However, after battling pneumonia for over two weeks, he passed away in his sleep on November 28.
Known for his famous roles in movies such as Airplane, and the Naked Gun flicks, Nielsen was a cult favorite and a always interesting cameo or supporting character in any comedy.
In spite of that, Nielsen’s career in Hollywood spanned nearly six decades, with his first big break coming in 1956 as Commander John J. Adams in the cult-sci-fi classic, “Forbidden Planet.” While it took him 32 years to get his first starring role, in the 1988 “The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad!,” he played over 200 characters in a wide variety of roles in comedy, sci-fi, horror, family and dramatic films over the course of his career.
Nielsen also starred in films such as Spy Hard, and Wrongfully Accused. Although they were not as
funny as the Naked Gun films, they still drew many laughs because of their comedic parody of other
famous films such as Speed, and The Fugitive. Nielsen’s roles in comedic parodies show why he was
one of the best in the business. He made it look so easy.
In the words of Nielsen, as his famous character in a lead role known of “The Naked Gun,” as Frank Drebin, “This is not goodbye, this is just I’ll never see you again.”
Photo by Jerry Angelica.