Airplane! star Leslie Neilsen dies aged 84
Andrew Mickel29 November 2010
Comedy legend Leslie Nielsen has died at the age of 84.
According to his agent the comic actor and star of Airplane and The Naked Gun passed away at a hospital in Fort Lauderdale in Florida, where he was being treated for pneumonia.
His nephew Doug Nielson told AFP news agency: "With his friends and his wife by his side, he just fell asleep and passed away."
Neilsen, who appeared in more than 100 films during a career which spanned over sixty years, will be best known for his role as a doctor in the spoof disaster movie Airplane!
Raised in Canada, Nielsen’s acting career started at an early age when he was forced to lie to his father in order to avoid severe punishment.
After graduating from Academy of Radio Arts in Toronto, Nielsen moved to New York to pursue his career and starred in a number of screen roles until the role in Airplane! in 1980 propelled him to the upper echelons of comedy stardom.
His role as Dr Numack in Airplane! spawned his role as inspector Frank Drebin in the TV series Police Squad. Nielsen’s Frank Drebin character went on to star alongside Priscilla Presley in one of the most successful comedy franchises of the ‘80s and early ‘90s in The Naked Gun films.
Though he will be best remembered for his comedy roles in these films, Neilsen continued to work well into his ‘80s.
Relatives said he passed away peacefully.
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