R.I.P. Leslie Nielsen

The passing away yesterday of the late great Leslie Nielsen has led to an outpouring of love and fond memories in print and online. The actor was battling pneumonia in a Fort Lauderdale hospital when he passed away in his sleep on Sunday.

It seemed many in the Twitter and Facebook universes spent most of late Sunday quoting lines from the brilliant scripts for “The Naked Gun” and its progenitor “Police Squad”, or Nielsen’s work in 1980 comedy spoof “Airplane” (aka. “Flying High”).

With over a hundred film and TV credits to his name since his earliest work in 1950, Nielsen’s trademark was his delivery of lines with a voice of authority. This commanding presence suited him well in dramatic roles in the likes of “Forbidden Planet,” “Prom Night,” “CIty on Fire” and “The Poseidon Adventure”, but it was applying that same deadpan skill to comedy which lead to a career renaissance with “Airplane” and “The Naked Gun” trilogy leading to further (and increasingly less successful) satires like “Repossessed,” “Spy Hard,” “Dracula: Dead and Loving It,” “Wrongfully Accused” and several “Scary Movie” sequels.

His TV appearances are almost too many to name, just a sampling of his guest starring stints include at least one (often multiple) appearances on shows like “Dr. Kildare,” “M.A.S.H.,” “Hawaii Five-O,” “The Man from U.N.C.L.E.,” “Murder She Wrote,” “Columbo,” “The Love Boat,” “Fantasy Island,” “The Fugitive,” “Peyton Place,” “Rawhide,” “The Untouchables,” “Gunsmoke,” “The Golden Girls,” “Herman’s Head” and “Due South”.

Nielsen leaves behind many fans who, despite the sadness of his passing, will remember him for many years to come with a smile.