Don’t call me Shirley RIP Leslie Nielsen – thanks for the laughs

leslie and priscilla Another one bites the dust *sigh* I really enjoyed Leslie, fell in love with him from the Forbidden Planet.

Leslie Nielsen is best known for playing bumbling cop Frank Drebin in the Naked Gun series and the doctor in Airplane! who hated being called Shirley.

Yet the Canadian actor spent nearly 30 years playing it straight in hundreds of film and television productions before he became a cult comedy figure.

In 1956 he went to Hollywood to make a film, The Vagabond King, with Casablanca director Michael Curtiz.

The movie, which he dubbed “The Vagabond Turkey”, flopped. But MGM still signed him to a seven-year contract which saw him appear in sci-fi classic Forbidden Planet.

Tall and prematurely white-haired, Nielsen began a long career playing villains, cowboys, doctors and officials in films like Beau Geste, Gunfight in Abilene and The Poseidon Adventure.

In 1980, the star was cast as the doctor in Airplane!, a spoof disaster film that launched him into comedy.

His role as Dr Rumack saw him deliver inane non-sequiturs with a straight face, as well as utter his most famous phrase.

My favourite Leslie Nielsen quotes:


Rumack: You’d better tell the Captain we’ve got to land as soon as we can. This woman has to be gotten to a hospital.
Elaine Dickinson: A hospital? What is it?
Rumack: It’s a big building with patients, but that’s not important right now.

Rumack: Can you fly this plane, and land it?
Ted Striker: Surely you can’t be serious.
Rumack: I am serious… and don’t call me Shirley.

Naked Gun

Frank: That’s the red-light district. I wonder why Savage is hanging around down there.
Ed: Sex, Frank?
Frank: Uh, no, not right now, Ed.

Mayor: Now Drebin, I don’t want any trouble like you had on the South Side last year, that’s my policy.
Frank: Well, when I see five weirdos, dressed in togas, stabbing a man in the middle of the park in full view of a hundred people, I shoot the bastards, that’s *my* policy!
Mayor: That was a Shakespeare-In-The-Park production of ‘Julius Caesar,’ you moron! You killed five actors! Good ones!

Rest in Peace Leslie Nielsen 1926-2010.

Bastard Type has a really good blog about Leslie, see below:

Leslie Nielsen’s Genius Extended Far Beyond Silly Gags

About Rincewind

Love my vintage pinups, burlesque, smoking fetish and weirdness. Swedish person lived in Sweden, London and now Prague. Love moving around, metting new people. Open your mind for new experiences.

Posted on November 29, 2010, in Mixed stuff and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 9 Comments.

  1. Rincewind, thanks for this tribute on one of the greats… I have some special memories of Mr. Neilsen, since he used to live in the same city as me (he moved to Florida a few years back, I believe). I’d see him shopping in the local Safeway store at least a couple of times a month, I’d always say hello to him as we passed in the aisle. And I’ll never forget the time we were both in the baking needs aisle, and he asked me which brand of olive oil I thought was best – it sounds silly, but it took me a while to realize that the great Leslie Neilsen uses regular products just like the rest of us!!

    He’ll be missed.

  2. He was one of the great deadpan comedians of this era. A proud and humble Canadian till the end.

    You will be missed, and we won’t call you Shirley.

  3. Yes he will be sadly missed, a very funny man

  4. You picked a good topic for this post and you wrote about it well. I have seen a few other web sites with comparable content but no 1 has done a better job than you on writing about it.

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  3. Pingback: Don't call me Shirley RIP Leslie Nielsen – thanks for the laughs … | Cherry News

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