Few comedic actors unify the planet's men like Leslie Nielsen. The man will be sorely missed. But his life was about more than just making us laugh. Not much more, but there was more...
- He loved golf - Leslie Nielsen was a massive fan of the sport and even hosted a series of instructional videos such as Bad Golf Made Easier and Stupid Little Golf Video. He was quoted as saying “The reason they call it golf is that all the other four-letter words were used up.”
- He was legally deaf – Due to a childhood illness, Nielsen wore hearing aids for much of his life. Interestingly though, he worked as a DJ for a number of years.
- He started out serious – Nielsen attempted to carve a career out of being the figure of manly authority in The Poseidon Adventure and Forbidden Planet. He was turned down for roles in Ben-Hur and The Shining before he realised his comic potential.
- He loved farts – Carrying a remote controlled fart machine around with him, he amused himself (and us) by casually releasing one during TV interviews.
- He was almost Willy Wonka – In Tim Burton’s remake, Nielsen went up for the role but ultimately lost out to Johnny Depp. It was probably the only time in history that the two were up for the same job.
- He was half-Welsh – Nielsen’s mother was from Wales, making him the funniest Welshman ever (sorry Rob Brydon).
- He used to be in the Canadian Air Force – He served as an aerial gunner in World war II but was never sent overseas.
- His brother was the Deputy Prime Minister of Canada – Acting as the polar opposite to his slapstick-loving brother, Erik Nielsen was a successful member of the Progressive Conservative party in Canada. A HBO mockumentary called The Canadian Conspiracy joked about a Canadian subversion of the US through its media and included references to their relationship.
- He never said no to a spoof – Alongside his work in Airplane! and The Naked Gun, Nielsen also starred in a number of parodies that weren’t as widely known. Anyone seen Stan Helsing? 2001: A Space Travesty? Spanish Movie? Sadly, Titanic Too: It Missed the Iceberg, where he was set to star alongside David Hasselhoff, never saw the light of day.
(Main image: Rex)