On the day he would have turned 95 years old, fans all across the world are remembering Leslie Nielsen with tribute posts on social media. With a career in entertainment spanning over six decades, Nielsen played more than 220 characters throughout his lifetime, with the one-of-a-kind actor making each role a memorable performance. We sadly lost Nielsen when he passed away in 2010 at the age of 84, but more than a decade later, fans are still paying tribute to the late actor in honor of his birthday.
"Happy Birthday, Leslie Nielsen! From Forbidden Planet to Naked Gun you could play it straight or make it funny or both," writes one fan on Twitter.
Posting a video of Nielsen's guest appearance on Murder, She Wrote, The 80s Quadrant writes, "Remembering #LeslieNielsen on his birthdate. Leslie's long acting career took on a resurgence in the #80s and here is one of his many guest star roles on TV, #MurderSheWrote. Even this short seen with #AngelaLansbury is genius."
The Default Orchestra also tweeted some artwork of Nielsen in character along with a touching message. It reads, "It would be LESLIE NIELSEN's 95th birthday today. Star of The Naked Gun, Spy Hard, and of course #ForbiddenPlanet, we remember him fondly here with abstract TDO #DigitalArt portraying him in his role as Commander John J Adams."
"Remembering today the late Canadian actor #LeslieNielsen #BOTD in 1926, seen here with co-stars #PeterFalk #SusanClark & #JessieRoyceLandis in the episode "LADY IN WAITING" (1971) from the #NBC mystery crime series #Columbo," another post reads along with some images of Nielsen on Columbo.
And another fan remembers Leslie with this classic quote from the late actor: "When people are laughing, they don't beat up on you. You're secure and safe. It's when they stop laughing that it's dangerous."
While he'd proven his talent as a serious actor in movies like Forbidden Planet and The Poseidon Adventure, Nielsen is probably best appreciated for his many comedy roles. His popular role in Airplane! is one of his most beloved by fans, with Roger Ebert dubbing Nielsen as the "Olivier of spoofs" after seeing the movie. Many fans still quote his character from that picture to this day.
Nielsen's role as Frank Drebin in The Naked Gun movie series, which consisted of three movies, is also highly acclaimed. Even horror fans love Nielsen for his amusing role in Creepshow, which saw him playing a murderous villain. Some of Nielsen's other most popular performances include roles in movies like Spy Hard, Mr. Magoo, Dracula: Dead and Loving It, and the Scary Movie series. His final role was in the 2011 comedy movie Stonerville.
Happy heavenly birthday to Leslie Nielsen. The hilariously talented actor might be badly missed, but his performances will continue to entertain fans of all ages for years to come. On the day that would have been his birthday is just as good a time as any to revisit a classic Nielsen movie or two for a few good laughs. In any case, however you choose to acknowledge Nielsen for his birthday, one thing is for sure - just don't call him Shirley.