Nielsen came to Hollywood in the mid-1950s after performing in 150 live television dramas in New York. With a craggily handsome face, blond hair and 6-foot-2 height, he seemed ideal for a movie 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.
The actor also had major roles in such films as "The Poseidon Adventure" and "Forbidden Planet" and appeared in many later television shows, including the cult hit "Police Squad."
I will miss his comedy and his facial expressions. RIP Leslie Nielsen.