Leslie Nielsen - Rotten Tomatoes

Leslie Nielsen

Highest Rated:   98% Forbidden Planet (1956)
Birthday:  
Birthplace:   Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada
Although his career stretches back half a century and includes over 100 films and countless TV programs, Leslie Nielsen gained true fame late in his career, when he starred in a series of comic spoofs beginning with 1980's Airplane!.The son of a Canadian Mountie and the brother of Canada's future Deputy Prime Minister, Nielsen was born in Regina, Saskatchewan, on February 11, 1926. He developed an early knack for acting when he was forced to lie to his disciplinarian father in order to avoid punishment, and he went on to become a radio announcer after serving in the Royal Canadian Air Force during WWII (despite being legally deaf, the result of a childhood illness). To prepare himself for his future career, Nielsen studied at Toronto's Academy of Radio Arts, which was run by CBC commentator and future Bonanza star Lorne Greene. After several years in radio, he won a scholarship to New York's Neighborhood Playhouse, where he studied acting under Sanford Meisner and dance under Martha Graham. He then spent five years appearing on such live television programs as Tales From Tomorrow before making his film bow in Ransom! (1956). With the exception of his starring roles in the sci-fi classic Forbidden Planet (1956) and the popular Debbie Reynolds-vehicle Tammy and the Bachelor (1957), much of Nielsen's early work was undistinguished; he was merely a handsome leading man in an industry overstocked with handsome leading men. An attempt to do a "Davy Crockett" by starring as Francis Marion in the Disney TV saga The Swamp Fox resulted in a nifty title tune but little else. Nielsen went on to star in such series as The New Breed, Bracken's World, and Hawaii Five-O (1968), but found he was more in demand as a heavy than as a hero.A notorious offscreen practical joker and cut-up, Nielsen was not given an onscreen conduit for this trait until he was cast in the Zucker-Abrahams-Zucker spoof Airplane (1980). This led to his deadpan characterization of monumentally inept police lieutenant Frank Drebin on Z.A.Z.'s cult TV series Police Squad, which in turn spawned the 1988 hit The Naked Gun and two sequels. Nielsen also found success in a number of other film spoofs, so much, in fact, that those familiar only with his loopy comedy roles are invariably surprised that, once upon a time, he took himself deadly seriously in films like Harlow (1965) and The Poseidon Adventure (1972). Nielsen died at the age of 84, of pneumonia, in late November 2010.

Photos

Highest Rated Movies

Filmography

MOVIES

RATING TITLE CREDIT BOX OFFICE YEAR
No Score Yet Stonerville
  • Actor
2011
17% Stan Helsing
  • Kay
2009
11% An American Carol
  • Grandpa
$7M 2008
17% Superhero Movie
  • Uncle Albert Adams
$25.9M 2008
No Score Yet Slap Shot 3: The Junior League
  • Actor
2008
33% Music Within
  • Bill Austin
$0.2M 2007
37% Scary Movie 4
  • President Harris
$90.7M 2006
No Score Yet Nutcracker And The Mouse King
  • Actor
2005
36% Scary Movie 3
  • President Harris
2003
61% Men with Brooms
  • Gordon Cutter
2002
No Score Yet 2001: A Space Travesty
  • Marshall Dix
  • Screenwriter
  • Executive Producer
2002
No Score Yet Chilly Dogs
  • Clive Thornton
2001
No Score Yet Santa Who?
  • Santa Claus
2000
No Score Yet Camouflage
  • Jack Potter
2000
No Score Yet Harvey
  • Dr. Chumley
1999
No Score Yet Family Plan
  • Harry Haber
1998
22% Wrongfully Accused
  • Ryan Harrison
1998
No Score Yet Safety Patrol (Disney's Safety Patrol)
  • Mr. Penn
1998
No Score Yet National Geographic
  • Host
1998
7% Mr. Magoo
  • Mr. Magoo
1997
No Score Yet National Geographic Explorer
  • Actor
1997
No Score Yet Stupid Little Golf Video
  • Actor
1997
8% Spy Hard
  • Dick Steele, Agt. WD-40
  • Executive Producer
1996
11% Dracula - Dead and Loving It
  • Dracula
1995
No Score Yet Rent-a-Kid
  • Harry Haber
1995
No Score Yet Digger
  • Arthur Evrensel
1994
55% The Naked Gun 33 1/3: The Final Insult
  • Lt. Frank Drebin
1994
No Score Yet Unknown Marx Brothers
  • Host
1993
12% Surf Ninjas
  • Col. Chi
1993
No Score Yet Leslie Nielsen's Bad Golf Made Easier
  • Actor
1993
No Score Yet Unknown Marx Brothers
  • Actor
1993
No Score Yet The Blue Frontier: Underseas Legacy
  • Narrator
1992
No Score Yet The Blue Frontier: Gigi's Legacy
  • Narrator
1992
No Score Yet The Blue Frontier: Aquaspace Adventure
  • Narrator
1992
No Score Yet The Blue Frontier: Nature's Playground
  • Narrator
1992
No Score Yet The Blue Frontier: King of the Sea
  • Narrator
1992
No Score Yet The Blue Frontier: To Save a Whale
  • Narrator
1992
0% All I Want for Christmas
  • Santa
1991
0% Repossessed
  • Father Jebedaiah Mayii
1990
No Score Yet The Blue Frontier: Clown or Criminal
  • Narrator
1990
No Score Yet The Blue Frontier: Antarctic Adventure
  • Narrator
1990
No Score Yet The Blue Frontier: Vanishing Mermaids
  • Narrator
1990
No Score Yet The Blue Frontier: Tails From the Nursery
  • Narrator
1990
No Score Yet The Blue Frontier: Shark, Shark, Shark
  • Narrator
1990
No Score Yet The Blue Frontier: Sea of Many Moods
  • Narrator
1990
No Score Yet Railway Dragon
  • Actor
1989
87% The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad!
  • Lt. Frank Drebin
1988
No Score Yet Dangerous Curves
  • Greg
1988
No Score Yet Home Is Where the Hart Is
  • Sheriff Nashville Schwartz
1987
38% Nuts
  • Allen Green
1987
No Score Yet Striker's Mountain
  • Jim McKay
1987
No Score Yet Nightstick
  • Thad Evans
1987
14% Soul Man
  • Mr. Dunbar
1986
No Score Yet The Patriot
  • Adm. Frazer
1986
No Score Yet Blade in Hong Kong
  • Harry Ingersoll
1985
No Score Yet Reckless Disregard
  • Bob Franklin
1984
No Score Yet Foxfire Light
  • Reece Morgan
1984
No Score Yet The Creature Wasn't Nice
  • Capt. Jamieson
1983
69% Creepshow
  • Richard Vickers
1982
38% Wrong Is Right
  • Mallory
1982
No Score Yet Spaceship
  • Actor
1981
No Score Yet Naked Space
  • Actor
1981
42% Prom Night
  • Mr. Hammond
1980
97% Airplane!
  • Dr. Rumack
1980
No Score Yet The Night the Bridge Fell Down
  • Paul Warren
1980
No Score Yet Backstairs at the White House
  • Actor
1979
No Score Yet Riel
  • Actor
1979
No Score Yet City on Fire
  • Mayor William Dudley
1978
17% Viva Knievel!
  • Stanley Millard
1977
No Score Yet The Amsterdam Kill
  • Riley Knight
1977
No Score Yet Day of the Animals
  • Paul Jenson
1977
No Score Yet Project: Kill
  • Jonathan Trevor
1976
79% The Poseidon Adventure
  • Ship's Captain
1972
No Score Yet Snatched
  • Bill Sutter
1972
No Score Yet Columbo: Lady in Waiting
  • Actor
1971
No Score Yet The Resurrection of Zachary Wheeler
  • Harry Walsh
1971
No Score Yet They Call It Murder
  • Actor
1971
No Score Yet Four Rode Out
  • Mr. Brown
1970
No Score Yet How to Commit Marriage
  • Phil Fletcher
1969
No Score Yet Dayton's Devils
  • Dayton
1968
No Score Yet How to Steal the World
  • Actor
1968
No Score Yet Gunfight in Abilene
  • Grant Evers
1967
No Score Yet The Reluctant Astronaut
  • Major Fred Gifford
1967
No Score Yet Night Train to Paris
  • Alan Holiday
1964
No Score Yet The Sheepman
  • Johnny Bledsoe
1958
No Score Yet Tammy and the Bachelor
  • Peter Brent
1957
20% The Opposite Sex
  • Steve Hilliard
1956
No Score Yet Ransom!
  • Charlie Telfer
1956
98% Forbidden Planet
  • Commander J. J. Adams
1956
No Score Yet Studio One Anthology
  • Actor
1948

TV

RATING TITLE CREDIT YEAR
No Score Yet Family Guy
1999
  • Voice
  • 2007
No Score Yet Saturday Night Live
1975
  • Guest
  • Host
  • Actor
  • 1989
No Score Yet Police Squad!
1982
  • Det. Frank Drebin
  • 1982

Quotes from Leslie Nielsen's Characters