Nielsen, Leslie 1926-

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NIELSEN, Leslie 1926-

PERSONAL: Born February 11, 1926, in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada; son of Ingvard (an officer of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police) and Maybelle Nielsen; nephew of Jean Hersholt (an actor); married Monica Boyar, 1950 (marriage ended, 1955); married Barbaree Eari (marriage ended); married Alisande Ullman, 1958 (marriage ended, 1973); married Brooks Oliver, 1981 (divorced, 1983); children: (third marriage) two. Education: Attended Victoria High School, Edmonton, Alberta; attended Academy of Radio Arts, Toronto, Ontario; studied at Neighborhood Playhouse, New York, NY.

ADDRESSES: Agent—Bresler, Kelly, and Associates, 11500 West Olympic Blvd., Suite 510, Los Angeles, CA 90064-1529.

CAREER: Actor, producer, and writer. Worked as a radio announcer in Canada; appeared in television commercials, including those for British Columbia Lottery Corp., 1997, and Better Hearing Institute, 1998.

Film appearances include The Battle of Gettysburg, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, 1955; Forbidden Planet, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, 1956; The Opposite Sex, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, 1956; Ransom!, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, 1956; The Vagabond King, Paramount, 1956; Hot Summer Night, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, 1957; Tammy and the Bachelor, Universal, 1957; The Sheepman, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, 1958; Night Train to Paris, Twentieth Century-Fox, 1964; Dark Intruder, Universal, 1965; Harlow, Paramount, 1965; Beau Geste, Universal, 1966; The Plainsman, Universal, 1966; Counterpoint, Universal, 1967; Gunfight in Abilene, Universal, 1967; The Reluctant Astronaut, Universal, 1967; Rosie!, Universal, 1967; Dayton's Devils, Cue, 1968; How to Steal the World, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, 1968; Change of Mind, Cinerama, 1969; ADA, 1969; How to Commit Marriage, Cinerama, 1969; The Resurrection of Zachary Wheeler, Vidtronics, 1971; The Poseidon Adventure, Twentieth Century-Fox, 1972; And Millions Will Die, Columbia, 1973; Threshold: The Blue Angels Experience, Ambassador, 1975; Project: Kill, Stirling Gold, 1976; Day of the Animals, Film Ventures, 1977; Viva Knievel!, Warner Bros., 1977; Sixth and Main, National Cinema, 1977; Grand Jury, 1977; The Amsterdam Kill, Columbia, 1978; City on Fire, Avco-Embassy, 1979; Airplane!, Paramount, 1980; Prom Night, Avco-Embassy, 1980; The Creature Wasn't Nice, Creature Features, 1981; "Something to Tide You Over," Creepshow, Warner Bros., 1982; Wrong Is Right, Columbia, 1982; Foxfire Light, 1982; Airplane II: The Sequel, 1982; The Home Front, 1984; The Patriot, Crown International, 1986; Soul Man, New World, 1986; Home Is Where the Hart Is, Atlantic, 1987; Nuts, Warner Bros., 1987; The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad!, Paramount, 1988; Dangerous Curves, Lightning Pictures, 1988; Repossessed, New Line Cinema, 1990; All I Want for Christmas, Paramount, 1991; The Naked Gun 2-1/2: The Smell of Fear, Paramount, 1991; Surf Ninjas, New Line Cinema, 1993; Naked Gun 33 1/3: The Final Insult, Paramount, 1994; Digger, Paramount Home Video, 1994; S.P.Q.R. 2000 e 1/2 anni fa, Laurenfilm, 1994; Dracula: Dead and Loving It, Sony Pictures Entertainment, 1995; Rent-a-Kid, Republic Pictures, 1995; Spy Hard, Buena Vista, 1996; Mister Magoo, Buena Vista, 1997; Family Plan, Initial Entertainment Group, 1997; Wrongfully Accused, Warner Bros., 1998; Camouflage, Hope Street Entertainment, 1999; Pirates: 3D Show, 1999; 2001: A Space Travesty, 2000; Kevin of the North, CLT-UFA International, 2000; and Men with Brooms, 2002. Film work includes (producer) Repossessed, New Line Cinema, 1990; and (executive producer) Spy Hard, Buena Vista, 1996; (executive producer) 2001: A Space Travesty, 2000.

Appearances on television pilots include Hawaii Five-0, CBS, 1968; Deadlock, NBC, 1969; Trial Run, NBC, 1969; Incident in San Francisco, ABC, 1971; They Call It Murder, NBC, 1971; Amanda Fallon, NBC, 1973; The Letters, ABC, 1973; S.W.A.T., Parts 1 and 2, 1975; Institute for Revenge, NBC, 1979; Happiness Is a Warm Clue, NBC, 1979; Twilight Theater II, NBC, 1982; Prime Times, NBC, 1983; and Blade in Hong Kong, CBS, 1985.

Appearances on episodic television include Magnavox Theater, CBS, 1950; "Hannah," Actors' Studio, CBS, 1950; "Roman Holiday," Suspense, CBS, 1950; "The Survivors," Studio One, CBS, 1950; "The Second Class Passenger," Suspense, CBS, 1950; "Never Murder Your Grandfather," Stage 13, CBS, 1950; "Sentence of Death," The Trap, CBS, 1950; "The Luck of Guldeford," Ford Theater, NBC, 1950; "Zone Four," Studio One, CBS, 1950; "A Child Is Crying," Lights Out, NBC, 1950; "Home for Christmas," The Web, CBS, 1950; "Prescription for Death," The Clock, CBS, 1950; "The Touch of a Stranger," Philco Television Playhouse, NBC, 1950; "Spectre of Alexander Wolff," Studio One, CBS, 1950; "The Last Cruise," Studio One, CBS, 1950; "The Brush Off," Suspense, CBS, 1950; "The Philadelphia Story," Robert Montgomery Presents the Lucky Strike Hour, NBC, 1950; "The Best Years," Ford Theater, NBC, 1951; "You Killed Elizabeth," The Web, CBS, 1951; "The Devil Takes a Bride," Sure As Fate, CBS, 1951; "The Magic Wire," Starlight Theater, CBS, 1951; "The Foggy Night Visitor," Suspense, CBS, 1951; "The Lost Will of Dr. Kant" and "Mrs. Manifold," Lights Out, NBC, 1951; "Lover's Leap," Armstrong Circle Theater, NBC, 1951; "Death Sabre," Suspense, CBS, 1951; "Flame-Out," Armstrong Circle Theater, NBC, 1951; "October Story," Goodyear Playhouse, NBC, 1951; "The Sisters," Philco Television Playhouse, NBC, 1951; "After the Fact," The Web, CBS, 1952; "20,000 Leagues under the Sea," "Black Planet" and "Appointment to Mars," Tales of Tomorrow, ABC, 1952; "Crown of Shadows," Goodyear Playhouse, NBC, 1952; "The Man in 308," Armstrong Circle Theater, NBC, 1952; "My Eyes Have a Cold Nose," Workshop, syndicated, 1952; Crime Syndicated, CBS, 1952; "For Worse," Armstrong Circle Theater, NBC, 1952; "Death Trap," Lights Out, NBC, 1952; "A Kiss for Cinderella," Kraft Television Theatre, NBC, 1952; "The Diary," Short, Short Drama, NBC, 1952; "Boomerang," Danger, CBS, 1952; "Another Chance," Tales of Tomorrow, ABC, 1953; "The Rumor," Goodyear Playhouse, NBC, 1953; "Second-hand Sofa," Robert Montgomery Presents, NBC, 1953; "Candle in a Bottle," Armstrong Circle Theater, NBC, 1953; "The Missing Night," Danger, CBS, 1953; "A Story to Whisper" and "The Beard," Armstrong Circle Theater, NBC, 1953; "Twenty-four Men to a Plane," Medallion Theatre, CBS, 1953; "The Psychological Error," Danger, CBS, 1953; "The Ohio Prison Story" and "The Case of the Yankee II," The Man behind the Badge, CBS, 1954; "Dark Possession," "A Guest at the Embassy," "The Man Who Owned the Town," and "Castles in Spain," Studio One, CBS, 1954; "The Scarlet Letter," Kraft Television Theatre, NBC, 1954; "The Good Morrow," Love Story, The Du Mont Network, 1954; "End of a Mission," Robert Montgomery Presents, NBC, 1954; "The Right Hand Man," Playhouse 90, CBS, 1958; "The Two Million Dollar Defense," Alfred Hitchcock Presents, CBS, 1958; "The Velvet Alley," Playhouse 90, CBS, 1959; "Nora," General Electric Theater, CBS, 1959; "Incident below the Brazos," Rawhide, CBS, 1959; "Any Friend of Julie's," The Alcoa Hour/Alcoa Theatre, ABC, 1959; "The Swamp Fox" and "The Swamp Fox: Brother against Brother," Walt Disney Presents, ABC, 1959; "The Swamp Fox: Tory Vengeance," "The Swamp Fox: Day of Reckoning," "The Swamp Fox: Redcoat Strategy" and "The Swamp Fox: A Case of Treason," Walt Disney Presents, ABC, 1960; "Three Thousand Suspects," The Untouchables, ABC, 1960; "Total Recall," Moment of Fear, NBC, 1960; "The Twisted Image," Thriller, NBC, 1960; "Journal of Hope," General Electric Theater, CBS, 1960; "Down the Long Night," Naked City, ABC, 1960; "The Jeremy Dow Story," Wagon Train, NBC, 1960; "A Fury Slinging Flame," Route 66, CBS, 1960; "The Swamp Fox: A Woman's Courage" and "The Swamp Fox: Horses for Greene," Walt Disney Presents, ABC, 1961; "Willy's Millionaire," The Islanders, ABC, 1961; "Ambition," Alfred Hitchcock Presents, NBC, 1961; "Poor Little Kangaroo Rat," Route 66, CBS, 1962; "The Long Ride Home," The Virginian, NBC, 1962; "He Thought He Saw an Albatross," Ben Casey, ABC, 1963; "Exercise in a Shark Tank," Channing, ABC, 1963; "One Step Down," Kraft Suspense Theatre, NBC, 1963; "The Glass Tightrope," The Fugitive, ABC, 1963; "The Magic Shop," Alfred Hitchcock Presents, CBS, 1964; "Survival," The Defenders, CBS, 1964; "Tiger Left, Tiger Right," The Fugitive, ABC, 1964; "The Warrior," The Nurses, CBS, 1964; "Ryker," The Virginian, NBC, 1964; "The Brian Conlin Story," Wagon Train, ABC, 1964; "Mountain of the Dead," Daniel Boone, NBC, 1964; "Death on Wheels," The Defenders, CBS, 1965; "Do You Trust Our Doctor?" "She Loves Me, She Loves Me Not," "The Life Machine," "Toast the Golden Couple," "Wives and Losers," "Welcome Home, Dear Anna," "A Little Child Shall Lead Them," "Hour of Decision" and "Aftermath," Dr. Kildare, NBC, 1965; "The Creature," Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, ABC, 1965; "The Green Felt Jungle," Kraft Suspense Theatre, NBC, 1965; "A War of Nerves," Ben Casey, ABC, 1965; "The Kingdom of McComb," The Loner, CBS, 1965; "Sink U-116," Convoy, NBC, 1965; "The Night of the Double-edged Knife," The Wild, Wild West, CBS, 1965; "The Laramie Road," The Virginian, NBC, 1965; "Pound of Flesh," The F.B.I., ABC, 1965; "When Hell Froze" and "Guilty or Not Guilty," Bob Hope Presents the Chrysler Theater, NBC, 1966; "Steve, Boy Bohemian," The Farmer'sDaughter, ABC, 1966; "No Drums, No Trumpets," The Virginian, NBC, 1966; "The Last Safari," Run for Your Life, NBC, 1966; "Code Name Heraclitus," Bob Hope Presents the Chrysler Theater, NBC, 1967; "A Thief Is a Thief Is a Thief," It Takes a Thief, ABC, 1967; "The Unseen Wound," Bonanza, NBC, 1967; "The Deep End," Judd, for the Defense, ABC, 1967; "The Beast That Walks like a Man," Cimarron Strip, CBS, 1967; "The Fortress," The Virginian, NBC, 1967; "The Seven Wonders of the World Affair," The Man from U.N.C.L.E., NBC, 1968; "Magnificent Seven," It Takes a Thief, ABC, 1968; "Wild Heart," The World of Disney, NBC, 1968; "Time of the Jackals," Gunsmoke, CBS, 1969; "Town of No Exit," The Big Valley, ABC, 1969; "The Long Ride Home," The Virginian, NBC, 1969; "The Other Kind of Spy," The Name of the Game, NBC, 1970; "Phantom of What Opera?" Night Gallery, NBC, 1971; Monty Nash, syndicated, 1971; "A Question of Fear," Night Gallery, NBC, 1971; "Silent Target," Sarge, NBC, 1971; Bearcats, CBS, 1971; "Conspiracy," Medical Center, CBS, 1971; "Lady in Waiting," Columbo, NBC, 1971; "Deal with the Devil," The Mod Squad, ABC, 1972; "Last Target," Assignment: Vienna, ABC, 1972; "The Ringbanger," M*A*S*H, CBS, 1973; "Legion of the Lost" and "Before I Die," The Streets of San Francisco, ABC, 1973; "The Obituary," The Evil Touch, syndicated, 1973; "Fool's Gold," The F.B.I., ABC, 1973; "The Killing Defense," Barnaby Jones, CBS, 1973; "Valley of the Damned," Cannon, CBS, 1973; "The Voyage," The Evil Touch, syndicated, 1974; "One Last Shot," The Streets of San Francisco, ABC, 1974; "We Hang Our Own," Hawaii Five-0, CBS, 1974; "Jacknife," Manhunter, CBS, 1974; "The Man Who Couldn't Forget," Cannon, CBS, 1974; "The Over-the-Hill Blues," Ironside, NBC, 1974; "Loser Takes All," Kojak, CBS, 1974; "S.W.A.T.," The Rookies, ABC, 1975; "Barbary House," "Flight to Orion," "The Brothers Cain" and "Full Circle," Kung Fu, ABC, 1975; Lucas Tanner, NBC, 1975; "The Outlaw Cats of Colossal Cave," The World of Disney, NBC, 1975; "The Man Who Died Twice," Cannon, CBS, 1975; "Identity Crisis," Columbo, NBC, 1975; "The Slave Ship," Swiss Family Robinson, ABC, 1975; "The Running Man," S.W.A.T., ABC, 1976; "Dear Beverly," The Love Boat, ABC, 1977; "The Search," Lucan, ABC, 1977; "The Class Underachiever," What Really Happened to the Class of '65? NBC, 1978; "A Selfless Love," The Love Boat, ABC, 1978; "Salem," Fantasy Island, ABC, 1978; "Treasure," Fantasy Island, ABC, 1979; "Doubtful Target," Vega$, ABC, 1979; The Love Boat, ABC, 1979; Fantasy Island, ABC, 1980; The Chisholms, CBS, 1980; "Romiet and Julio," The Littlest Hobo, syndicated, 1980; Aloha Paradise, ABC, 1981; "Crossroads," Hotel, ABC, 1985; "My Johnny Lies over the Ocean," Murder, She Wrote, CBS, 1985; "Aftershocks," Finder of Lost Loves, ABC, 1985; "Marionettes, Inc.," The Ray Bradbury Theater, HBO, 1985; "A Letter to the President," 227, NBC, 1985; "Dead Man's Gold," Murder, She Wrote, CBS, 1986; "Gift of Life," Highway to Heaven, NBC, 1987; "Just Mona and Me," Who's the Boss, ABC, 1987; "Fatal Confession," Father Dowling Mysteries, NBC, 1987; "Marry Me, Mona," Who's the Boss, ABC, 1988; The Comedy Company, 1988; Saturday Night Live, NBC, 1989; "One Flew out of the Cuckoo's Nest," Parts 1 and 2, The Golden Girls, NBC, 1992; "God, Girls, and Herman," Herman's Head, Fox, 1993; Someone Like Me, NBC, 1994; "Manhunt," Due South, CBS, 1994; "All the Queen's Horses," Due South, CBS, 1996; Kate and Orbie, PBS, 1996; Golf 2000 with Peter Jacobsen, syndicated, 1998; "Call of the Wild," Parts 1 and 2, Due South, CBS, 1999; So Graham Norton, 2000; and "Leslie Nielsen: Naked Laughter," Biography, Arts and Entertainment, 2000. Also appeared in "Ages of Man," "Bo 'n' Sam," and "Families," all episodes of The Love Boat, ABC; appeared in Justice, NBC; and Pulitzer Prize Playhouse, ABC.

Appearances on TV series include The New Breed, ABC, 1961-62; Channing, ABC, 1963-64; Peyton Place, ABC, 1965; The Bold Ones: The Law Enforcers, NBC, 1969; The Bold Ones: The Lawyers, NBC, 1969-70; Bracken's World, NBC, 1969-71; The Explorers, syndicated, 1972; Police Squad! ABC, 1982; Shaping Up, ABC, 1984; and Pumper Pups, 2000. Appearances on TV miniseries include Backstairs at the White House, NBC, 1979, and Race for the Bomb, CBC, 1986.

Appearances on TV movies include See How They Run, NBC, 1964; Shadow over Elveron, NBC, 1968; Companions in Nightmare, NBC, 1968; The Aquarians, NBC, 1970; Hauser's Memory, NBC, 1970; Night Slaves, ABC, 1970; The Invaders, NBC, 1970; Snatched, ABC, 1973; Can Ellen Be Saved?, ABC, 1974; Brinks: The Great Robbery, CBS, 1976; Little Mo, NBC, 1978; Riel, CBC, 1979; OHMS, CBS, 1980; Cave-In!, NBC, 1983; The Night the Bridge Fell Down, NBC, 1983; Reckless Disregard, Showtime, 1985; Striker's Mountain, 1985; Nightstick, 1987; Chance of a Lifetime, NBC, 1991; Harvey, CBS, 1996; and "Safety Patrol," The Wonderful World of Disney, ABC, 1998. Also appeared in Death of a Salesman.

Appearances on TV specials include Murder among Friends, Showtime, 1982; Cinemax Comedy Experiment: The Canadian Conspiracy, Cinemax, 1986; Super Bloopers and New Practical Jokes, NBC, 1989; People Magazine on TV, CBS, 1989; The 14th Annual Circus of the Stars, CBS, 1989; Starathon '90 Weekend with the Stars for Cerebral Palsy, syndicated, 1990; National Lampoon's Comedy Playoffs, Showtime, 1990; Naked Gun 2-1/2: Looking down the Barrel of Comedy, HBO, 1991; All New Circus of the Stars and Side Show, CBS, 1991; ABC Presents Krofft Late Night, ABC, 1991; The Unknown Marx Brothers, The Disney Channel, 1993; Masters of Illusion: The Wizards of Special Effects, 1994; Bob Hope's Birthday Memories, NBC, 1994; Circus of the Stars Goes to Disneyland, CBS, 1994; ABC's World's Funniest Commercials, ABC, 1994; Mr. Willowby's Christmas Tree, CBS, 1995; Television's Comedy Classics, CBS, 1997; and Savage Garden, 1997. Also narrator of National Geographic Society specials.

Appearances in awards presentation ceremonies include The Third Annual American Comedy Awards, ABC, 1989; The Third Annual International Rock Awards, ABC, 1991; Cybermania '94: The Ultimate Gamer Awards, 1994; The Twenty-second Annual People's Choice Awards, 1996. Other television appearances include The Albertans, 1979; The Railway Dragon, 1988; Memories of M*A*S*H, 1991; and Santa Who?, 2000.

Stage appearances include Darrow, U.S. cities, 1979, and Clarence Darrow: A One Man Play, Canadian cities, 1996. Recordings include the videos Leslie Nielsen's Bad Golf Made Easier, 1993; Bad Golf My Way, 1994; and Leslie Nielsen's Stupid Little Golf Video, 1998. Sound recordings include The Naked Truth (see also below), 1993. Also appeared in Muppets music video "She Drives Me Crazy."

AWARDS, HONORS: Emmy Award nomination, outstanding lead actor in a comedy series, 1981, for Police Squad!; Special Award, male comedy star of the year, ShoWest Convention, National Association of Theatre Owners, 1989; shared MTV Movie Award nomination, best kiss (with Priscilla Presley), 1991, for Naked Gun 2-1/2: The Smell of Fear.


Leslie Nielsen: The Naked Truth, Pocket Books (New York, NY), 1993.

(With Henry Beard) Leslie Nielsen's Stupid Little Golf Book (humor), Doubleday (New York, NY), 1995.

Bad Golf My Way (humor), Doubleday (New York, NY), 1996.

(With Alan Shearman) 2001: A Space Travesty (screenplay), Columbia TriStar, 2000.

SIDELIGHTS: Once a "serious" actor with countless screen credits to his name, Leslie Nielsen changed his image entirely with an appearance in the 1980 spoof Airplane. As the producers guessed, and the public soon realized, there was something inherently hilarious about the idea of an ultra-respectable-looking, silver-haired senior white male—the type who might be a bank president or a senator—making an absolute fool of himself.

Since that time, Nielsen has transformed that role into a full-scale persona, reflected in his appearances as Lt. Frank Drebin in the TV series Police Squad and the highly successful Naked Gun film spinoffs, as well as in several books. In the first of these, a 1993 mock autobiography called The Naked Truth, "Nielsen's consistently high obnoxiousness level and relentless pace keep things moving," according to a reviewer in Publishers Weekly.

Nielsen followed The Naked Truth with two send-ups of the traditional golf instruction manual, Leslie Nielsen's Stupid Little Golf Book and Bad Golf My Way. (The title of the latter is a parody of golfing legend Jack Nicklaus's Golf My Way.) Wrote Alex Tresniowski in People Weekly, "Most weekend golfers own at least a dozen instruction books, collected as gifts and usually barely skimmed," but Bad Golf My Way—a spinoff of a humorous instructional video—deserved more attention. Among the gems offered by Nielsen and coauthor Henry Beard, formerly of the National Lampoon, is the idea of "picking up any ball within six feet of the hole," according to a reviewer in Publishers Weekly, "then arguing that it was yours."

In addition to his books, Nielsen cowrote the screenplay of 2001: A Space Travesty, in which he stars as a U.S. marshal sent to the planet Vegan to investigate a conspiracy to clone President Bill Clinton. "I had a tendency in my early days," Nielsen told the Orange County Register, "and I see it more and more with today's young actors and actresses, to strive toward something of significance. It's a feeling that you have something important to do. That you have a calling. That you're the Second Coming. That you need only to walk out on a stage for people to realize you are truly a genius. I think back to that attitude I used to have and I cringe. I know now that acting is acting, whether it's comedy or drama. It's all the same. Playing Frank Drebin is no different than playing Hamlet, and that's the truth."



Library Journal, April 15, 1995, Jim Paxman, review of Leslie Nielsen's Stupid Little Golf Book, p. 76.

Modern Maturity, July-August, 1998, Carmine De-Sena, "Ad Lib" (interview), p. 18.

New York Times, August 25, 1993, Richard Sandomir, "An Actor Revels in Silly Films and (Oops!) Noises," p. B3.

Orange County Register (Orange County, California), March 17, 1994, Barry Koltnow, "Leslie Nielsen Doesn't Miss Being Taken Seriously in Film."

People, July 17, 1996, Alex Tresniowski, review of Bad Golf My Way, pp. 32-33; September 7, 1998, "Dumb and Getting Dumber" (interview), p. 144.

Publishers Weekly, June 5, 1993, review of The Naked Truth (audio), p. 35; February 27, 1995, review of Leslie Nielsen's Stupid Little Golf Book, p. 93; May 6, 1996, review of Bad Golf My Way, p. 63.

Saturday Night, May, 1993, Brian Preston, "The Perfect Idiot" (interview), pp. 32-34.

Time, December 8, 1997, Joel Stein, "Q&A: Leslie Nielsen," p. 111.

Washington Post, June 28, 1991, Tom Shales, "Leslie Nielsen: The Insane Story," p. D1.*

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