Leaving us laughing

From dramatic roots, actor Leslie Nielsen flourished in comedy

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Normally it's in poor taste to laugh after hearing of someone's death.

Leslie Nielsen is an exception.

Any Nielsen fan who was crestfallen upon hearing of his death Sunday at age 84 likely was cracking up just seconds later, thinking of all the priceless moments he created for us in movies and on television.

Nielsen started out as a dramatic actor, probably most famous for his roles as Commander J.J. Adams in the sci-fi classic Forbidden Planet , and the captain of the ill-fated ship in The Poseidon Adventure .

But his deadpan performance in the 1980 comedy Airplane! helped solidify the genre of the movie spoof. And his role as Det. Frank Drebin -- in the TV show Police Squad! and the Naked Gun movies it inspired -- crowned him as that genre's beloved king.

Nielsen took full advantage of his unerring ability to play it straight, making his characters hilariously oblivious to the madcap situations they helped create. He was an ideal vehicle to deliver some of the most often-quoted comedic lines in recent entertainment history.

A lesser-known line is one of our many favorites: On Police Squad!, a crime boss growled at an undercover Drebin, "Who are you, and how did you get in here?" Drebin: "I'm a locksmith. And, I'm a locksmith."

How sad Nielsen left us -- but we're so grateful he also left us laughing.

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dougk 11/29/10 - 11:21 pm
Yep, the ACES got it right

Yep, the ACES got it right this time.

Sandpiper 11/30/10 - 08:46 am
He came to comedy late in his

He came to comedy late in his career and burned bright 'til the end.
Thank you to a truly funny comedic actor.

NoCatchyName 11/30/10 - 09:44 am
I would imagine that the

I would imagine that the angles are chuckling already.

Jane18 11/30/10 - 09:51 am
Even when I was watching a

Even when I was watching a movie by myself, I would laugh out loud at this man. He truly was funny! Hey No, did you mean angELs?

Brad Owens
Brad Owens 11/30/10 - 10:25 am
Funny, funny man. He will be

Funny, funny man. He will be missed. Great spoof actors, ones that can REALLY pull it off, are rare.

This guy was funny. I bet we quoted him at least once a day when I was deployed. When something would come up in the Intel section, without a doubt someone would say, "Surely you must be joking!" and of course the reply was, "No, I'm serious, and don't call me Shirley."

Or, sometihng like this, "There has been a new development outside of BIAP."..."BIAP? What is it?"..."It's a large airport outside of Baghdad, but that's not important right now."

It really was non-stop.

Rest In Peace Funny man, you will live forever in our quotes.


TheFederalist 11/30/10 - 11:29 am
How sad that Leslie Nielson

How sad that Leslie Nielson has left us. I will always remember the first Science Fiction movie that I ever saw and the joy and awe it inspired in me. Forbidden Planet (1956) will always be a classic of the genre, and it made me a fan for life, partly due to his inspired role as the leader of the doomed expedition in that movie. People forget that between 1956 and 1980, he was a staple on all of the major TV series of the era. He will always be mostly remembered for his later comedy roles, but he started out and remained a serious and most gifted actor, and I will always remember him more for his early work. I will miss him.

My all-time favorite line is "Nice beaver." "Thanks, I just had it stuffed".

mable8 11/30/10 - 01:27 pm
I really enjoyed this guy's

I really enjoyed this guy's funny story-lines....he will be missed by many.

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