Leslie Nielsen, the funnyman who is well known for his somber demeanor and stone-serious face in comedies "Airplane!" and "The Naked Gun", has just passed away. The 84-year-old actor died on Sunday, November 28 at a hospital near his home in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
"We are saddened by the passing of beloved actor Leslie Nielsen, probably best remembered as Lt. Frank Drebin in 'The Naked Gun' series of pictures, but who enjoyed a more than 60-year career in motion pictures and television," his agent John. S. Kelly said in a statement.
The comedian had been hospitalized for nearly two weeks as a result of pneumonia. He died due to complications of the pneumonia, being surrounded by his wife, family and close friends. "Just in this last 48 hours, the infection has gotten too much," his nephew Doug Nielsen shared. "He just fell asleep and passed away."
Leslie Nielsen once joined the Royal Canadian Air Force and was trained as an aerial gunner during World War II, but was never sent overseas. He worked as a disc jokey after the war and switched career to acting later on. He got his big break when playing sturdy Commander J.J. Adams in the 1956 sci-fi flick "Forbidden Planet".
His career took a comical turn when he was cast as Dr. Rumack in the 1980 big-screen parody film "Airplane!". One of his famous deadpan lines is "I am serious. And don't call me Shirley", a response he gave to an airline passenger who said, "Surely you can't be serious!" He got an Emmy nomination for his role as Lt. Frank Drebin in the cop-show spoof sitcom "Police Squad!"
Nielsen is survived by his fourth wife, Barbaree Lee Neilsen, and two daughters, Maura Nielsen Kaplan and Thea Nielsen Disney. He appeared alongside his two daughters in the comedies, "Dracula: Dead and Loving It" and "Wrongfully Accused".