Sunday, November 28, 2010

Leslie Nielsen (1926-2010)

Word has just gone over the wires of the passing of actor Leslie Nielsen at the age of 84 after a battle with pneumonia.

Nielsen distinguished himself as both a dramatic & comic actor, appearing in films as diverse as "Forbidden Planet" & "The Reluctant Astronaut" before 1980's "Airplane!" re-established Nielsen as a gifted comic performer. On television, Nielsen starred in The New Breed, The Bold Ones: The Protectors, Bracken's World, and Police Squad!, the latter of which was spun off into a series of feature films under the "Naked Gun" title. Nielsen also was cast in a live-action feature film version of the venerable Mr. Magoo animated shorts, but that film ran into criticism from advocacy groups over the exploitation of nearsighted persons such as Magoo.

In recent times, Nielsen had returned to dramatic acting, starring in a one-man Broadway production, "Darrow", a biography of famed lawyer Clarence Darrow. I would not be at all surprised to find tributes on the cable channels in the form of marathons of movies and/or Police Squad! over the next few days.

Rest in peace, Leslie. You'll be missed.

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