Sunday evening we reported some heartbreaking news: actor Leslie Nielsen had passed away. The 84 year old died from complications of pneumonia. His career in television and film spanned over 50 years and allowed him to do something that most actors only dream of. He transformed from a serious romantic and action lead to a comedic star thanks to his roles in Airplane!, The Naked Gun Series, and countless others like Spy Hard and Scary Movie. Let’s take a trip down memory lane shall we?
Like most of you, we got our first taste of Nielsen as a comedic actor but we were more than pleased to find out about his time as a Hollywood leading man. If you haven’t already, check out the 1957 film Tammy and the Bachelor. It’s the first in a series of “Tammy” films, and it stars Nielsen and America’s sweetheart, Debbie Reynolds.
Nielsen also tackled the sci-fi genre with the outerspace film, Forbidden Planet. The movie had all the makings of a cult classic and co-starred Walter Pidgeon. Could you imagine anyone else playing the role of Commander J.J. Adams besides Nielsen? We can’t.
Did you know that at one point Nielsen was up for the coveted role of Ben-Hur? Yes, he auditioned for the famous Oscar WINNING title role that eventually went to Charlton Heston. You don’t believe us? See for yourself…
And you know we can’t showcase Nielsen without looking at some of his hilarious comedic performances! Here’s a nice tribute from Drebin 31 that features some of the funniest moments from The Naked Gun and Airplane!
Oh Leslie Nielsen, you will “Shirley” be missed!
What was your favorite Leslie Nielsen performance?