Date: 29th November 2010

Leslie Nielsen dies, aged 84

Veteran comic actor Leslie Nielsen, star of Airplane! And The Naked Gun, has died at the age of 84.

The comic actor, best known for his roles in Airplane! And The Naked Gun, passed away at a hospital near his home in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, where he was being treated for pneumonia.

Nielsen's nephew Doug announced the news on Canadian radio station CJOB, saying: "Just in this last 48 hours, the infection has gotten too much and today at 5.30am, with his friends and his wife by his side, he just fell asleep and passed away."

Nielsen's agent John S. Kelly later confirmed the news.

In all, he appeared in more than 100 films and had a star on Hollywood's Walk of Fame.

Born in the Canadian city of Regina in 1926, Leslie Nielsen enjoyed an acting career which spanned six decades.

He started as a television actor in New York in 1950, performing in about 150 live dramas.

Moving to Hollywood in the mid-1950s, he initially carved out a film career as a leading man, capitalising on his craggy good looks and 6ft 2in (187cm) height.

In 1980, however, his deadpan delivery in comedy disaster movie Airplane! Marked him out as a gifted clown.

It was in this role that he became known for the line: "Don't call me Shirley."

The success of Airplane! Led to another TV role in spoof crime show Police Squad, where he first played accident-prone detective Frank Drebin.

He went on to make three films as the character in the Naked Gun series, starring opposite Priscilla Presley.

Nearly two weeks ago - at the age of 84 - Nielsen was taken into hospital in Florida where he lived, suffering from pneumonia.

His condition worsened over the last two days and relatives said he passed away peacefully.

Source: Press Release



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