Monday, November 29, 2010
A blog post called Shirley: Leslie Nielsen remembered

Fans are mourning the loss of Leslie Nielsen today. The veteran actor passed away Sunday at the age of 84.

After appearing in dramatic roles for many years in movies like “Forbidden Planet,” and the TV series “The Swamp Fox,” Nielsen had what actor Michael McKean called “one of the greatest second acts in movie history.” After stealing several scenes in the comedy blockbuster “Airplane!,” he went on to appear in many comedy spoofs afterward, most memorably as Lt. Frank Drebin on the short-lived series "Police Squad!" and "The Naked Gun” movie trilogy.

CNN.com commenters and Twitter users are already posting some of their favorite lines from Nielsen’s career, especially “Don’t call me Shirley,” which was ranked by the American Film Institute in the top 100 movie lines of all time in 2005. Others like commenters Badger905 and LYORBEN remember lines from “Forbidden Planet” and “The Naked Gun.”

What was your favorite Nielsen line? Share it in the comments below, and if you had the chance to meet him, share your memories, like Al Mealey did, with the iReport community.

45 Comments
November 29, 2010
Click to view Steve4234's profile

I also liked the line where Frank (Neilsen) and Ed (George Kennedy) are in the hospital visiting Nordberg (O.J. Simpson)pondering Nordberg's injuries.  Ed turns to Frank and says, "Sex, Frank?"  And Frank replies, "Not right now Ed. We have a job to do." (or something similar to this.)

November 29, 2010
Click to view McLovin21's profile

Ed: Wanna take a dinghy Frank? (Referring to the watercraft)

Frank: No I took care of that at the press conference.

November 29, 2010
Click to view Kitkat123's profile

I will truly miss this man.He made me laugh so much! God rest your soul Leslie, I am sure you are making everyone upstairs laugh- so can they call you Shirley now?

 

My favorite scene was when he was guarding the Queen in Naked Gun and accidentally left his mike on when he took a rather noisy trip to the men's room!

November 29, 2010
Click to view Slowmodem's profile

People tend to forget that the funny man could be an evil, mean, cruel character, too.  In 1975, he was Vincent Corbino in the TV Series Kung Fu.  What a great bad guy.  He was extremely versatile and will Shirley be missed.  RIP Leslie.

November 29, 2010
Click to view BloodSA's profile

I had the pleasure of meeting Leslie in Katy, Tx back in the mid 80's after the Airplane fame and he was a riot. He was super nice and hands-down my favorite comedy actor - he had such a great way of keeping a straight face in the midst of some of the funniest comedy ever. He let me try out his hand-held fart machine like he did on the Tonight Show a few weeks earlier - after he demonstrated it a few times and of course, it didn't work for me. Just plain fun comedy. We'll Shirley miss you Leslie.

November 29, 2010
Click to view JohnPaulNow's profile

Not many people are aware that Leslie Nielsen starred as Revolutionary War hero, Frances Marion, in the Disney TV series, "The Swamp Fox."  "The Swamp Fox" first aired in October 1959 and ran for only six episodes.

November 29, 2010
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..and he got to kiss Priscilla Presley...

November 29, 2010
Click to view Ron1954's profile

cigarette - yes I know

November 29, 2010
Click to view ERO1's profile

Classic funny guy!  Just like Carson.  Those two made your whole face smile and gave me (and still does) a genuine laugh. Leslie Nielsen was a one-of-a-kind! Thanks for the laughs.

November 29, 2010
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"Put Ham on 5, hold the Mayo". Police Story was even better than Naked Gun. He had the same gift as Gracie Allen, he could say the most crazy things in total seriousness.

November 29, 2010
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"Like a midget at a urinal, I was gonna have to stay on my toes."

November 29, 2010
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When he played Uncle Lucas on Golden Girls (marrying Bea Arthur).  "it was do good we named it FREDDY PETERSON!"

November 29, 2010
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Enrico Palazzo :(

November 29, 2010
Click to view ImagineJL's profile

A class act who will shirley be missed but never forgotten. 

November 29, 2010
Click to view bernaco's profile

is this a bust, or what???  yes. it's very impressive, but that's not why we're here!!

November 29, 2010
Click to view KurtScholle's profile

I interviewed Leslie Nielsen on the radio a month before Airplane was released.  He said it would either be a big hit or the worst bomb in Hollywood history. 

 

I guess we know how that turned out.

November 29, 2010
Click to view lili1234's profile

What every one said about him, I second the motion.  In to days angry and mean society a laughter is what we all need.

I am an old man and live in the memory of all the comedians of my generation. They were so many and so funny. I make sure I find something to laugh about every day. Screw the news.

November 29, 2010
Click to view bronco10's profile

Nice beaver

November 29, 2010
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I faked every orgasm.

November 29, 2010
Click to view Feline99's profile

Thanks for all the laughs Leslie.  I especially liked Naked Gun 2 1/2.  You will be missed!!

November 29, 2010
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Captain Oveur: What is it, Doctor? What's going on?

Dr. Rumack: I'm not sure. I haven't seen anything like this since the Anita Bryant concert.

 

November 29, 2010
Click to view mttrailboss's profile

Just a comment..  One funny and talented guy.   Mike in Montana

November 29, 2010
Click to view disneygirl45's profile

I was pretty young when Mr. Nielsen began his "2nd act," so I didn't see some of his newer work until I was older.  I fell in love with this fine actor...he was so funny and with the raise of an eyebrow, could turn a less-than-funny scene into hilarity!  It always seemed as if he was one of Hollywood's under-appreciated actors, so I'm glad to see CNN giving him a much deserved tribute.  Good-bye Lt. Debrin...may there be "lots of bombs in the air" for you!!! 

November 29, 2010
Click to view WVLady63's profile

I remember Leslie Nielsen as "The Swamp Fox."  It was a Disney television series.  BOY, was he handsome!  I was just a child but I had a huge crush on him!  I personally think he was good in everything he did.  We will surely miss him!  Thank you Leslie for all of the hours upon hours of viewing pleasure you gave to all of us!  God Bless You!

November 29, 2010
Click to view zachyduffff's profile

play our song, one more time...

ding dong the witch is dead

November 29, 2010
Click to view CatLover13's profile

My favorite movie was the 1956 Ransom! with Glenn Ford and Donna Reed where Leslie Nielsen played a reporter who covers the story of a kidnapping.  It plays occasionally on TCM.  What a wonderful performance.  What a fantastic actor.  You will be missed.

November 29, 2010
Click to view moviebuff975's profile

Leslie Nielsen is in a class of his own.  Thank you Leslie for all the laughs and great humor you bestowed upon us. I've been a fan of his since I was little.  The first movie that cracked me up was Airplane!!  I cried with laughter.  His movies always should show that you shouldn't take life to seriously and have a great time.

He will be missed terribly. Many heartfelt blessings to his family.   He truly is one of a kind and there never will be anyone like him to me!!!

 

 

November 29, 2010
Click to view BHAWKJOKK's profile

You are gonna be missed, sir.  I absolutely loved you and your comedic heart.  Thanks for the laughter!!!

November 29, 2010
Click to view DrShmenge's profile

"I'm sure that we can handle this situation maturely, just like the responsible adults that we are. Isn't that right, Mister Poopy Pants?"

November 29, 2010
Click to view balewrangler's profile

"Leslie Nielsen dead? Surely, you must be kidding!"

"I'm not kidding. And don't call me Shirley."

November 29, 2010
Click to view Echostation's profile

I guess he had the fish.

November 29, 2010
Click to view seymourtits's profile

He use to come into a Clara's restaurant in Lakeland Florida where I once worked. What a silly man on and off screen. R.I.P.

November 29, 2010
Click to view DPP's profile
DPP

People forget that Nielson came to American television as Disney's Revolutionary War hero "Swamp Fox," Col. Francis Marion. It was, I believe, a very Disney-fied version of Marion, but we didn't know that at the time.

 

Swamp Fox, Swamp Fox tail on his hat

Nobody knows where the Swamp Fox's at

Swamp Fox, Swamp Fox hiding in the glen

He runs away to fight again.

November 29, 2010
Click to view judaloo's profile

Met Leslie at a golf tournament in California some years ago, and he allowed me (and others) to sit on his lap and have a picture taken.  He was having as much fun as we were -- very, very nice man.  Picture is still up on my fridge, and will stay there.  We'll miss him -- and if the message can travel to wherever he is now, thanks Leslie, for making us laugh so many times.

November 29, 2010
Click to view brezie's profile

HE WAS A VERY FUNNY PERSON MY SYMPATHY TO HIS FAMILY HE WILL ALWAY BE REMENBER

November 29, 2010
Click to view LA5219's profile

"We would have been here sooner, Mam....but your husband wasn't dead yet" - Police Squad Episode #1

November 29, 2010
Click to view bubbagates's profile

My favorite scene of all time was the time he was in the bathroom during the speech with the Queen and left the mike on. Talking about side splitting(side splitting pain from laughter) laughter. Every time I see that I cannot control myself. Same thing as the "bean can't use the real word because of moderator filters" scene in Blazing Saddles, which I know he was not in but you get the idea

 

I have seen all the Airplane movies many times and even to this day I always find something new, usually when Leslie is in the foreground being serious and something totally off the wall was going on in the background.

 

Thank god the Zucker brothers and Jim Abrahms saw the comedic genius in Leslie

November 29, 2010
Click to view bubbagates's profile

I think we should all rent/buy/whatever the first Airplane movie and the first Naked Gun movie and sit this week or weekend and have a good laugh. I think he would love to know we were all doing something like that.

November 29, 2010
Click to view CDVJR75's profile

I LIKED IT WHEN FRANK,ED,AND NORDBERG WERE IN THE SEX SHOP TRYING TO FIND HECTOR SAVAGE,AND HE CALLS THE EMPLOYEES SCUM,AND THE OWNER STEPS OUT AND SAYS (OH FRANK,YOURE D83 SURE GRIP SUCK MACHINE IS IN)FRANK REPLIES (IT'S A GIFT FOR A FRIEND) LOL,LOL

 

REST IN PEACE LESLIE,YOU,JACK,& WALTER HAVE A HECK OF A TIME

November 29, 2010
Click to view Robdon's profile

One of the greatest ever.  Here are two of my favorites, from the second Naked Gun movie:

 

(On phone with Ed, after Nordberg has been stuck under a bus)I'm onto something big here, Ed, so grab Nordberg and meet me at the waterfront....What's he doing in Detroit?......so, send him some plane fare and a new pair of pants!

 

(In piano bar, as Jane rejects him)I haven't had this much sex since I was a Boy Scout leader! (Bar goes silent)......I mean, at the time, I was dating a lot.  (exits bar with brilliantly funny look on his face)

 

The greatest deadpan actor of all time.  We have lost one of our finest.

November 29, 2010
Click to view Starryfields's profile

Such a funny man... loved his movies. I saw him one day in front of the Yorktowne Hotel in York, PA. I saw a red carpet being rolled out in front of the hotel by a man in a costume... my eyes followed the red carpet and there stood Leslie Neilsen, with a very amused look on his face. I was stunned into silence seeing him. My husband, who never missed a chance to drop the perfect line in any situation, about fell over when I told him the story... he said... I can't believe you didn't say "The red zone is for the unloading of passengers only!" Yes, I missed the golden opportunity but have a story to tell.... Thank you Leslie Neilsen for making so many of us smile and LOL!

November 30, 2010
Click to view bigfunnyguy's profile

My 47 year old wife and I to this day call each other "poo-poo pants" as a term of endearment thanks to the priceless Neilson-Presley exchanges in one of the Naked Gun movies!

November 30, 2010
Click to view chevyguyhhr's profile

Such a great talent.I watch the Police Squad vhs tapes over and over and find new subliminal comedy each time. The Naked Gun series....Perfect humour!!!! I had the privilege of meeting David Zucker and had my Airplane dvd signed. We'll miss you Leslie....but always have you in our memories.....

December 5, 2010

Even though he had leading man good looks he was essentially a great character actor that went back to the days of Playhouse 90. He had a very long and successful career. he had a great voice. Loved his performances.

December 7, 2010
Click to view CdnInMex's profile

I was living in Kelowna, BC, Canada a number of years ago and won dinner with Leslie Nielsen on a radio program. I had the distinct pleasure of spending an entire evening with him and his wife. He was a fantastic man, very kind, humble, witty, funny and intelligent. We talked like old friends and I escorted him to his car when he left. Hearing of his death makes me sad. We lost a great actor and human being who made people laugh and smile for decades. To use a line from Airplane... "Surely he can't be dead" his response... "I am dead, and don't call me Shirley." Rest in Peace.

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