Shirley He Can’t Have Died?
Sorry to hear that Canadian actor Leslie Nielsen has died at age 84. I had the privilege of working with him three times, creating spoof scripts to launch the ‘Naked Gun’ films. (UK poster line: ‘The comedy that goes off in your trouser pocket.’) Although he was profoundly deaf and wore discreet hearing aids, he never missed a cue and brought a wonderful dry wit to his lines. Charming and affably old school, he was encouraging and helpful as a performer, and became my favourite actor to work with. Trivia: One of Nielsen’s brothers became the deputy Prime Minister of Canada.
People forget now that he was a serious actor in films like ‘Forbidden Planet’, and often played villainous roles. As Detective Frank Drebin he appeared oblivious to what was going on around him and could deadpan any line to make it funny. So long, Frank.