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11/28/2010

Actor Leslie Nielsen dies at 84

November 28, 2010 |  6:27 pm

Nielsen Leslie Nielsen, who went from drama to inspired bumbling as a hapless doctor in "Airplane!" and the accident-prone Det. Frank Drebin in the "Naked Gun" comedies, has died. He was 84.

Nielsen died Sunday at a hospital near his home in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., where he was being treated for pneumonia, his agent, John S. Kelly, said.

The Canadian-born Nielsen came to Hollywood in the mid-1950s after performing in 150 live television dramas in New York. With a handsome face, blond hair and 6-foot-2 height, he seemed ideal for a film leading man.

He quickly became known as a serious actor, although behind the camera he was a prankster. That was an aspect of his personality never exploited, however, until "Airplane!" was released in 1980 and became a huge hit.

An obituary will follow at latimes.com/obituaries.

 --Associated Press

Photo: Leslie Nielsen in 1991. Credit: Associated Press

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