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Posted at 11:50 PM ET, 11/28/2010

Leslie Nielsen dies at age 84

By Jen Chaney

Leslie Nielsen: Thanks for the funny-faced memories. (AP)
View more Nielsen photos

Leslie Nielsen -- master of straight-faced ridiculousness, the comic actor best known for wooing Priscilla Presley as Lt. Frank Drebin in the "Naked Gun" movies and the man responsible for one of the most quoted lines in movie-comedy history ("I am serious. And don't call me Shirley.") -- has died at the age of 84.

According to the Associated Press, he died Sunday due to complications from pneumonia.

Of course, the film roles that immediately come to mind upon hearing Nielsen's name are the ones alluded to above: his turns as Dr. Rumack in the 1980 classic "Airplane!" and as Drebin in the "Naked Gun" series. But let's not forget that Nielsen first brought Drebin to life in "Police Squad!," a hilarious cop-show send-up that was so good, ABC naturally canceled it after just a few episodes.

It seems only fitting to bid farewell to this silver-haired icon of absurdity with the following video montage of epilogues from "Police Squad!" May you rest in peace and surrounded by laughter, Mr. Nielsen. And yes, I am indeed serious.

Do you have a favorite Nielsen role? Line? "Naked Gun" moment? Feel free to share it by posting a comment.

By Jen Chaney  | November 28, 2010; 11:50 PM ET
Categories:  Movies, Obits  
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Comments

RIP Leslie Nielsen. Although not fond of his brand of humor, he did it better than the kids of today. Make 'em laugh, and he did.

Posted by: epjd | November 29, 2010 8:46 AM | Report abuse

The passing of Leslie Nielsen makes me sad in so many ways, primarily because growing up our whole family loved watching the "Airplane" movies, "The Files of Police Squad", and the subsequent "Naked Gun" movies. Favorite moment or line? Just too many. Such as:

In "Airplane" where the stewardess asks him, "Excuse me, sir, but are you a doctor?" And Leslie Nielsen is sitting there with a stethoscope in his ears and replies, straightfaced of course, "Yes."

"A hospital! What is is?" "It's a big building with doctors and patients, but that's not important right now."

"I just want to tell you both good luck. We're all counting on you."

And in "Police Squad" - "Who are you and how'd you get in here?" "I'm a locksmith. And I'm a locksmith."

The Police Squad shootouts, Johnny the shoe shine guy, the epilogues at the end, interviewing suspects in "Little Italy", "Nothing to see here... Please disperse" while fireworks are going off behind him....

He was just too funny. What a sad day indeed.

Posted by: melindaboyd | November 29, 2010 9:46 AM | Report abuse

Before "Airplane!", Nielsen was already known from straight versions of disaster movies, such as the original "Poseidon Adventure." I remember an interview where Nielsen said he loved the Zucker/Abrahams deadpan humor and welcomed the chance to parody his former career.

"Airplane!" is still one of my all-time favorite comedies. Nielsen's best work as a leading comedic player remains "Police Squad" and the first "Naked Gun." One episode ended with Drebin and the others mimicking a freeze-frame shot under the credits, while a primate tears up the papers on the desks behind them.

Posted by: Carstonio | November 29, 2010 11:21 AM | Report abuse

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