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Leslie Nielsen, the eternal white hair and the secret weapon of The Naked Gun

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Leslie Nielsen, the eternal white hair and the secret weapon of The Naked Gun

This Sunday, November 28, a new anniversary of the death of Leslie nielsen, the actor of And, where is the pilot? and the saga of The naked gun. The comedian who always, but always, since we remember him, had white hair.

The same, of course, as his blue eyes. And its 1.85 in height. And his rickets, a disease he contracted as a child and with his parents and brother moved to northern Canada, near the Arctic Circle. The consequence was his bowed legs and his particular way of walking.

Neither one thing nor the other, neither the third nor the fourth would change with time.

Lieutenant Drebin First Appeared On The &Quot;Police Squad!&Quot; Series, Which Was A Flop.  Photo Clarín Archive

Lieutenant Drebin first appeared on the “Police Squad!” Series, which was a flop. Photo Clarín Archive

It’s even easy to remember and make a top of your trademarks of making humor.

The endings of jokes accompanied by an expressionless expression, worth the redundancy.

The gags about flatulence.

Nielsen Died At A Hospital Near His Home In Florida Of Pneumonia.  Ap Photo

Nielsen died at a hospital near his home in Florida of pneumonia. AP Photo

He always seems oblivious to what is going on around him.

And he never understood what they said to him, or worse, he understood anything they said to him.

Born to a Danish father and a Welsh mother, his older brother was a Canadian politician who was a member of parliament, was a leader of the opposition and became Deputy Prime Minister of Canada (1984-1986).

In &Quot;The Naked Gun 2 1/2&Quot;, With Priscilla Presley, By Then Elvis

In “The Naked Gun 2 1/2”, with Priscilla Presley, by then Elvis’s widow. Photo Clarín Archive

Nephew of Jean Hersholt, famous silent film actor, who was the grandfather of Heidi (Shirley Temple) in the Heidi By 1937, Leslie William Nielsen developed his sense of humor to blows. Or to avoid them. His father was strict and violent, but if he could make him smile, he avoided being slapped by Ingvard.

He was only 17 when he joined the Royal Canadian Air Force and was an aerial gunner. Leslie was married four times and divorced three times.

Not Even Queen Elizabeth - Who Was Already On The Throne - Was Spared From Lieutenant Drebin'S Humor.  Photo Clarín Archive

Not even Queen Elizabeth – who was already on the throne – was spared from Lieutenant Drebin’s humor. Photo Clarín Archive

What if Leslie got a starring role in Ben Hur (1959), by William Wyler, one of the 3 most Oscar-winning films (11), along with Titanic and The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, next to Charlton Heston? Had it not been for the role he auditioned for – Messala – he ended up playing Stephen Boyd. Boyd won the Golden Globe for best supporting actor for the film.

Would Nielsen’s career have taken a turn toward drama? Luckily the casting did not pass, because we would have missed his countless gags as Lieutenant Drebin, leaving Queen Elizabeth in a bad way (she was already on the throne!) Or humiliating the famous fictional tenor Enrico Palazzo, whom he ruined. the race impersonating him in a ballpark and singing the anthem badly.

Of Canadian Origin, He Appealed To Boyish Humor To Avoid His Father'S Slaps.  Photo Clarín Archive

Of Canadian origin, he appealed to boyish humor to avoid his father’s slaps. Photo Clarín Archive

Or discovering, when he decides to retire, in a drawer of his desk, evidence that a prisoner was really innocent. Or parodying with Priscilla presley the fashion of video clips, while listening in the background I’m into something goodby The Herman’s Hermits. OR…

Nielsen had decided to cross the border and try his luck in Hollywood. He did not succeed, and returned back to Canada. But since he realized that he was not going to succeed in his hometown, he returned to the United States and succeeded in the Actor’s Studio. One of his fellow students was named Marlon Brando.

Like Dr. Rumack In &Quot;And Where

Like Dr. Rumack in “And Where’s the Pilot?” (1980). Photo Clarín Archive

Before doing comedies, Nielsen was a dramatic actor. He made his film debut in 1956 (The vagabond king) and that same year he released a science fiction film that would make him known: The forbidden planetor, next to Walter Pidgeon and Anne Francis.

Morocho!  Nielsen, With Anne Francis, In The Poster For &Quot;The Forbidden Planet&Quot;, His First Hit, From 1956. Photo File Clarín

Morocho! Nielsen, with Anne Francis, in the poster for “The Forbidden Planet”, his first hit, from 1956. Photo File Clarín

But it was not very successful in the cinema, and already in the ’70s it was easy to see it in series like the murderer or the bad guy of the movie or the series. Almost like a metaphor, he played the captain of the ship in The Poseidon Adventure (1972), which turned the bell and sank.

And so he was wandering among more failures than successes, with sporadic appearances in series such as MASH, Barnaby jones, The streets of San Francisco, Hawaii 5-0, Ironside, Kojak, Kung Fu, Columbo, SWAT, The love cruise, The fantasy island

Nobody Remembers It: Leslie Nielsen Was The Captain Of The Ship In &Quot;The Poseidon Adventure&Quot;, From 1972. Photo File Clarín

Nobody remembers it: Leslie Nielsen was the captain of the ship in “The Poseidon Adventure”, from 1972. Photo File Clarín

Until the brothers David and Jerry Zucker and Jim Abrahams (the group ZAZ, by the initials of their surnames) called him to join the cast of And, where is the pilot? The secret of the film was to hire actors who had never done comedy. Like Nielsen, who was the deadpan Dr. Rumack, like Peter Graves (Mission Impossible), Lloyd Bridges or Robert Stack (Eliot Ness in The Untouchables).

And two years later he returns to work with the ZAZ, in a comedy series that, at the time, passed without pain or glory: Police Squad!, with Leslie as Police Lieutenant Frank Drebin, clumsier than cunning. There were only 6 episodes: the competition was tremendous, but as well as the critics treated it well -Nielsen was nominated for an Emmy as a comedy actor, and the ZAZ, for best comedy script, the series rose.

The Three Stooges.  With Oj Simpson And George Kennedy, In The First &Quot;The Naked Gun&Quot;.  Photo Clarín Archive

The Three Stooges. With OJ Simpson and George Kennedy, in the first “The Naked Gun”. Photo Clarín Archive

And yes: we all know that the ZAZs and Nielsen would not give up and rescue Lieutenant Drebin in The naked gun, already on the big screen. The humor, turkey, silly, incredibly ridiculous, made the film a smash hit. Who was with Nielsen in the cast? Priscilla Presley (Elvis’s widow), George Kennedy, Ricardo Montalbán as the villain and himself OJ Simpson, many years before being accused of murdering his ex-wife, Nicole Brown, a charge of which he would end up acquitted.

In the ’90s there were two sequels, The naked gun 2 ½ (1991) and The Naked Gun 33 1/3 (1994). Someday we will return to all of them.

Mel Brooks Called Him Up For &Quot;Dracula: Dead But Happy.&Quot;  It Did Not Go Well.  Photo Clarín Archive

Mel Brooks called him up for “Dracula: Dead But Happy.” It did not go well. Photo Clarín Archive

From the 1990s to the early 2000s, every movie he starred in – outside of the The naked gun– they failed commercially. Mel Brooks called him to Dracula: Dead but happy, which premiered on Christmas 1995, but it didn’t work out. He didn’t have box office successes until 2003 and 2006, when he had a supporting role as president at Scary movie 3 and 4.

His countless achievements include never having participated in a film that has been nominated for an Oscar for best picture.

Tim Burton, they say, considered him to play Willy Wonka in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. It’s hard for me to think of another actor than Johnny Depp, just as I find it hard not to think of Eduardo Duhalde when I remember the Oompa Loompa, with all due respect.

With Peter Graves (&Quot;Mission Impossible&Quot;).  The Secret Of &Quot;And Where Is The Pilot?&Quot;  It Was Hiring &Quot;Serious&Quot; Actors To Do Comedy.

With Peter Graves (“Mission Impossible”). The secret of “And where is the pilot?” it was hiring “serious” actors to do comedy.

Stanley Kubrick, they say, considered him for the role of Jack Torrance in The glow, which would later get Jack Nicholson. Only to the director of A clockwork orange Such madness could have occurred to him, said this with all due respect.

After all, he was the guy who went to receive the Lifetime Achievement Award, at the Palm Beach International Film Festival gala in 2005, surrounded by stars, and as he walked the red carpet he squeezed a flatulence maker that he had in the pocket of his tuxedo.

Leslie Nielsen'S Headstone, With The Inscription &Quot;Let'Er Rip&Quot;.  Photo File Claarín

Leslie Nielsen’s headstone, with the inscription “Let’er rip.” Photo File Claarín

And he was the one who chose as an epitaph for his grave, in the Evergreen Cemetery in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, the phrase “Let ‘er rip” (Let him rest in peace). He died of pneumonia on November 28, 2010. He was 84 happy years old.

Some of his most famous phrases

“Doing nothing is very difficult to do … you never know when it will end.”

Along With George Kennedy, Lieutenant Drebin'S Boss.  Photo Clarín Archive

Along with George Kennedy, Lieutenant Drebin’s boss. Photo Clarín Archive

“The reason they call it ‘golf’ is that all the other four-letter words are sold out.”

“When people laugh, they don’t hit you. You’re safe and secure. It’s when they stop laughing that it’s dangerous.”

With His Fourth Wife, Barbaree Earl Nielsen, Arriving At The Premiere Of &Quot;Accused Without Reason&Quot;, Parody Of &Quot;The Fugitive&Quot;, In 1998. Ap Photo

With his fourth wife, Barbaree Earl Nielsen, arriving at the premiere of “Accused Without Reason”, parody of “The Fugitive”, in 1998. AP Photo

“You have to have some body movement – he said in reference to his ‘fart machine’ – some wiggle of legs and hips to the rhythm of the sound of the wind breaking. In fact, in the north, in Fort Norman, it used to be the way in which we said goodbye, although, of course, then we did it naturally “.

The Poster Of The Original, &Quot;The Naked Gun&Quot;, From 1988. Photo File Clarín

The poster of the original, “The Naked Gun”, from 1988. Photo File Clarín

“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 lacked confidence.”

“I spent the first four years waiting for the police to knock on my door, tell me I had no talent and send me back to Canada.”

In &Quot;The Naked Gun 2 1/2&Quot;, Which Marks 30 Years Since Its Premiere.  Photo Clarín Archive

In “The Naked Gun 2 1/2”, which marks 30 years since its premiere. Photo Clarín Archive

“I’m afraid that if I don’t keep moving, they’ll find out. I’m 81 years old and I want to see what’s around the corner, and I don’t see any reason in the world not to keep working. But I’m starting to value my time a lot. inactivity, because I realize there might be other things to do that I’m overlooking. “

Reference from clarin