Sunday, November 28, 2010

Farewell Shirley: A Memorial for Leslie Nielsen

In what is a sad day for film fans the world over, Canadian actor Leslie Nielsen has died in America, he was 84 years old.

Nielsen was a veteran actor, best known for his comedic timing in comedy hits The Naked Gun (he would do 3 films in that series) and Flying High (The Australian title of the 1980 disaster spoof Airplane! which believe it or not actually out grossed The Empire Strikes Back at the Australian Box Office).

Nielsen's comic timing in both of those movies was genius, as he played all of the jokes completely straight laced and it made for some extremely funny and memorable laughs, my favourite being the singing of the American National Anthem on the baseball field in the first Naked Gun movie, as well as his "I am serious, and don't call me Shirley" line in Airplane!

But there was one small role he did that surprised me and that was as the sea captain in the original Poseidon Adventure, there was no trace of his comic timing in that small role and it impressed me that he was the real deal as an actor; convincing, believable and funny, what more can you ask for.

And so we must say, farewell Shirley, and thanks for the memories.

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