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Leslie Nielsen Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (4) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (4) | Trade Mark (8) | Trivia (26) | Personal Quotes (9)

Overview (4)

Date of Birth 11 February 1926Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada
Date of Death 28 November 2010Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA  (complications from pneumonia)
Birth NameLeslie William Nielsen
Height 6' 1½" (1.87 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Leslie William Nielsen was born in Regina, Saskatchewan, and raised in Tulita (formerly Fort Norman), Northwest Territories. His mother, Mabel Elizabeth (Davies), was Welsh. His father, Ingvard Eversen Nielsen, was a Danish-born Mountie and a strict disciplinarian. Leslie studied at the Academy of Radio Arts in Toronto before moving on to New York's Neighborhood Playhouse. His acting career started at a much earlier age when he was forced to lie to his father in order to avoid severe punishment. Leslie starred in over fifty films and many more television films. One of his two brothers became the Deputy Prime Minister of Canada. In 2002, he was made an Officer of the Order of Canada in recognition of his contributions to the film and television industries. Leslie Nielsen died at age 84 of complications from pneumonia on November 28, 2010.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Greg Hardy

Spouse (4)

Barbaree Earl Nielsen (2001 - 28 November 2010) (his death)
Bobbye Brooks Oliver (13 November 1981 - 5 December 1984) (divorced)
Alisande Ullman (10 September 1958 - 1974) (divorced) (2 children)
Monica Boyer (28 December 1950 - 9 June 1957) (divorced)

Trade Mark (8)

Delivering sophomoric punchlines with a deadpan expression
"Whoopee cushion" gags
Appearing oblivious to everything that's happening around him
Misinterprets what other people say. For example, in The Naked Gun, a character offers him a cigar and says, "Cuban?" Leslie's character replies with "Err, no. Dutch Irish. My father was from Wales."
Deep commanding voice
Grey hair and blue eyes
His characters are often deeply stupid but still get praised as intelligent by others in the film
Frequently worked with Jim Abrahams and the Zucker Brothers

Trivia (26)

Born at 5:00 am MST.
Nephew of the late actors Jean Hersholt and Via Hersholt.
Older brother was a high-ranking Canadian politician. Erik Nielsen was a Progressive Conservative Member of Parliament (1957-87) for the Yukon Territory. He served as Leader of the Opposition (1983) and later rose to become the Deputy Prime Minister of Canada (1984-86). He died from a massive heart attack on September 4, 2008 in Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada.
His father was Danish and his mother was Welsh.
While in Winnipeg, Canada, to promote their movie Men with Brooms (2002), he and co-star Paul Gross received Honorary Citizenships from Winnipeg Mayor Glen Murray at the Granite Curling Club.
Became a naturalized United States citizen on November 16, 1958.
Attended Victoria Composite High School in Edmonton, Alberta.
Has a half-brother named Gilbert Nielsen who lives in Hobbs, New Mexico.
Was made an "Honorary West Virginian and Ambassador of Mountain State Goodwill" on February 20, 2002, by then-Secretary of State of West Virginia Joe Manchin III, now junior United States Senator for West Virginia (elected 2010) after having served as West Virginia Governor since 2004.
In fall 2003, the Grant MacEwan College in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada opened the Leslie Nielsen School of Communications, with the actor on hand for the ceremony.
He was awarded an OC (Officer of the Order of Canada) by the Governor General of Canada on October 10, 2002 for his services to entertainment.
Has two daughters: Maura Nielsen Kaplan and Thea Nielsen Disney.
At age 17, he enlisted in the Royal Canadian Air Force and trained as an aerial gunner.
Auditioned for the role of Messala in Ben-Hur (1959), which went to Stephen Boyd.
Film critic Roger Ebert once called him "the Laurence Olivier of spoofs".
Was considered for the role of Willy Wonka in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005), which went to Johnny Depp.
His father was a Royal Canadian Mounted Police officer for Northwest Territory and Saskatchewan.
Received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6541 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, California on December 9, 1988.
Attended the Chiller Theater Expo in Parsippany, New Jersey along with actress Jamie Luner of Profiler (1996), John Schneider, Angie Dickinson, Brian O'Halloran, Danny Woodburn, David Hedison, Erik Estrada, Audra Lynn and Barry Williams on October 24, 2008.
Was considered for the role of Jack Torrance in The Shining (1980), which went to Jack Nicholson.
Lived in Phoenix, Arizona.
Director/producer Wendy Dent presented Leslie Nielsen with the final award of his career, a Lifetime Achievement Award, at the star-studded 2005 Palm Beach International Film Festival Gala at the ritzy Boca Raton Resort. The black-tie affair was attended also by Woody Harrelson, Salma Hayek and tennis stars Venus and Serena Williams, but Leslie Nielsen was the talk of the night, accepting the award from Wendy Dent with a gentlemanly flirtatiousness after he first walked the red carpet armed with a flatulence-maker in his tuxedo pocket.
Received a Golden Palm Star on the Palm Springs Walk of Stars on December 4, 1997.
Received a star on Canada's Walk of Fame in Toronto, Ontario in 2001.
Died only eight months after his Airplane co-star Peter Graves(who was also only a month younger than him).

Personal Quotes (9)

Doing nothing is very hard to do... you never know when you're finished.
The reason they call it 'golf' is that all the other four-letter words were used up.
[on the part of his career when he played almost exclusively villains] The best part is always the heavy. And the meaner and crueler and the worse you are, the more vicious you are as the heavy, the better the hero looks when he whips you. So, the heavy is liable to be a very dramatic, fine acting part. I told my agent at that time, "I want to play heavies who are really vicious and cruel and terrible. I want them to know that they're terrible and I want them to enjoy it.".
[on his wrestling a "wild grizzly bear" (it was actually a docile honey bear) in Day of the Animals (1977)] I had to weave and play around with a honey bear, and I could wrestle with him a little bit, but there's no way you can even wrestle a honey bear, let alone a grizzly bear that's standing ten feet to eleven feet tall! Can you imagine? But it was fascinating to work that close to that kind of animal.
When people are laughing, they don't beat up on you. You're secure and safe. It's when they stop laughing that it's dangerous.
[Touring in Ireland with Robert Goulet]: That was a wonderful time. Halfway through, we were joined by a friend, a mad Armenian. We were enjoying ourselves so much, with a drink here and a drink there, what we should have done - like mountaineers - was to tie ropes around our waists, so if anybody fell, we would know.
[on using his famous "farting machine"]: You have to have some body movement, some wiggling of legs and hips in rhythm with the sound of breaking wind. Actually in the north, in Fort Norman, that used to be the way we said goodnight, although, of course, then we did it naturally.
[on Lorne Greene]: The hair would stand up on my arms, his voice was so magnificent. When I met him, Lorne looked exactly the way he sounded, the patriarch. I could never have imagined him riding the range, herding the cattle, as he did in Bonanza (1959). But he became a friend who was always there, always gentle, always friendly.
[on specializing in serious roles in his early years]: Actually I always wanted to do comedy, but I never made the effort because I was a coward. I didn't have the courage. I was a closet comedian. I was too self-conscious and lacking in confidence.

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