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Contemporary Theatre, Film and Television International Dictionary of Films and Filmmakers Further reading

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Nielsen, Leslie 1926–

Nielsen, Leslie 1926–

(Leslie Nelson)

PERSONAL

Full name, Leslie William Nielsen; born February 11, 1926, in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada; immigrated to the United States; became U.S. citizen; son of Ingvard (an officer of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police) and Maybelle Nielsen; nephew of Jean Hersholt (an actor); married Monica Boyar (some sources spell name as Bayar), 1950 (divorced 1956 [some sources cite 1955]); married Alisande "Sandy" Ullman, 1958 (divorced 1973); married Brooks Oliver, 1981 (divorced 1983); children: (second marriage) Maura Nielsen Kaplan (a real estate developer), Thea Nielsen Disney (a horse trainer). Education: Attended Victoria Composite High School, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada; attended Lorne Greene's Academy of Radio Arts, Toronto, Ontario, Canada; studied acting with Sanford Meisner at the Neighborhood Playhouse School of the Theatre; studied dance with Martha Graham.

Addresses: Agent—Bresler, Kelly, and Associates, 11500 West Olympic Blvd., Suite 352, Los Angeles, CA 90064.

Career: Actor, producer, and writer. Worked as a disc jockey, radio announcer, and radio engineer; appeared in advertisements; spokesperson for hearing loss issues; master of ceremonies at various events. Military service: Trained as a serial gunner for the Royal Canadian Air Force.

Member: Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists.

Awards, Honors: Emmy Award nomination, outstanding lead actor in a comedy series, 1982, for Police Squad!; Emmy Award nomination, outstanding guest actor in a comedy series, 1989, for "Harper and Son," an episode of Day by Day; Special Award, male comedy star of the year, ShoWest Convention, National Association of Theatre Owners, 1989; MTV Movie Award nomination (with Priscilla Presley), best kiss, 1991, for The Naked Gun 2 1/2: The Smell of Fear; Jack Benny Award, University of California, Los Angeles, 1995; Gemini Award nomination, best performance by an actor in a guest role in a dramatic series, Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television, 1996, for Due South; received a star on the Canadian Walk of Fame, 2001; named Honorary West Virginian and Ambassador of Mountain State Goodwill, 2002; Canadian Comedy Award nomination, film—pretty funny male performance, 2003, for Men with Brooms; ACTRA Award of Excellence, Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists, 2003; Lifetime Achievement Award, Marco Island Film Festival, 2004; received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame; named an Officer of the Order of Canada; Leslie Nielsen School of Communications at Grant MacEwan College, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, named in his honor.

CREDITS

Film Appearances:

Narrator, The Battle of Gettysburg, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, 1955.

Charlie Telfer, Ransom! (also known as Fearful Decision), Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, 1956.

Commander John J. Adams, Forbidden Planet, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, 1956.

Steve Hilliard, The Opposite Sex, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, 1956.

Thibault, The Vagabond King, Paramount, 1956.

Peter Brent, Tammy and the Bachelor (also known as Tammy), Universal, 1957.

William Joel Partain, Hot Summer Night, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, 1957.

Colonel Stephen Bedford/Johnny Bledsoe, The Sheepman (also known as Stranger with a Gun), Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, 1958.

Alan Holiday, Night Train to Paris, Twentieth Century-Fox, 1964.

Brett Kingsford, Dark Intruder (also known as Black Cloak), Universal, 1965.

Richard Manley, Harlow, Paramount, 1965.

Colonel George Armstrong Custer, The Plainsman, Universal, 1966.

Lieutenant De Ruse, Beau Geste, Universal, 1966.

Cabot Shaw, Rosie!, Universal, 1967.

Grant Evers, Gunfight in Abilene, Universal, 1967.

Major Fred Gifford, The Reluctant Astronaut, Universal, 1967.

Victor Rice, Counterpoint, Universal, 1967.

Frank Dayton, Dayton's Devils, Commonwealth United Entertainment, 1968.

General Maximilian Harmon, How to Steal the World, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, 1968.

Mr. Brown, Four Rode Out (also known as Cuatro cabalgaron), ADA, 1969.

Phil Fletcher, How to Commit Marriage, Cinerama, 1969.

Sheriff Webb, Change of Mind, Cinerama, 1969.

Harry Walsh, The Resurrection of Zachary Wheeler, Gold Key Entertainment, 1971.

Captain Harrison, The Poseidon Adventure, Twentieth Century-Fox, 1972.

Jack Gallagher, And Millions Will Die (also known as … And Millions Die!), Columbia, 1973.

Narrator, Threshold: The Blue Angels Experience (documentary), Ambassador, 1975.

Jonathan Trevor, Project: Kill (also known as Total Control), Stirling Gold, 1976.

John Doe, Sixth and Main, National Cinema, 1977.

John Williams, Grand Jury, 1977.

Paul Jenson, Day of the Animals (also known as Something Is Out There), Film Ventures International, 1977.

Stanley Millard, Viva Knievel! (also known as Seconds to Live), Warner Bros., 1977.

Voice of the man in the "Feel-o-Rama" film, "Feel-o-Rama" segment, The Kentucky Fried Movie, United Film Distribution Company, 1977.

Riley Knight, The Amsterdam Kill (also known as He jing die xie), Columbia, 1978.

Mayor William Dudley, City on Fire, Avco-Embassy, 1979.

Dr. Rumack, Airplane! (also known as Flying High), Paramount, 1980.

Mr. Hammond, Prom Night, Avco-Embassy, 1980.

Captain Jamieson, The Creature Wasn't Nice (also known as Naked Space and Spaceship), Creature Features, 1981.

A Choice of Two (also known as Il faut choisir), National Film Board of Canada, 1981.

(In archive footage) Dr. Rumack, Airplane II: The Sequel (also known as Flying High II and Flying High II: The Sequel), Paramount, 1982.

Mallory, Wrong Is Right (also known as The Man with the Deadly Lens), Columbia, 1982.

Reece Morgan, Foxfire Light, 1982.

Richard Vickers, "Something to Tide You Over," Creep-show (also known as Cuentos de ultratumba), Warner Bros., 1982.

Narrator, The Homefront (documentary; also known as The Home Front), 1984.

Admiral Frazer, The Patriot, Crown International Pictures, 1986.

Mr. Dunbar, Soul Man (also known as The Imposter), New World Pictures, 1986.

Allen Green, Nuts, Warner Bros., 1987.

Sheriff Nashville Schwartz, Home Is Where the Hart Is, Atlantic Releasing, 1987.

Greg Krevske, Dangerous Curves (also known as Tan Lines), Vestron/Lightning Pictures, 1988.

Lieutenant Frank Drebin, The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad! (also known as The Naked Gun), Paramount, 1988.

Father Merrin, Repossessed, New Line Cinema, 1990.

Lieutenant Frank Drebin, The Naked Gun 2 1/2: The Smell of Fear (also known as The Naked Gun 2 1/2), Paramount, 1991.

Santa, All I Want for Christmas (also known as Home for Christmas and Home for the Holidays), Paramount, 1991.

Arthur, Digger, 1993.

Colonel Chi, Surf Ninjas (also known as Surf Warriors), New Line Cinema, 1993.

Lieutenant Frank Drebin, Naked Gun 33 1/3: The Final Insult (also known as The Naked Gun III), Paramount, 1994.

Lucio Cinico, S.P.Q.R. 2000 e 1/2 anni fa (also known as S.P.Q.R.: 2,000 and a Half Years Ago), Lauren-film, 1994.

Count Dracula, Dracula: Dead and Loving It (also known as Dracula mort et heureux de l'etre), Sony Pictures Entertainment, 1995.

Dick Steele (agent WD-40), Spy Hard (also known as Live and Let Spy), Buena Vista, 1996.

Harry Haber, Family Plan (also known as Coming Unglued!), Initial Entertainment Group, 1997.

Mr. Quincy Magoo (title role), Mr. Magoo (also known as Mister Magoo), Buena Vista, 1997.

Narrator, Dinosaur Park (documentary), Wide Angle Productions, 1998.

Ryan Harrison, Wrongfully Accused (also known as Leslie Nielsen ist sehr verdaechtig, Sehr verdaechtig, and Unter falschem Verdacht), Warner Bros., 1998.

Captain Lucky, Pirates: 3D Show (also known Pirates 4D and Piraten), Busch Entertainment Corporation/Renaissance Entertainment, 1999, used as part of a theme park attraction.

Marshall Dix, 2001: A Space Travesty (also known as 2001.1: A Space Travesty, 2002—Durchgeknallt im All, and 2001: Une parodie de l'espace), New City Releasing, 2000.

Clive Thornton, Kevin of the North (also known as Chilly Dogs and L'aventurier du grand nord), Lions Gate Releasing, 2001.

Jack Potter, Camouflage, PM Entertainment/Sunland Entertainment, c. 2001.

Gordon Cutter, Men with Brooms (also known as Quatre gars et un balai), Artisan Entertainment, 2002.

President Baxter Harris, Scary Movie 3 (also known as Scary Movie 3: Episode I—Lord of the Brooms and Scary Movie 3.5), Dimension Films, 2003.

Voice of the Mouseking for American version, The Nutcracker and the Mouseking (animated; also known as Nussknacker und Mausekoenig), Anchor Bay Entertainment, 2004.

President Baxter Harris, Scary Movie 4, The Weinstein Company, 2006.

Bill, Music Within, Articulus Entertainment/Quorum Entertainment, 2007.

Film Work:

Producer, Repossessed, New Line Cinema, 1990.

Executive producer, Spy Hard (also known as Live and Let Spy), Buena Vista, 1996.

Executive producer, 2001: A Space Travesty (also known as 2001.1: A Space Travesty, 2002—Durchgeknallt im All, and 2001: Une parodie de l'espace), New City Releasing, 2000.

Television Appearances; Series:

General Francis Marion (title role), The Swamp Fox, broadcast on Walt Disney Presents (also known as Disneyland, Disneylandia, The Disney Sunday Movie, Disney's Wonderful World, The Magical World of Disney, Walt Disney, Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color, and The Wonderful World of Disney), ABC, 1959–61.

Lieutenant Price Adams, The New Breed, ABC, 1961–62.

Dr. Vincent Markham and Kenneth Markham, Peyton Place, ABC, 1965.

Harry Kebler, a recurring role, Dr. Kildare, NBC, 1965.

Deputy chief Sam Danforth, The Bold Ones: The Protectors (also known as The Bold Ones, The Bold Ones: The Law Enforcers, The Law Enforcers, and The Protectors), NBC, 1969–70.

John Bracken, Bracken's World, NBC, 1970.

Host and narrator, The Explorers, syndicated, c. 1972–73.

Host, Al Oeming: Man of the North, CBC, 1980.

Lieutenant Frank Drebin, Police Squad!, ABC, 1982, released on video as Police Squad! Help Wanted and More Police Squad!.

Various characters, Twilight Theater (also known as Steve Martin's "Twilight Theater"), NBC, 1982.

Buddy Fox, Shaping Up, ABC, 1984.

(In archive footage) Funny Business, [United States, Great Britain, and New Zealand], beginning, 1992.

Narrator, Katie and Orbie (animated), PBS and Canadian television, beginning 1994.

Himself (professor of Stoogelogy), N.Y.U.K., American Movie Classics, beginning 2000.

Voice of Pumper, Pumper Pups (animated), [Canada], beginning 2000.

Terrence Brynne McKennie (host), Liography (also known as Liocracy), The Comedy Network (Canada), beginning 2001.

Voice of Zeroman/Les Mutton, Zeroman (animated), TeleToon, beginning 2004.

Himself, Game$how Marathon (also known as Game-show Marathon), CBS, 2006.

Television Appearances; Miniseries:

Don MacIntosh, The Albertans, CBC, 1979.

Ike Hoover and narrator, Backstairs at the White House, NBC, 1979.

Lewis Strauss, Race for the Bomb (also known as La course a la bombe), CBC, 1986.

Television Appearances; Movies:

Elliott Green, See How They Run, NBC, 1964.

Narrator, "The Boy Who Flew with Condors," Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color (also known as Disneyland, Disneylandia, The Disney Sunday Movie, Disney's Wonderful World, The Magical World of Disney, Walt Disney, Walt Disney Presents, and The Wonderful World of Disney), ABC, 1967.

Dr. Neesden, Companions in Nightmare, NBC, 1968.

Narrator, "Wild Heart," Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color (also known as Disneyland, Disneylandia, The Disney Sunday Movie, Disney's Wonderful World, The Magical World of Disney, Walt Disney, Walt Disney Presents, and The Wonderful World of Disney), ABC, 1968.

Sheriff Verne Drover, Shadow over Elveron, NBC, 1968.

Joseph Slaughter, Hauser's Memory, NBC, 1970.

Narrator, The Invaders, NBC, 1970.

Official, The Aquarians (also known as Deep Lab), NBC, 1970.

Sheriff Henshaw, Night Slaves, ABC, 1970.

Bill Sutter, Snatched, ABC, 1973.

Arnold Lindsey, Can Ellen Be Saved? (also known as Children of God), ABC, 1974.

Narrator, "The Outlaw Cats of Colossal Cave," The Wonderful World of Disney (also known as Disneyland, Disneylandia, The Disney Sunday Movie, Disney's Wonderful World, The Magical World of Disney, Walt Disney, Walt Disney Presents, Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color, and The Wonderful World of Disney), NBC, 1975.

Agent Norman Houston, Brinks: The Great Robbery, CBS, 1976.

Nelson Fisher, Little Mo, NBC, 1978.

Major Crozier, Riel, CBC, 1979.

Governor, OHMS, CBS, 1980.

Joseph "Joe" Johnson, Cave-In!, NBC, 1983.

Paul Warren, The Night the Bridge Fell Down (also known as The Night the Bridge Collapsed), NBC, 1983.

Bob Franklin, Reckless Disregard, Showtime, 1985.

Jim McKay, Striker's Mountain (also known as Im Reich der weissen Berge), 1985.

Senator Erdain, Fatal Confession: A Father Dowling Mystery (also known as "Fatal Confession," Father Dowling Mysteries and Father Dowling Investigates), NBC, 1987.

Thad Evans, Nightstick (also known as Calhoun), 1987.

Lloyd Dixon, Chance of a Lifetime (also known as A Change of Heart and Heather's Journey), NBC, 1991.

Harry Haber, Rent-a-Kid, 1995.

Dr. Chumley, Harvey, CBS, c. 1996.

Mr. Penn, "Safety Patrol" (also known as "Disney's 'Safety Patrol'" and "Safety Patrol!"), The Wonderful World of Disney, ABC, 1998.

Santa Claus, "Santa Who?," The Wonderful World of Disney, ABC, 2000.

Television Appearances; Specials:

Death of a Salesman, c. 1958.

Narrator, National Geographic Specials (series of specials; also known as National Geographic Society), CBS and ABC, 1971–74.

Himself, All-Star Birthday Party at Annapolis (also known as Bob Hope's "All-Star Birthday Party at Annapolis"), NBC, 1982.

Murder among Friends, Showtime, 1982.

Himself, "The Canadian Conspiracy," Cinemax Comedy Experiment (also known as Cinemax Comedy Experiment: The Canadian Conspiracy), Cinemax, 1986.

Narrator, The Railway Dragon (animated), [Canada], 1988.

Ringmaster, The 14th Annual Circus of the Stars (also known as Circus of the Stars # 14), CBS, 1989.

People Magazine on TV, CBS, 1989.

Super Bloopers and New Practical Jokes, NBC, 1989.

Host, National Lampoon's "Comedy Playoffs," Show-time, 1990.

Starathon '90 Weekend with the Stars for Cerebral Palsy (also known as Starathon '90), syndicated, 1990.

Leslie Peters, ABC Presents Krofft Late Night (also known as Krofft Late Night), ABC, 1991.

Himself and Colonel Buzz Brighton, Memories of M*A*S*H, CBS, 1991.

Ringmaster, All New Circus of the Stars and Side Show (also known as Circus of the Stars # 16), CBS, 1991.

The Naked Gun 2 1/2: Looking down the Barrel of Comedy, HBO, 1991.

Narrator, The Unknown Marx Brothers, The Disney Channel, 1993.

Host, ABC's World's Funniest Commercials, ABC, 1994.

Himself, Bob Hope: Happy 91st Birthday, Bob (also known as Bob Hope's Birthday Memories), NBC, 1994.

Himself, Masters of Illusion: The Wizards of Special Effects, NBC, 1994.

Ringmaster, Circus of the Stars Goes to Disneyland (also known as Circus of the Stars # 19), CBS, 1994.

Summerslam, pay-per-view, 1994.

Mr. Baxter, Mr. Willowby's Christmas Tree (short), CBS, 1995.

Narrator, Ghost Whales of Lancaster Sound, [Canada], 1996.

Host, Television's Comedy Classics, CBS, 1997.

Himself, Wie man die Leute von ihrem Geld trennt (also known as The Fine Art of Separating People from Their Money), 1998.

Golf 2000 With Peter Jacobsen, syndicated, 1998.

(Uncredited; in archive footage) Himself, Hollywood Screen Tests: Take 2, 1999.

Himself, Leslie Nielsen on the Stooges, American Movie Classics, 1999.

Narrator, The Joke's on Us: 50 Years of CBC Satire, CBC, 2000.

English narrator, Noel Noel (animated), [Canada], 2003.

(In archive footage) Himself, Bob Monkhouse's Comedy Heroes, Channel 5 (England), 2004.

(Uncredited; in archive footage) Commander John J. Adams, Watch the Skies!: Science Fiction, the 1950s, and Us (also known as Watch the Skies!), TCM, 2005.

Himself, AFI's 100 Years, 100 "Movie Quotes": The Greatest Lines from American Film (also known as AFI's 100 Years, 100 Movie Quotes: The Greatest Quips, Comebacks and Catchphrases), CBS, 2005.

Himself, The Alberta 100: A Centennial Countdown, CBC, 2005.

Himself, The Comedians' Comedian, Channel 4 (England), 2005.

(In archive footage) Lieutenant Frank Drebin, De que te ries?, Canal+ Espana, 2006.

Television Appearances; Awards Presentations:

The Third Annual American Comedy Awards, ABC, 1989.

Host, The Third Annual International Rock Awards, ABC, 1991.

Host, The 50th Annual Golden Globe Awards, TBS, 1993.

Host, Cybermania '94: The Ultimate Gamer Awards, TBS, 1994.

Presenter, The 22nd Annual People's Choice Awards, CBS, 1996.

Himself, The Orange British Academy Film Awards, 2000.

Television Appearances; Episodic:

"The Brush-Off," Suspense, CBS, 1950.

"A Child Is Crying," Lights Out, NBC, 1950.

"The Fourth Step," Kraft Television Theatre (also known as Kraft Mystery Theatre and Kraft Theatre), NBC, 1950.

"Hannah," Actors' Studio (also known as The Play's the Thing), CBS, 1950.

"Home for Christmas," The Web, CBS, 1950.

"The Last Cruise," Studio One (also known as Studio One in Hollywood, Studio One Summer Theatre, Summer Theatre, Westinghouse Studio One, and Westinghouse Summer Theatre), CBS, 1950.

"Lightin'," The Ford Theater Hour (also known as Magnavox Theater), CBS, 1950.

"The Luck of Guldeford," Kraft Television Theatre (also known as Kraft Mystery Theatre and Kraft Theatre), NBC, 1950.

"Never Murder Your Grandfather," Stage 13, CBS, 1950.

"The Philadelphia Story," Robert Montgomery Presents the Lucky Strike Hour (also known as Lucky Strike Theater, Montgomery's Summer Stock, Robert Montgomery Presents, and The Robert Montgomery Summer Theater), NBC, 1950.

"Prescription for Death," The Clock, CBS, 1950.

"Roman Holiday," Suspense, CBS, 1950.

"The Second Class Passenger," Suspense, CBS, 1950.

"Sentence of Death," The Trap, CBS, 1950.

"Spectre of Alexander Wolff," Studio One (also known as Studio One in Hollywood, Studio One Summer Theatre, Summer Theatre, Westinghouse Studio One, and Westinghouse Summer Theatre), CBS, 1950.

"The Survivors," Studio One (also known as Studio One in Hollywood, Studio One Summer Theatre, Summer Theatre, Westinghouse Studio One, and Westinghouse Summer Theatre), CBS, 1950.

"Telas, the King," Actors' Studio (also known as The Play's the Thing), CBS, 1950.

"The Touch of a Stranger," The Philco Television Playhouse (also known as Arena Theatre, The Philco-Goodyear Television Playhouse, and Repertory Theatre), NBC, 1950.

"Zone Four," Studio One (also known as Studio One in Hollywood, Studio One Summer Theatre, Summer Theatre, Westinghouse Studio One, and Westinghouse Summer Theatre), CBS, 1950.

"The Best Years," Kraft Television Theatre (also known as Kraft Mystery Theatre and Kraft Theatre), NBC, 1951.

"The Case of Karen Smith," Studio One (also known as Studio One in Hollywood, Studio One Summer Theatre, Summer Theatre, Westinghouse Studio One, and Westinghouse Summer Theatre), CBS, 1951.

"Death Sabre," Suspense, CBS, 1951.

"The Devil Takes a Bride," Sure as Fate, CBS, 1951.

"Flame-Out," Armstrong Circle Theater (also known as Circle Theater), NBC, 1951.

"The Foggy Night Visitor," Suspense, CBS, 1951.

"The House of the Seven Gables," Robert Montgomery Presents the Lucky Strike Hour (also known as Lucky Strike Theater, Montgomery's Summer Stock, Robert Montgomery Presents, and The Robert Montgomery Summer Theater), NBC, 1951.

"The Lost Will of Dr. Kant," Lights Out, NBC, 1951.

"Lover's Leap," Armstrong Circle Theater (also known as Circle Theater), NBC, 1951.

"The Magic Wire," Starlight Theater, CBS, 1951.

"Mrs. Manifold," Lights Out, NBC, 1951.

"October Story," Goodyear Television Playhouse (also known as Goodyear Playhouse), NBC, 1951.

"Of Famous Memory," Kraft Television Theatre (also known as Kraft Mystery Theatre and Kraft Theatre), NBC, 1951.

"The Sisters," The Philco Television Playhouse (also known as Arena Theatre, The Philco-Goodyear Television Playhouse, and Repertory Theatre), NBC, 1951.

"Susceptibility," Out There, CBS, 1951.

"You Killed Elizabeth," The Web, CBS, 1951.

Farragut, "20,000 Leagues under the Sea: The Chase: Part 1," Tales of Tomorrow, ABC, 1952.

Farragut, "20,000 Leagues under the Sea: The Escape: Part 2," Tales of Tomorrow, ABC, 1952.

Robbie, "Appointment to Mars," Tales of Tomorrow, ABC, 1952.

"After the Fact," The Web, CBS, 1952.

"Black Planet," Tales of Tomorrow, ABC, 1952.

"Boomerang," Danger, CBS, 1952.

"Crown of Shadows," Goodyear Television Playhouse (also known as Goodyear Playhouse), NBC, 1952.

"Death Trap," Lights Out, NBC, 1952.

"The Diary," Short, Short Drama, NBC, 1952.

"For Worse," Armstrong Circle Theater (also known as Circle Theater), NBC, 1952.

"The Hospital," Studio One (also known as Studio One in Hollywood, Studio One Summer Theatre, Summer Theatre, Westinghouse Studio One, and Westinghouse Summer Theatre), CBS, 1952.

"A Kiss for Cinderella," Kraft Television Theatre (also known as Kraft Mystery Theatre and Kraft Theatre), NBC, 1952.

"The Man in 308," Armstrong Circle Theater (also known as Circle Theater), NBC, 1952.

"My Eyes Have a Cold Nose," Workshop, syndicated, 1952.

Crime Syndicated, CBS, 1952.

Bert, "Ghost Writer," Tales of Tomorrow, ABC, 1953.

Harold Mason, "Another Chance," Tales of Tomorrow, ABC, 1953.

"The Beard," Armstrong Circle Theater (also known as Circle Theater), NBC, 1953.

"Candle in a Bottle," Armstrong Circle Theater (also known as Circle Theater), NBC, 1953.

"The Missing Night," Danger, CBS, 1953.

"The Psychological Error," Danger, CBS, 1953.

"The Rumor," Goodyear Television Playhouse (also known as Goodyear Playhouse), NBC, 1953.

"Second-Hand Sofa," Robert Montgomery Presents the Lucky Strike Hour (also known as Lucky Strike Theater, Montgomery's Summer Stock, Robert Montgomery Presents, and The Robert Montgomery Summer Theater), NBC, 1953.

"Skipper of the Skies," Hallmark Television Playhouse (also known as Hallmark Hall of Fame), NBC, 1953.

"A Story to Whisper," Armstrong Circle Theater (also known as Circle Theater), NBC, 1953.

"Twenty-Four Men to a Plane," Medallion Theatre, CBS, 1953.

Dr. Waring, "Dark Possession," Studio One (also known as Studio One in Hollywood, Studio One Summer Theatre, Summer Theatre, Westinghouse Studio One, and Westinghouse Summer Theatre), CBS, 1954.

Edmund, "A Guest at the Embassy," Studio One (also known as Studio One in Hollywood, Studio One Summer Theatre, Summer Theatre, Westinghouse Studio One, and Westinghouse Summer Theatre), CBS, 1954.

Fred Lawson, "Beyond a Reasonable Doubt," Studio One (also known as Studio One in Hollywood, Studio One Summer Theatre, Summer Theatre, Westinghouse Studio One, and Westinghouse Summer Theatre), CBS, 1954.

Mac, "Castle in Spain," Studio One (also known as Studio One in Hollywood, Studio One Summer Theatre, Summer Theatre, Westinghouse Studio One, and Westinghouse Summer Theatre), CBS, 1954.

Tallman, "The Man Who Owned the Town," Studio One (also known as Studio One in Hollywood, Studio One Summer Theatre, Summer Theatre, Westinghouse Studio One, and Westinghouse Summer Theatre), CBS, 1954.

"The Case of the Yankee II," The Man behind the Badge, CBS, 1954.

"End of a Mission," Robert Montgomery Presents the Lucky Strike Hour (also known as Lucky Strike Theater, Montgomery's Summer Stock, Robert Montgomery Presents, and The Robert Montgomery Summer Theater), NBC, 1954.

"The Good Morrow," Love Story, The DuMont Network, 1954.

"Never Come Home," Danger, CBS, 1954.

"The Ohio State Prison Story," The Man behind the Badge, CBS, 1954.

"The Scarlet Letter," Kraft Television Theatre (also known as Kraft Mystery Theatre and Kraft Theatre), NBC, 1954.

Dr. Edwards, "Cabin B-13," Climax! (also known as Climax Mystery Theatre), CBS, 1958.

Lloyd Ashley, "The $2,000,000 Defense" (also known as "The Two Million Dollar Defense"), Alfred Hitchcock Presents, CBS, 1958.

Ralph Mohr, "The Right Hand Man," Playhouse 90, CBS, 1958.

Eddie Kirkley, "The Velvet Alley," Playhouse 90, CBS, 1959.

Eli Becket, "Incident below the Brazos," Rawhide, CBS, 1959.

Judge Wayne Douglas, "Nora," General Electric Theater (also known as G. E. Theater), CBS, 1959.

Ray Stuart, "Any Friend of Julie's," Goodyear Theatre (also known as Award Theatre and Golden Years of Television), NBC, 1959.

Alan Patterson, "The Twisted Image," Thriller (also known as Boris Karloff's "Thriller"), NBC, 1960.

Edward Morgan, "Journal of Hope," General Electric Theater (also known as G. E. Theater), CBS, 1960.

Jeremy Dow and Jeff Durant, "The Jeremy Dow Story," Wagon Train (also known as Major Adams, Trail Master), NBC, 1960.

Mark Christopher, "A Fury Slinging Flame," Route 66, CBS, 1960.

Norman Garry, "Down the Long Night," Naked City, ABC, 1960.

Tom Sebring, "Three Thousand Suspects," The Untouchables, ABC, 1960.

"Total Recall," Moment of Fear, NBC, 1960.

Howard Cavanaugh, "Willy's Millionaire," The Islanders, ABC, 1961.

Rudy Cox, "Ambition," Alfred Hitchcock Presents, NBC, 1961.

Doc Duncan, "Poor Little Kangaroo Rat," Route 66, CBS, 1962.

Dr. David Cord, "One Step Down," Kraft Suspense Theatre, NBC, 1963.

Dr. Walter Kulik, "He Thought He Saw an Albatross," Ben Casey, ABC, 1963.

Martin Rowland, "Glass Tightrope," The Fugitive, ABC, 1963.

Professor Paul Stafford, "Exercise in a Shark Tank," Channing (also known as The Young and the Bold), ABC, 1963.

Brian Conlin, "The Brian Conlin Story," Wagon Train (also known as Major Adams, Trail Master), ABC, 1964.

Grainger, "The Magic Shop," The Alfred Hitchcock Hour, CBS, 1964.

Harold Cheyney, "Tiger Left, Tiger Right," The Fugitive, ABC, 1964.

John Hagen, "Ryker," The Virginian (also known as The Men from Shiloh), NBC, 1964.

Sergeant Burt Andrews, "The Warrior," The Nurses (also known as The Doctors and Nurses), CBS, 1964.

Sergeant Jerry Hegan, "Survival," The Defenders, CBS, 1964.

William Russell, "Mountain of the Dead," Daniel Boone, NBC, 1964.

Himself, Your First Impression, NBC, 1964.

Bob Garrison, "Death on Wheels," The Defenders, CBS, 1965.

Captain Wayne Adams, "The Creature," Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, ABC, 1965.

Craig Fletcher, "Pound of Flesh," The F.B.I., ABC, 1965.

Dr. Jeff English, "A War of Nerves," Ben Casey, ABC, 1965.

Harry Lightfoot, "The Laramie Road," The Virginian (also known as The Men from Shiloh), NBC, 1965.

Major general Ball, "The Night of the Double-Edged Knife," The Wild Wild West (also known as The Wild West), CBS, 1965.

McComb, "The Kingdom of McComb," The Loner, CBS, 1965.

Paul Maytric, "The Green Felt Jungle," Kraft Suspense Theatre, NBC, 1965.

Walter Burton, "Do You Trust Your Doctor?," Dr. Kildare, NBC, 1965.

Walter Burton, "She Loves Me, She Loves Me Not: Parts 1 & 2," Dr. Kildare, NBC, 1965.

"Sink U-116," Convoy, NBC, 1965.

Cleve Mason, "No Drums, No Trumpets," The Virginian (also known as The Men from Shiloh), NBC, 1966.

Gregg Collier, "Guilty or Not Guilty," Bob Hope Presents the Chrysler Theater (also known as The Chrysler Theater and Universal Star Time), NBC, 1966.

John Joslin, "When Hell Froze," Bob Hope Presents the Chrysler Theater (also known as The Chrysler Theater and Universal Star Time), NBC, 1966.

Mark Foster, "The Last Safari," Run for Your Life, NBC, 1966.

"Steve, Boy Bohemian," The Farmer's Daughter, ABC, 1966.

Fryer, "Code Name: Heraclitus," Bob Hope Presents the Chrysler Theater (also known as The Chrysler Theater and Universal Star Time), NBC, 1967.

Ralph Fanning, "The Deep End," Judd, for the Defense, ABC, 1967.

Rowan Houston, "The Beast That Walks Like a Man," Cimarron Strip, CBS, 1967.

Sheriff Paul Rowan, "The Unseen Wound," Bonanza (also known as Ponderosa), NBC, 1967.

S.I.A. security person, "A Thief Is a Thief," It Takes a Thief (also known as Once a Crook), ABC, 1967.

Winthrop, "The Fortress," The Virginian (also known as The Men from Shiloh), NBC, 1967.

General Maximillian Harmon, "The Seven Wonders of the World Affair: Parts 1 & 2," The Man from U.N.C.L.E. (also known as Mr. Solo and Solo), NBC, 1968.

"Magnificent Seven," It Takes a Thief (also known as Once a Crook), ABC, 1968.

Ben Stratton, "The Long Ride Home," The Virginian (also known as The Men from Shiloh), NBC, 1969.

Jess Trevor, "Time of the Jackals," Gunsmoke (also known as Gun Law and Marshal Dillon), CBS, 1969.

Sergeant major Earl Conway, "Town of No Exit," The Big Valley, ABC, 1969.

Himself, The Linkletter Show (also known as Art Linkletter's "House Party"), CBS, c. 1969.

David Bell, "The Other Kind of Spy," The Name of the Game, NBC, 1970.

Police officer, "Christmas Show," The Red Skelton Show (also known as The Red Skelton Hour), NBC, 1970.

Himself, The Movie Game, syndicated, c. 1970.

Colonel Dennis Malloy, "A Question of Fear," Night Gallery (also known as Rod Serling's "Night Gallery"), NBC, 1971.

Frank, "Conspiracy," Medical Center, CBS, 1971.

Peter Hamilton, "Lady in Waiting," Columbo (also known as Columbo: Lady in Waiting), NBC, 1971.

The phantom, "Phantom of What Opera?," Night Gallery (also known as Rod Serling's "Night Gallery"), NBC, 1971.

"The Big Gun," Bearcats!, CBS, 1971.

"Silent Target," Sarge, NBC, 1971.

Monty Nash, syndicated, 1971.

Rusty Bryson, "Deal with the Devil," The Mod Squad, ABC, 1972.

"Last Target," Assignment: Vienna, ABC, 1972.

Police Surgeon, syndicated, 1972.

Big Jake Wilson, "Legion of the Lost," The Streets of San Francisco, ABC, 1973.

Colonel Buzz Brighton, "The Ringbanger," M*A*S*H (also known as MASH), CBS, 1973.

Edward Brendon, "The Killing Defense," Barnaby Jones, CBS, 1973.

Joe Gilbert, "Valley of the Damned," Cannon, CBS, 1973.

John T. O'Connor, "Before I Die," The Streets of San Francisco, ABC, 1973.

Mr. Cummings, "And Other Things I May Not See" (also known as "Amanda Fallon"), The Bold Ones: The New Doctors (also known as The Bold Ones and The New Doctors), NBC, 1973, intended as a television pilot.

"Fools Gold," The F.B.I., ABC, 1973.

"The Obituary," The Evil Touch, syndicated, 1973.

Colonel Faraday, "We Hang Our Own," Hawaii Five-O (also known as McGarrett), CBS, 1974.

Eric Strauss, "The Man Who Couldn't Forget," Cannon, CBS, 1974.

Michael Hagar, "Loser Takes All," Kojak, CBS, 1974.

Officer Joe Landers, "One Last Shot," The Streets of San Francisco, ABC, 1974.

Peter Justin, "The Over-the-Hill Blues," Ironside (also known as The Raymond Burr Show), NBC, 1974.

Vince Hammond, "Jacknife," The Manhunter, CBS, 1974.

"The Voyage," The Evil Touch, syndicated, 1974.

Geronimo and A. J. Henderson, "Identity Crisis," Columbo (also known as Columbo: Identity Crisis), NBC, 1975.

Jack Stanton, "Requiem for a Son," Lucas Tanner, NBC, 1975.

Johnson, "The Slave Ship," Swiss Family Robinson (also known as Island of Adventure), ABC, 1975.

Larry Neal, "S.W.A.T." (pilot episode for the series of the same name), The Rookies, ABC, 1975.

Police lieutenant, "The Man Who Died Twice," Cannon, CBS, 1975.

Vincent Corbino, "Barbary House," Kung Fu, ABC, 1975.

Vincent Corbino, "The Brothers Cain," Kung Fu, ABC, 1975.

Vincent Corbino, "Flight to Orion," Kung Fu, ABC, 1975.

Vincent Corbino, "Full Circle," Kung Fu, ABC, 1975.

Himself, Celebrity Sweepstakes, NBC and syndicated, 1975.

"The Running Man," S.W.A.T., ABC, 1976.

Russ, "Dear Beverly/The Strike/Special Delivery," The Love Boat, ABC, 1977.

Sheriff Ramsey, "The Search," Lucan, ABC, 1977.

Himself, The Cross-Wits, syndicated, 1977.

Himself, Match Game (also known as Match Game 77), CBS and syndicated, 1977.

Dan Michaels, "The Parents Know Best/A Selfless Love/Nubile Nurse," The Love Boat, ABC, 1978.

Dr. Whitfield, "Superstar/Salem," Fantasy Island, ABC, 1978.

"The Class Underachiever," What Really Happened to the Class of 65?, NBC, 1978.

Hank Hardaway, "Ages of Man/Families/Bo 'n' Sam," The Love Boat, ABC, 1979.

Tyler Dickenson, "Doubtful Target," Vega$ (also known as Vegas), ABC, 1979.

Victor Conti, "Seance/Treasure," Fantasy Island, ABC, 1979.

Emile Bouvier, "PlayGirl/Smith's Valhalla," Fantasy Island, ABC, 1980.

Mayor Chester Montgomery, "Romiet and Julio," The Littlest Hobo, CTV and syndicated, 1980.

Sinclair, "The Suitor," The Chisholms, CBS, 1980.

Aloha Paradise, ABC, 1981.

Captain Daniels, "My Johnny Lies over the Ocean," Murder, She Wrote, CBS, 1985.

(As Leslie Nelson) Colonel Matthew Vail, "Aftershocks," Finder of Lost Loves, ABC, 1985.

Fantoccini, "Marionettes, Inc.," The Ray Bradbury Theater (also known as The Bradbury Trilogy, Mystery Theatre, The Ray Bradbury Theatre, Le monde fantastique de Ray Bradbury, and Ray Bradbury presente), HBO, 1985.

Jonathan Talbot, "Crossroads," Hotel (also known as Arthur Hailey's "Hotel"), ABC, 1985.

Mr. Gamble, "A Letter to the President," 227, NBC, 1985.

David Everett, "Dead Man's Gold," Murder, She Wrote, CBS, 1986.

Max Muldoon, "Just Mona and Me," Who's the Boss, ABC, 1987.

Richard R. Benson, "The Gift of Life," Highway to Heaven, NBC, 1987.

Jack Harper (Brian's father), "Harper and Son," Day by Day, NBC, 1988.

Max Muldoon, "Marry Me, Mona," Who's the Boss, ABC, 1988.

Himself, The Comedy Company, Ten Network (Australia), 1988.

Host, Saturday Night Live (also known as NBC's "Saturday Night," Saturday Night, Saturday Night Live '80, SNL, and SNL 25), NBC, 1989.

Himself, Wogan (also known as The Wogan Years), BBC, multiple episodes in 1989 and 1991.

Lucas Hollingsworth, "One Flew out of the Cuckoo's Nest: Parts 1 & 2," The Golden Girls, NBC, 1992.

Terry Wogan's "Friday Night" (also known as Friday Night), BBC, 1992.

God, "God, Girls, and Herman," Herman's Head, Fox, 1993.

Mr. Verdow, "What I Did for Art," Someone Like Me (also known as Gaby), NBC, 1994.

Sergeant Buck Frobisher, "Manhunt," Due South (also known as Due South: The Series and Direction: Sud), CTV (Canada) and CBS, 1994.

Stonewall (some sources cite Stonewell) Abbott, "It's a Mad, Mad, Mad Wood," Evening Shade, CBS, 1994.

Himself, The Danny Baker Show, BBC, 1994.

Himself, Showbiz Today, Cable News Network, 1995.

Sergeant Buck Frobisher, "All the Queen's Horses," Due South (also known as Due South: The Series and Direction: Sud), CTV and CBS, 1996.

Himself, Mundo VIP, SIC Televisao (Portugal), 1996.

Gardener, host, and narrator, "Savage Garden," National Geographic Explorer, TBS, 1997.

Himself, The Rosie O'Donnell Show, syndicated, 1997, 1999.

Sergeant Buck Frobisher, "Call of the Wild: Parts 1 & 2," Due South (also known as Un tandem de choc), CTV, TNT, and syndicated, 1999.

Himself, "Leslie Nielsen: The Last Laugh," Life and Times, CBC, 2000.

Himself, "Leslie Nielsen: Naked Laughter," Biography (also known as A & E Biography: Leslie Nielsen), Arts and Entertainment, 2000.

Himself, So Graham Norton, Channel 4 (England), 2000.

Voice of Santa Claus, "Secret Santa," Chilly Beach (animated), CBC, 2003.

Himself, The Late Late Show with Craig Kilborn (also known as The Late Late Show), CBS, 2004.

(Archive footage) Dr. Rumack, Silenci?, Televisio de Catalunya (TV3, Spain), 2005.

Himself, Tubridy Tonight, Radio Telefis Eireann (RTE, Ireland), 2005.

Appeared in other programs, including Justice, NBC; and Pulitzer Prize Playhouse, ABC. Some sources cite an appearance in "Battleship Bismarck," Studio One (also known as Studio One in Hollywood, Studio One Summer Theatre, Summer Theatre, Westinghouse Studio One, and Westinghouse Summer Theatre), CBS, 1949.

Television Appearances; Pilots:

Brent, "Cocoon," Hawaii Five-O (also known as Hawaii Five-O: Cocoon and McGarrett), CBS, 1968.

Jason Harkness, Trial Run, NBC, 1969.

Lieutenant Sam Danforth, Deadlock, NBC, 1969 (pilot for The Bold Ones: The Protectors).

Frank Antrim, They Call It Murder, NBC, 1971.

Lieutenant Brubaker, Incident in San Francisco, ABC, 1971.

Derek Childs, "The Parkingtons: Dear Penelope," The Letters, ABC, 1973.

Mr. Cummings, And Other Things I May Not See (also known as Amanda Fallon), broadcast as an episode of The Bold Ones: The New Doctors (also known as The Bold Ones and The New Doctors), NBC, 1973.

Larry Neal, S.W.A.T., broadcast as an episode of The Rookies, ABC, 1975.

Alexander Hadrachi, Happiness Is a Warm Clue (also known as The Return of Charlie Chan), NBC, 1979.

Counselor Hollis Barnes, Institute for Revenge, NBC, 1979.

Host, Twilight Theater (also known as Steve Martin's "Twilight Theater"), NBC, 1982.

Host, Prime Times, NBC, 1983.

Harry Ingersoll, Blade in Hong Kong, CBS, 1985.

Some sources cite an association with the pilot 100 Things to Do before I Die, NBC.

Stage Appearances:

Petty officer Herbert, Seagulls over Sorrento, John Golden Theatre, New York City, 1952.

Major Tours:

Clarence Darrow: A One Man Play (solo show; also known as Darrow), U.S. cities, 1979, Canadian cities, 1996, U.S. cities, c. 1999.

RECORDINGS

Videos:

Himself, Leslie Nielsen's "Bad Golf Made Easier," ABC Video Enterprises/Disney, 1993.

(In archive footage of screen test) Messala, Ben-Hur: The Making of an Epic, Warner Home Video, 1993.

Bad Golf My Way (also known as Leslie Nielsen's "Bad Golf My Way"), PolyGram Home Video, 1994.

Himself, Leslie Nielsen's "Stupid Little Golf Video," WinStar Home Entertainment, c. 1998.

Himself, The Best of "So Graham Norton," United Film and Television Productions, 2000.

(In archive footage) Himself, Playboy: The Complete Anna Nicole Smith, Playboy Entertainment Group, 2000.

Himself, Making "Scary Movie 3" (short), Dimension Home Video, 2004.

Video Work:

Executive producer, Leslie Nielsen's "Stupid Little Golf Video," WinStar Home Entertainment, c. 1998.

Music Videos:

The Muppets, "She Drives Me Crazy," 1994.

WRITINGS

Screenplays:

(With Alan Shearman) 2001: A Space Travesty (also known as 2001.1: A Space Travesty, 2002—Durchgeknallt im All, and 2001: Une parodie de l'espace), New City Releasing, 2000.

Humor:

(With David Fisher) Leslie Nielsen: The Naked Truth (fictional autobiography), Pocket Books, 1993.

(With Henry Beard) Leslie Nielsen's "Stupid Little Golf Book," Doubleday, 1995.

Bad Golf My Way (also known as Leslie Nielsen's "Bad Golf My Way"), Doubleday, 1996.

OTHER SOURCES

Books:

International Dictionary of Films and Filmmakers, Volume 3: Actors and Actresses, fourth edition, St. James Press, 2000.

Periodicals:

Maclean's, September 23, 1996, p. 69.

Modern Maturity, July/August, 1998, p. 18.

New York Times, August 25, 1993.

Orange County Register, March 17, 1994.

People Weekly, November 20, 1994; September 7, 1998, p. 144.

Radio Times, April 2, 1994.

Saturday Night, May, 1993, pp. 32-34.

Starlog, July, 1990.

Time, December 8, 1997, p. 111.

Washington Post, June 28, 1991, p. D1.

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"Nielsen, Leslie 1926–." Contemporary Theatre, Film and Television. 2007. Encyclopedia.com. 31 May. 2016 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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"Nielsen, Leslie 1926–." Contemporary Theatre, Film and Television. 2007. Retrieved May 31, 2016 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1G2-2588400110.html

Nielsen, Leslie

NIELSEN, Leslie



Nationality: Canadian. Born: Regina, Saskatchewan, 11 February 1926; nephew of Jean Hersholt (an actor). Education: Attended Victoria High School, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada; attended Lorne Greene's Academy of Radio Arts, Toronto, Ontario, Canada; studied at the Neighborhood Playhouse, New York City. Family: Married 1) Monica Bayar (some sources say Boyer), 1950 (divorced 1955, some sources say 1956); 2) Alisande Ullman, 1958 (divorced 1973); 3) Brooks Oliver, 1981 (divorced 1983); (some sources say he was once married to woman named Maura); 4) Barbaree Earl. Career: Worked as a radio announcer in Canada; played General Francis Marion, The Swamp Fox TV series, 1959–60; played Police Lieutenant Price Adams. The New Breed TV Series, 1961–62; played Dr. Vincent Markham/Kenneth Markham, Peyton Place TV Series, 1964; played Deputy Police Chief Sam Danforth, The Bold Ones: The Lawyers TV series, 1969–70; played John Bracken, Bracken's World TV series, 1970; host, The Explorers TV series, 1972; played Vincent Corbino, Kung Fu TV series, 1975; played Det. Frank Drebin, Police Squad! TV series, 1982; played Buddy Fox, Shaping Up TV series, 1984. Awards: Special Award, male comedy star of the year, ShoWest Convention, National Association of Theatre Owners, 1989. Agent: Bresler, Kelly, and Associates, 15760 Ventura Boulevard, Suite 1730, Encino, CA 91436, U.S.A.

Films as Actor:

1955

The Battle of Gettysburg (as Narrator)

1956

The Opposite Sex (as Steve Hilliard); Ransom! (as Charlie Telfer); The Vagabond King (as Thilbault); Forbidden Planet (as Commander John J. Adams)

1957

Hot Summer Night (as William Joel Partain); Tammy and the Bachelor (as Peter Brent)

1958

The Sheepman (as Colonel Stephen Bedford/Johnny Bledsoe) (Stranger with a Gun)

1964

Night Train to Paris (as Alan Holiday); See How They Run (—for TV) (as Elliott Green)

1965

Dark Intruder (as Brett Kingsford)

1966

The Plainsman (as Colonel George Armstrong Custer); Beau Geste (as Lieutenant De Ruse)

1967

Code Name: Heraclitus (—for TV); Companions in Nightmare (—for TV) (as Dr. Neesden); The Reluctant Astronaut (as Major Fred Gifford); Gunfight in Abilene (as Grant Evers)

1968

Dayton's Devils (as Frank Dayton); How to Steal the World (as General Maximilian Harmon); Hawaii Five-O (—for TV) (as Brent); Rosie! (as Cabot); Shadow Over Elveron (—for TV) (as Sheriff Verne Drover); Counterpoint (as Victor Rice)

1969

Four Rode Out; How to Commit Marriage (as Phil Fletcher); Change of Mind (as Sheriff Webb); Deadlock (—for TV) (as Lieutenent Sam Danforth); Trial Run (—for TV) (as Jason Harkness)

1970

Night Slaves (—for TV) (as Sheriff Henshaw); Incident in San Francisco (—for TV) (as Lieutenant Brubaker); Hauser's Memory (—for TV) (as Joseph Slaughter); The Aquarians (—for TV) (as Official); Deep Lab (—for TV)

1971

The Resurrection of Zachary Wheeler (as Harry Walsh); They Call It Murder (—for TV) (as Frank Antrim)

1972

Columbo: Lady in Waiting (—for TV) (as Peter Hamilton); The Poseidon Adventure (as Captain Harrison)

1973

. . . And Millions Die! (And Millions Will Die) (as Gallagher); The Letters (—for TV) (as Derek Childs); Snatched (—for TV) (as Bill Sutter)

1974

Can Ellen Be Saved? (—for TV) (as Arnold Lindsey)

1975

Columbo: Identity Crisis (—for TV) (as Geronimo/A.J. Henderson); Threshold: The Blue Angels Experience (as Narrator); 1976 Brinks: The Great Robbery (—for TV) (as Agent Norman Houston)

1977

Day of the Animals (Something Is Out There) (as Paul Jenson); Viva Knievel! (Seconds to Live) (as Stanley Millard); Grand Jury (as John Williams); Sixth and Main; The Amsterdam Kill (as Riley Knight)

1978

Little Mo (—for TV) (as Nelson Fisher)

1979

Institute for Revenge (—for TV) (as Counselor Hollis Barnes); The Return of Charlie Chan (Happiness Is a Warm Clue) (—for TV) (as Alex Hadrachi); City on Fire (as Mayor William Dudley); Riel (as Major Crozier); Backstairs at the White House (mini—for TV) (as Ike Hoover/Narrator)

1980

Project: Kill (as Jonathan Trevor); The Night the Bridge Fell Down (—for TV); Airplane! (Flying High) (as Doctor Rumack); Prom Night (as Mr. Hammond); OHMS (—for TV) (as Governor)

1981

The Creature Wasn't Nice (Naked Space, Spaceship) (as Captain Jamieson)

1982

Foxfire Light (as Reece Morgan); Wrong Is Right (The Man with the Deadly Lens) (as Mallory); Creepshow (Something to Tide You Over) (as Richard Vickers)

1983

Cave-In! (—for TV) (as Joseph "Joe" Johnson)

1985

Reckless Disregard (—for TV) (as Bob Franklin); Striker's Mountain (—for TV) (as Jim McKay); Blade in Hong Kong (—for TV) (as Harry Ingersoll)

1986

Race for the Bomb (mini—for TV) (as Lewis Strauss); The Patriot (as Admiral Frazer); Soul Man (as Mr. Dunbar)

1987

Home Is Where the Hart Is; Nightstick (Calhoun) (—for TV) (as Thad Evans); Nuts (as Allen Green); Fatal Confession: A Father Dowling Mystery (—for TV) (as Senator erdain)

1988

Dangerous Curves (as Greg Krevske); The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad! (The Naked Gun) (as Lt. Frank Drebin)

1989

Circus of the Stars #14 (—for TV) (as Ringmaster)

1990

Repossessed (as Father Mayii)

1991

Circus of the Stars #16 (—for TV) (as Ringmaster); Chance of a Lifetime (—for TV) (as Lloyd Dixon); All I Want for Christmas (as Santa); The Naked Gun 2 1/2: The Smell of Fear (as Lt. Frank Drebin)

1993

Digger (as Arthur); Leslie Nielsen's Bad Golf Made Easier (as Himself); The Unknown Marx Brothers (—for TV) (as Narrator); Surf Ninjas (Surf Warriors) (as Colonel Chi)

1994

Bad Golf My Way (Leslie Nielsen's Bad Golf My Way) (as Himself); Circus of the Stars Goes to Disneyland (—for TV) (as Ringmaster); S.P.Q.R. 2.000 e 1/2 anni fa (S.P.Q.R.: 2,000 and a Half Years Ago) (as Lucio Cinico); Naked Gun 33 1/3: The Final Insult (as Lt. Frank Drebin)

1995

Dracula: Dead and Loving It (as Count Dracula); Rent-a-Kid (as Harry Haber); Mr. Willowby's Christmas Tree (—for TV) (as Willowby's butler)

1996

Harvey (—for TV) (as Dr. Chumley); Spy Hard (as Dick Steele—Agent WD-40) (+ exec pr)

1997

Family Plan (as Harry Haber); Leslie Nielsen's Stupid Little Golf Video (as Himself); Mr. Magoo (as Mr. Quincy Magoo)

1998

Wrongfully Accused (as Ryan Harrison); Safety Patrol (—for TV) (as Mr. Penn)

1999

Camouflage (as Jack Potter); Pirates: 3D Show (as Captain Lucky)

2000

2001: A Space Travesty (Goldstein) (as Marshall Dix) (+ sc)


Publications


By NIELSEN: articles—

Duncan, A., "I Don't Have Anything Important to Do—Except Make People Laugh," in Radio Times (London), vol. 281, no. 3664, 2 April 1994.


On NIELSEN: articles—

Sandomir, Richard, "For His Hamlet, a Whoopie Cushion, Not a Skull," in New York Times, 25 August 1993.

Heinz, Rainer, "Ein Kasper auf Verbrecherjagd," in Film-Dienst (Cologne), vol. 49, no. 18, 27 August 1996.


* * *

Leslie Nielsen became a leading comedian with his role in 1980's Airplane! "Surely you can't be serious!" a man demanded of Nielsen's character. "I am serious. And don't call me Shirley!" a straight-faced Nielsen responded. As Airplane! audiences groaned, one of the unlikeliest career transformations in Hollywood history began, almost equal to that autumn's election of a cowboy actor to the presidency. Leslie Nielsen, heretofore known as a consummate dramatic leading man and sidekick of three decades' standing, reinvented himself into a star of over-the-top movie parodies during the 1980s and 1990s.

The Canadian-born Nielsen (whose uncle was screen legend Jean Hersholt) acted in literally hundreds of movies and television programs from the 1950s through the 1970s, invariably in dramatic roles—Commander John J. Adams in the sci-fi classic Forbidden Planet (1956) and as a crewman in The Poseidon Adventure (1972)—or as the set-up man in light comedies; he was Debbie Reynolds' square-jawed beau in Tammy and the Bachelor (1957), and Bob Hope's romantic rival in How to Commit Marriage (1969). On television, he was best known for dual roles of a doctor and his twin brother on the long-running prime time soap opera Peyton Place. His deep, resonant voice and silvery hair allowed him to play authoritative figures unusually well. Often appearing in low-budget movies, Nielsen was usually the best thing about them; his role as a sleazy drug kingpin lent Viva Knievel! (1977) its sole touch of competence.

Moviegoers were surprised, therefore, to see Nielsen in one of the most uproarious films ever, Airplane! Abrahams and the Zuckers consciously wanted this parody of 1970s disaster films to star such actual 1960s and 1970s TV dramatic stars as Nielsen, Robert Stack, Lloyd Bridges and Peter Graves, deadpanning their way through atrocious puns, double entendres and scatological jokes. "It's like they said to me, 'Leslie, come out and play,"' Nielsen told the New York Times. "Thank God for them." The MAD Magazine/National Lampoon style of humor appealed to filmgoers of all ages; against the much-hyped Caddyshack and The Blues Brothers, Airplane! was the sleeper comedy hit of 1980.

Nielsen worked with the Airplane! trio again on Police Squad!, a brilliant 1982 situation comedy spoofing Dragnet '67 and The FBI. As Lt. Frank Drebin, Nielsen perfectly satirized the genre he'd worked in for so many years; at the end of each episode he'd freeze in mid-laugh while behind (and in front of) him his coworkers (and criminals) went about their work. The series lasted just six epsiodes, but enjoyed a cult following. Nielsen returned to serious work in Creepshow (1982) and Soul Man (1986), but audiences were beginning to expect irreverence from him.

In 1988 Nielsen reprised his role of Frank Drebin in the first of three Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad theatrical movies, produced by Abrahams and the Zuckers. Alongside such B-movie stars as Priscilla Presley, George Kennedy and O. J. Simpson, Nielsen skewered the police movie genre and most others as well, proving equally adept in both physical comedy (practicing safe sex with a full body condom) and verbal jousting (Presley: "Can I interest you in a nightcap?" Nielsen: "No, thank you, I don't wear them"). The Naked Gun films were successful in the theaters, and their rapid-fire style held up well on video and TV, one reason why Naked Gun 2 1/2 (1991) actually outgrossed its predecessor.

The comedic success liberated Nielsen, and he played similarly manic roles in other film spoofs during the 1990s, including Dracula: Dead and Loving It (1995), Spy Hard (1996) and Wrongfully Accused (1998). If these films weren't as successful as Airplane!, it might have been because by the 1990s, Nielsen was overly familiar as a wacky comedic lead. When he appeared in Airplane!, audiences knew him from dramatic work, and were thus surprised to see him doing comedy. By the late 1990s, audiences already expected him to do comedy. The element of surprise was gone, and so were some of the laughs.

At the turn of the century, Nielsen is also in his mid-70s, and the public might not wish to see a man at his age doing excessive physical shtick. He might now be best suited to doing more cerebral, verbal-based work. Indeed, Nielsen has, in fact, been performing throughout America a one-man show about one of the more cerebral, less ironic figures of the 20th century—Clarence Darrow. Surely, Leslie Nielsen can be serious.


—Andrew Milner

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"Nielsen, Leslie." International Dictionary of Films and Filmmakers. 2001. Encyclopedia.com. 31 May. 2016 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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