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Leslie Nielsen dies at 84; serious actor became a comic star
Leslie Nielsen dies at 84; serious actor became a comic star

Leslie Nielsen, a serious actor who became a comic star with his career-changing roles in "Airplane!" and the "Naked Gun" comedies, died Sunday in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. He was 84. Nielson died of complications from pneumonia at a hospital near his home, surrounded by his wife, Barbaree, and friends, his agent, John S. Kelly, said in a statement. In "Airplane!," the 1980 send-up of just about every disaster movie plot imaginable, Nielsen as Dr. Rumack was "an essentially serious actor taking essentially preposterous material very straight," wrote Times Arts Editor Charles Champlin in his review. Just how preposterous was it? As the crew and...

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