Tuesday, November 30, 2010

R.I.P. Leslie Nielsen (1926-2010).

Has any actor reinvented himself as successfully and effectively as Leslie Nielsen?

Okay, maybe John Travolta – from his “Up your nose with a rubber hose!” and Saturday Night Fever persona to what he is today.

But, with 1980’s “Airplane”, Leslie Nielsen veered off into over the top comedy, from the “standard leading man” type, and has had an amazing second career! Best highlighted by the series of “Naked Gun” movies.

As enjoyable as all that has been, I miss the “old” Leslie Nielsen.

The one that starred in the greatest ‘50s Sci-Fi film of them all: Forbidden Planet. This landmark film was the “father” of both STAR TREK TOS and LOST IN SPACE. You need only watch “Forbidden Planet” to see the profound influence it had on both TV series – and so much thereafter.

Indeed, Leslie Nielsen, as Commander Adams, was the PROTOTYPE for Captain James T. Kirk! The galaxy’s ultimate “good guy”.

And, in one of those things that is “just too much to be a coincidence”, Leslie Nielsen guest starred on VOYAGE TO THE BOTTOM OF THE SEA (in The Creature1965) as “Captain Adams”! Aboard the submarine Seaview, he was a “bad good guy” – but, though seriously misguided, a “good guy” nonetheless.

Rest in peace, Leslie Nielsen… and thanks for all the great memories!


joecab said...

This is neither here nor there, but doesn't Leslie look like Marty Ingels in that last pic?

Joe Torcivia said...

Really? I never noticed that, but now… only that you mention it…

I search Google for all of the images I use in my Blog posts. And, in the spirit of Irwin Allen, I save them and keep them handy for future Blog use whenever appropriate. For instance, you’ve seen that image of Captain Kirk before – and you’ll, no doubt, see it again. Same goes for my images of Alfred Hitchcock, TV show logos, old TV set and new flat screen TV, Bugs Bunny, Huckleberry Hound, etc.

I felt fortunate when I typed in “Leslie Nielsen Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea” to find that one image of the episode he was in – amid hundreds of other unrelated images – and stuck it in there, only to find that it conjured up thoughts of another famous TV comedian.

Given his second career, perhaps Leslie Nielsen would like that!

Chris Barat said...


Wasn't Nielsen also in THE POSEIDON ADVENTURE? If so, another Irwin Allen connection!


Joe Torcivia said...

Yes, he was! And that role, as the Poseidon’s Captain, was marvelously recreated in animation for the opening gag teaser of the FREAKAZOID! episode that began with “And Fanboy was His Name!”

Whoever did the animated Neilsen’s voice was dead-on in his parody!