Heraclitus; The Reluctant Astronaut ; Gunfight in Abilene
1968 How to Steal the World ; Dayton's Devils ; Companions in Nightmare
1969 Trial Run ; Deadlock Lieutenant ; How to Commit Marriage ; Change of Mind
1970 Night Slaves ; The Aquarians ; Hauser's Memory
1971 Incident In San Francisco ; Four Rode Out ; They Call It Murder
1972 The Poseidon Adventure
1973 ...And Millions Die! ; Snatched ; Amanda Fallon ; The Return Of Charlie Chan
1975 Can Ellen Be Saved ; Threshold: The Blue Angels Experience
1976 Grand Jury ; Project: Kill ; Brinks: The Great Robbery
1977 Sixth and Main ; Day of the Animals ; Viva Knievel! ; The Kentucky Fried Movie ; The Amsterdam Kill
1978 Little Mo
1979 Institute for Revenge ; The Albertans ; Riel ; City on Fire
1980 OHMS ; Airplane! ; Prom Night
1981 A Choice of Two ; Spaceship
1982 Twilight Theater ; Foxfire Light ; Wrong Is Right ; Creepshow
1983 Prime Times ; The Night the Bridge Fell Down ; Cave-In! ; The Creature Wasn't Nice
1985 Murder Among Friends ; Reckless Disregard ; Blade in Hong Kong ; Striker's Mountain
1986 The Patriot ; Soul Man
1987 Nightstick Thad Evans ; Nuts; Home Is Where The Hart Is
1988 Dangerous Curves ; The Railway Dragon ;The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad!
1990 Repossessed
1991 All I Want for Christmas ; The Naked Gun 2½: The Smell of Fear ; Chance of A Lifetime
1993 Digger ; Surf Ninjas
1994 S.P.Q.R. 2000 e 1/2 anni fa ; Naked Gun 33⅓: The Final Insult
1995 Mr. Willowby's Christmas Tree; Rent-a-Kid ; Dracula: Dead and Loving It
1996 Spy Hard
1997 Mr. Magoo
1998 Safety Patrol ; Family Plan ; Harvey ; Wrongfully Accused
1999 Pirates 4D
2000 Santa Who?
2001: A Space Travesty
2001 Camouflage ; Kevin of the North/Chilly Dogs
2002 Men with Brooms
2003 Scary Movie 3 ; Noël Noël
2006 Scary Movie 4
2007 Music Within
2008 Superhero Movie ; An American Carol ; Slap Shot 3: The Junior League
2009 Spanish Movie ;Stan Helsing
2010 Slam I Am
2011 The Waterman Movie Ready

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