Leslie Nielsen 1926-2010
Deadpan. It’s a form of comic delivery that is tough to pull off and tough to master. And if you are looking for the master, Leslie Nielsen was it. Believe it or not, his long and storied career started with a lot of dramatic work. He was even in a few old cowboy films. Starting in 1950, Nielsen amassed one of the most prolific acting resumes that Hollywood has ever seen. Just trying to scroll through his IMDB page will tire your scrolling finger.
Nielsen appeared in over 100 films and 1,500 television programs over the span of his career, portraying over 220 characters.
Though he was never out of work as an actor, his big break came in the moive Airplane! His ability to deliver the most nonsensical lines with the utmost sincerity made that movie a classic that new generations are still discovering today.
My first memory of Leslie was when my dad told me I should watch this “Naked Gun” movie. I was pretty young. Maybe 10 or so. I didn’t get all of it, but I put my little vcr tape in the machine and recorded it off channel 11 here in St. Louis. And I wore that tape out watching it over and over. I believe at that age my favorite part was the spinning police light going down the roller coaster.
I am going to miss Leslie and his deadpan baritone deliveries. Luckily there is plenty of material that will keep his memory alive for generations to come. No joking this time. Rest in peace, Mr. Nielsen. I will miss you.
As is tradition on my blog, you are now an official Jedi ghost.