Classic Airplane star Leslie Nielsen dies

The actor Leslie Nielsen has died at the age of 84 at a hospital in the vicinity of his home near Fort Lauderdale, Florida.  He had been struggling with pneumonia, according to his agent.

Nielsen spent 30 years as a dramatic and romantic actor in films before his career went through an even more successful rebirth with his casting as a witless doctor in the surprisingly popular low budget spoof film, Airplane!

Leslie Nielsen had spent nearly three decades as what people would call a serious actor, until he found critical acclaim and audience devotion to his deadpan delivery of comedic roles, such as Lt. Frank Drebin in the Naked Gun films.

There was a very brief television series in which he starred called, Police Squad.  It only made 6 episodes, but it was the nucleus for the Drebin character.

Nielsen wrote a spoof biography in 1993 called, Naked Truth, which hardly told any truth about his life at all.  Keeping in character even on paper, he spun tales like winning two Oscars and having an affair with the famous actress, Elizabeth Taylor.

His sense of humour was absolutely contagious, and nearly everyone who went to his films caught it from him.