Leslie Nielsen Dies; Actor Started Career In Calgary Radio
November 29, 2010 at 4:13 AM (PT)
LESLIE NIELSEN, whose long career as a serious actor took a comic turn with his roles in "Airplane!" and the "Police Squad!"/"The Naked Gun" series, died SUNDAY of pneumonia in FORT LAUDERDALE, FL. He was 84.
NIELSEN, born in REGINA, SK and raised in the NORTHWEST TERRITORIES and EDMONTON, served in the ROYAL CANADIAN AIR FORCE near the end of WORLD WAR II. He began his career on the air at CJCJ-A (now CJAQ (96.9 JACK FM))/CALGARY before moving to TORONTO to study at the LORNE GREENE ACADEMY OF RADIO ARTS.
His acting career began in 1948 on TV's "Studio One," leading to decades as a character actor before his deadpan appearance in the ZUCKER-ABRAHAMS-ZUCKER comedy "Airplane!" ("I am serious. And don't call me Shirley") turned him into a comic icon. NIELSEN's turn as Lt. Frank Drebin in the TV series "Police Squad!" was reprised six years later in the "Naked Gun" films and several non-ZUCKER-ABRAHAMS-ZUCKER parodies.