Leslie Nielsen
Leslie Nielsen
Veteran TV/film actor Leslie Nielsen guest stars as Col. "Buzz" Brighton, a gung-ho battalion commander whom Hawkeye and Trapper try to declare temporarly medically unable to command his unit so he can be transferred to the U.S. in "The Ringbanger" in Season 1 (ep.#16).
Personal Information
Nationality Canadian-American
Birthname Leslie William Nielsen
Born: (1926-02-11)February 11, 1926
Birthplace Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada
Died: November 28, 2010(2010-11-28) (aged 84)
Deathplace Fort Lauderdale, Florida, U.S.
Years active: 1948-2010
Spouse(s): Monica Boyar (1950-1956)
Alisande Ullman (1958-1973)
Brooks Oliver (1981-1983)
Barbaree Earl (2001-2010, his death)
Character information
Appeared on/in: M*A*S*H (TV series)
Episodes appeared in: "The Ringbanger" (Season 1)
Character(s) played: Colonel "Buzz" Brighton

Leslie William Nielsen, OC (February 11, 1926 - November 28, 2010) was a Canadian-born and American-naturalized actor and comedian.

Lesile guest stars in Season 1 the M*A*S*H TV series as Colonel "Buzz" Brighton, a gung-ho infantry commander whom Hawkeye and Trapper try to declare temporarly medically unable to command his unit so he can be transferred to the U.S. in the episode "The Ringbanger" (episode #16).


Early lifeEdit

Born in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada, Nielsen enlisted in the Royal Canadian Air Force and worked as a disc jockey before receiving a scholarship to Neighborhood Playhouse. Making his television debut in 1948, he quickly expanded to over 50 television appearances two years later. Nielsen made his film debut in 1956, and began collecting his roles in dramas, westerns, and romance films between the 1950s and the 1970s. Nielsen's performance in the films Forbidden Planet and The Poseidon Adventure received positive reviews as a serious actor, although he is primarily known for his comedic roles during the 1980s and the early 1990s.

Acting careerEdit

Leslie began his career as a serious leading man in such films as Forbidden Planet, and played the doomed ship's captain in The Poseidon Adventure. However, beginning in 1980 with his deadpan turn as the doctor in Airplane!, Nielsen gained a new lease as a comedian, cemented with his starring role as Frank Drebin in the Police Squad! TV series and Naked Gun movies.

Nielsen appeared in Mr. Willowby's Christmas Tree as Baxter the butler. He also made a cameo appearance in Kermit and Miss Piggy's music video, "She Drives Me Crazy," punctuating the lyric "I can't help myself" by emitting faux-fart noises. This was achieved via the Handi-Gas, a whoopie cushion-style device which Nielsen carried with him on film sets and in talk show appearances; purportedly, the actor later upgraded to a remote controlled version.

He later played Mr. Magoo in the 1997 film of the same name Mr. Penn in the 1998 Disney television film, Safety Patrol and narrated The Boy Who Flew with Condors and played Col. Francis Marion in The Swamp Fox of Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color.

Personal lifeEdit

"I'm afraid if I don't keep moving, they're going to catch me ... I am 81 years old and I want to see what's around the corner, and I don't see any reason in the world not to keep working. But I am starting to value my down time a great deal because I am realizing there might be other things to do that I am overlooking."

— Nielsen reflecting on his career in 2007.

Nielsen married four times: nightclub singer Monica Boyar (1950–1956), Alisande Ullman (1958–1973), Brooks Oliver (1981–1983) and Barbaree Earl (2001–2010).[1][2] Nielsen had two daughters from his second marriage, Maura and Thea Nielsen.

Nielsen was a fan of golf, and he often played it in his free time.[3] Nielsen joked about his view on golf, "I have no goals or ambition. I do, however, wish to work enough to maintain whatever celebrity status I have so that they will continue to invite me to golf tournaments." Nielsen's interest in the sport led him to star in several comedic instructional films.

Leslie stated in several interviews that he had a few medical problems such as hearing impairment.[4] He was legally deaf and wore hearing aids for most of his life. Because of this impairment, he publicly supported the Better Hearing Institute.[5] Later in life, Nielsen also suffered from knee osteoarthritis. He participated in an educational video from The Arthritis Research Centre of Canada (ARC), demonstrating the physical examination of a patient with knee osteoarthritis.


In November 2010, Nielsen was admitted to a Fort Lauderdale, Florida hospital for treatment of pneumonia. On 28 November, Doug Nielsen, Nielsen's nephew, announced to the CJOB-AM radio station that Nielsen had died in his sleep, as a result of complications from pneumonia, around 5:30 pm EST, surrounded by family and friends.[6][7][8][9] He was interred in Fort Lauderdale's Evergreen Cemetery. As a final bit of humor, Nielsen chose "Let 'er rip" as his epitaph.[10]


  1. Leslie Nielsen. NNDB. Archived from the original on 2 December 2010.
  2. Leslie Nielsen. Yahoo! Movies. Archived from the original on 2 December 2010.
  3. Leslie Nielsen. Archived from the original on 2 December 2010.
  4. Interview with Leslie Nielsen Actor and Comedian. (9 December 2002). Archived from the original on 2 December 2010.
  5. About BHI- Celebrities Who Have Supported BHI. Better Hearing Institute. Archived from the original on 2 December 2010.
  6. Dalton, Andrew. "Leslie Nielsen of 'Naked Gun' fame dies at age 84", Toronto Star, 28 November 2010. 
  7. "Leslie Nielsen dead at 84", CJOB-AM, 28 November 2010. 
  8. "Leslie Nielsen, star of 'Airplane!' and 'Naked Gun,' dead at 84", CNN, 28 November 2010. 
  9. "Canadian movie star Leslie Nielsen dead at 84",, 2 November 2010. 
  10. Debbie Emery. "Leslie Nielsen keeps fans laughing from beyond the grave with 'let 'er rip' epitaph", Daily Mail, 3 June 2011. 

External linksEdit

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.