LOS ANGELES, Nov. 28 (Xinhua) -- Legendary comedian Leslie Nielsen, died Sunday of complications from pneumonia at a hospital near his home in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., his agent said. He was 84.
The Canadian-born actor passed away at 5:34 p.m., with his wife, Barbaree, and friends at his side, John S. Kelly said.
"We are saddened by the passing of beloved actor Leslie Nielsen,probably best remembered as Lt. Frank Drebin in `The Naked Gun' series of pictures, but who enjoyed a more than 60-year career in motion pictures and television," Kelly said in a statement.
Born on Feb. 11, 1926, in Regina, Saskatchewan, the actor had appeared in more than 100 movies and 1,500 television shows over the course of his career, and portrayed over 220 characters.
Nielsen became a disc jockey at a Calgary radio station after his dismissal from Royal Canadian Air Force after WWII, and then studied at a Toronto radio school operated by Lorne Greene, who later starred on the TV series "Bonanza," before moving to New York to act in live television.
He moved to Hollywood in the mid-1950s to make movies, first playing the king of France in the Paramount musical film "The Vagabond King," which bombed. Then he played the spaceship commander in the science fiction classic "Forbidden Planet", an instant success, and became a long-term signed actor under Metro-Goldwyn-Meyer (MGM).
In 1980, Nielsen played a supporting role in "Airplane!" -- a parody of "Zero Hour!", "Airport" and other movies that dealt with air travel,which was his breakthrough in comedies. His deadpan delivery as a doctor marked a turning point in his acting career, one that would make him, in the words of film critic Roger Ebert, "the Olivier of spoofs."
He was also famous for portrayal of the accident-prone detective Frank Drebin in "The Naked Gun" comedies distributed by Paramount Pictures from 1988 through 1994.
A film called "Naked Gun 4: Rhythm of Evil" was reportedly in the early stages of production at the time of Nielsen's death.