Monday, November 29, 2010

Leslie Nielsen and Irvin Kershner - R.I.P.

Today we mourn the passing of two great men, who through their art have affected many lives.
Leslie Nielson 1926-2010
Irvin Kershner 1923-2010

Leslie Nielsen, a Canadian-born actor who went from drama to inspired bumbling as a hapless doctor in "Airplane!" and the accident-prone detective Frank Drebin in the "The Naked Gun" comedies, died on Sunday in Florida. He was 84.
His agent, John S. Kelly, said Nielsen died at a hospital near his home in Ft. Lauderdale where he was being treated for pneumonia.
Nielsen's nephew Doug Nielsen, who lives in Richmond, B.C., said his uncle had been hospitalized for the past 12 days and died in his sleep with wife Barbaree by his side.
- Winnipeg Free Press (read the entire article here)

I grew up watching Leslie Nielsen's movies with my Dad. Often we would go to the local movie store and pick up The Naked Gun series, Police Squad, Airplane or Dracula Dead and Loving It, and spend the weekend laughing. To this day we still make jokes about these movies over the phone when we talk.
Last year, had the pleasure of sitting in on his meet and greet for the new movie, Stan Helsing that he was in. Watching him at the panel was amazing. He just sat there and joked the entire time. I didn't get to meet him after, which was a shame because I wanted him to sign the naked gun birthday card that I had made for my Dad. I also made a great shirt that said I <3 Frank Drebin on it.

I will miss his crazy antics and his deep, perfect voice. Rest in Peace Leslie.

Director Irvin Kershner, best known for helming The Empire Strikes Back, died today at his home in Los Angeles. He was 87 years old.
Kershner’s goddaughter Adriana Santini, who resides in France, told French news agency AFP that Kershner died after a long illness. No other details about his death were given.
- Geeks Of Doom (read the entire article here)

Irvin Kershner, who brought us not only James Bond's Never Say Never Again, Robocop 2, but best of all The Empire Strikes Back. Without him, Star Wars would never have been the same. He brought conflict and depth to our favorite heroes and brought us a sequel like no other has ever managed, making Empire one of the all time favorite Star Wars films. Had he been able to direct Jedi, Han would've died for the cause and Luke would've ridden off into the sunset in the end. There would've been no ewoks!

I truly believe that Irvin Kershner made Star Wars into what it is now for so many people. Rest in peace, Irvin.

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