Canadian actor Leslie Nielsen passed away from pneumonia on Sunday, 28 November at the age of 84. After acting in television and film for over half of his lifetime, Nielsen is remembered for his straight-faced comedy and prankster persona in real life. In honour of Nielsen’s long-lived career on the big screen, we’re taking a look at some of our favourite classic lines that made him famous.
Always ahead of his time, his 1980 film Airplane closely predicted current TSA regulations thirty years before it’s time - with ridiculously improbable things like X-ray body scanners causing havoc.
The first of the three Naked Gun films, The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad (1988) showed Nielsen as Lt. Frank Drebin...
“Protecting the queen’s safety is a task that is gladly accepted by Police Squad. No matter how silly the idea of having a queen might be to us, as Americans, we must be gracious and considerate hosts.”
The Naked Gun 2 ½: The Smell of Fear, in 1991 as Lt. Frank Drebin...
“Oh, it’s all right. I’m sure we can handle this situation maturely, just like the responsible adults that we are. Isn’t that right, Mr. … Poopy Pants?”
Lt. Frank Drebin: Now, Jane, what can you tell us about the man you saw last night?
Jane Spencer: He's Caucasian.
Ed Hocken: Caucasian?
Jane Spencer: Yeah, you know, a white guy. A moustache. About six-foot-three.
Lt. Frank Drebin: Awfully big moustache.
Again as Lt. Frank Drebin in Naked Gun 33 ⅓: The Final Insult in 1994...
“Cheer up, Ed. This is not goodbye. It’s just I won’t ever see you again.”
and another classic, “Like a midget at a urinal, I was going to have to stay on my toes.”
Ed Hocken: You might end up dead!
Lt. Frank Drebin: “You might end up dead" is my middle name.
Ed Hocken: What about Jane?
Lt. Frank Drebin: I don't know her middle name.
In 1998 Nielsen starred as Detective Ryan Harrison in Wrongfully Accused...
“Women and me are like water and fire: wet and flammable.”
“Don’t move. I’ve got a gun. Not here, but I got one.”
“We can go away right now. I pack light. Everything we need is right here in my pants.”
And finally, the line still used today that originated by Nielsen as his character Dr. Rumack in his career launching 1980 film, Airplane...
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.
Leslie Nielsen, RIP
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