Actor and comedian Leslie Nielsen died near his Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, home on Sunday at 5:34 PM (ET). He was 84 years old. He had been in the hospital for almost 2 weeks with pneumonia, according to his agent.
Leslie Nielsen was most famous for his roles in the movies Airplane! And The Naked Gun. He appeared in over 100 movies, and 1500 TV shows, throughout his career. He is the third actor from the movie Airplane! to have died this year. Both Peter Graves and Barbara Billingsley preceded him in death earlier this year.
Leslie Nielsen’s agent said Nielsen was surrounded by his “lovely wife and friends” when he died. “He just fell asleep and passed away,” said his nephew, Doug Nielsen.
Nielsen served in the Royal Canadian Air Force and studied at New York City’s famous Actors Studio. His first big break in the movie industry was in the 1956 sci-fi movie Forbidden Planet. He also appeared on TV dramas like Peyton Place and Dr. Kildare, and movies such as The Poseidon Adventure, before being cast as Dr. Rumack in the 1980 movie Airplane!
Two years later, he played Lt. Frank Drebin, in an ill fated cop sitcom called Police Squad! He reprized that role in the comedy movie The Naked Gun in 1988. That was followed by the sequels The Naked Gun 2½ and The Naked Gun 33 1/2, in 1991 and 1994.
Leslie Nielsen continued to act into his 80s. During his career he acted in a great variety of movies and TV shows, including Bonanza, Kung Fu, The Kentucky Fried Movie, and Scary Movie 3 and 4.