Leslie Nielsen

Actor, Film actor

1926 – 2010

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Who was Leslie Nielsen?

Leslie William Nielsen, OC was a Canadian-American actor and comedian. Nielsen appeared in more than one hundred films and 150 television programs over the span of his career, portraying more than 220 characters.

Born in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada, Nielsen enlisted in the Royal Canadian Air Force and worked as a disc jockey before receiving a scholarship to Neighborhood Playhouse. Making his television debut in 1948, he quickly expanded to over 50 television appearances two years later. Nielsen made his film debut in 1956, and began collecting his roles in dramas, westerns, and romance films between the 1950s and the 1970s. Nielsen's performance in the films Forbidden Planet and The Poseidon Adventure received positive reviews as a serious actor, although he is primarily known for his comedic roles during the 1980s and the early 1990s.

Although Nielsen's acting career crossed a variety of genres in both television and films, his deadpan delivery in Airplane! marked a turning point in his career, one that would make him, in the words of film critic Roger Ebert, "the Olivier of spoofs." Nielsen enjoyed further success with The Naked Gun film series, based on an earlier short-lived television series Police Squad! in which he also starred. Nielsen's portrayal of comedic characters seemingly oblivious to their absurd surroundings gave him a reputation as a comedian. Nielsen was recognized with a variety of awards throughout his career, and was inducted into the Canada and Hollywood Walks of Fame.

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Feb 11, 1926
Also known as
  • Leslie William Nielsen
  • Leslie Nelson
  • Leslie Nielson
  • Leslie William Nielsen, OC
  • Danish American
  • Canadians of Danish descent
  • Canadians of Welsh descent
  • Welsh American
  • Scandinavian American
  • Canada
  • United States of America
  • Victoria School of Performing and Visual Arts
  • Neighborhood Playhouse
Lived in
  • Regina
  • Edmonton
  • Phoenix
Nov 28, 2010
Fort Lauderdale

on July 23, 2013


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