Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Leslie Nielsen 1926-2010

Canadian actor Leslie Nielsen died in Florida on Nov. 28, 2010. He was 84.

Nielsen's career stretched back to 1950. The Saskatchewan native worked extensively in television and film. The wacky comedy, Airplane!, released in 1980, gave a huge boost to the second half of his career.

The television series, Police Squad!, from the same creative time, followed in 1982. It only lasted six episodes. The show's brief, and very funny, run can be enjoyed on DVD. Buy it. The first Naked Gun movie, from 1988, is the best. Don't bother with the sequels.

Even after those comedic turns, Nielsen still delivered a powerful dramatic performance in 1986 with Nuts starring Barbara Streisand.

Nielsen also starred in one of the great all-time science fiction films, Forbidden Planet, released in 1956. The movie adapted Shakespeare's The Tempest and set it in outer space. There's a two-disc special edition marking the film's 50th anniversary.

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