Leslie Nielsen, famed for his playing accident-prone detective Frank Drebin in The Naked Gun comedies, died tonight at a hospital near his home in Ft. Lauderdale where he was being treated for pneumonia, according to his agent. He was 84.
The Canadian-born Nielsen came to Hollywood in the mid-1950s after performing in 150 live television dramas in New York. With a craggily handsome face, blond hair and 6-foot-2 height, he seemed ideal for a movie leading man. He quickly became known as a serious actor, though behind the camera he was a prankster. That was an aspect of his personality never exploited, however, until Airplane! was released in 1980 and became a huge hit. Click here for more.
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