Leslie Nielsen Dies at Age 84
Leslie Nielsen, one of the great deadpan comedic actors of the 20th century, died yesterday at age 84.
Mr. Nielsen, a tall man with a matinee-idol profile, was often cast as an earnest hero at the beginning of his film career, in the 1950s.
In the 1960s and ’70s, as his hair turned white and he became an even more distinguished figure, Mr. Nielsen played serious military men, government leaders and even a mob boss, appearing in crime dramas, westerns and the occasional horror movie.
Then, in the low-budget, big-money-making 1980 disaster-movie parody “Airplane!” he was cast as a clueless doctor on board a possibly doomed jetliner. Critics and audiences alike praised his deadpan comic delivery, and his career was reborn.