s skippy the bush kangaroo: rip leslie nielsen

skippy the bush kangaroo

Monday, November 29, 2010

rip leslie nielsen

leslie nielson, the dramatic actor known for b movies in his early years who found a whole new career as the premiere star of movie parodies has died at the age of 84.

true movie and sci-fi geeks will recognize leslie as the star of forbidden planet, as well as from his appearances in a myriad of forgettable roles in various unremarkable films in the 50's, 60' and 70's. nytimes:
mr. nielsen, a tall man with a matinee-idol profile, was often cast as an earnest hero at the beginning of his film career, in the 1950s. his best-known roles included the stalwart spaceship captain in the science-fiction classic “forbidden planet” (1956), the wealthy, available southern aristocrat in “tammy and the bachelor” (1957), and an ocean liner captain faced with disaster in “the poseidon adventure” (1972).

in the 1960s and ’70s, as his hair turned white and he became an even more distinguished figure, mr. nielsen played serious military men, government leaders and even a mob boss, appearing in crime dramas, westerns and the occasional horror movie.

then, in a low-budget, big-money-making the 1980 disaster-movie parody “airplane!” he was cast as a clueless doctor on board a possibly doomed jetliner. critics and audiences alike praised his deadpan comic delivery, and his career was reborn.

“airplane!” was followed by a television series, “police squad” (1982), from the film’s director-writers. it lasted only six episodes, but mr. nielsen, his goofy character, lt. frank drebin, and the creators went on to three successful feature-film spinoffs.

the first, “the naked gun: from the files of police squad” (1988), was followed by “the naked gun 2 ½: the smell of fear” (1991) and “the naked gun 33 13: the final insult” (1994), whose cast included priscilla presley, o. j. simpson and anna nicole smith.

other filmmakers cast mr. nielsen in a variety of comedies, including “repossessed” (1990), an “exorcist” spoof with linda blair; “dracula: dead and loving it” (1995); “spy hard” (1996); and “2001: a space travesty” (2000).

none were received as well as the “naked gun” films, but mr. nielsen found a new continuing role as the paranoid, out-of-control president of the united states in “scary movie 3” (2003) and “scary movie 4” (2006).
here's part of the brilliant police squad! series, which was, in our opinion, much better than the films:

addendum: from the comments section @ the gawker remembrance for leslie, some more of his greatest hits:

rest in peace, leslie nielsen. surely you're at peace now.

posted by skippy at 1:14 AM |


I'd completely forgotten about Forbidden Planet. What a gem! Thanks
commented by Anonymous Chris Grealy, 11:30 PM PST  
Absolutely LOVED Police Squad!
commented by Blogger Cookie Jill, 6:41 AM PST  

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