Leslie Nielsen, actor, died November 28 at the age of 84; he’d been hospitalised with pneumonia. Early appearances included the sf anthology series Tales of Tomorrow (1952-53). He played Commander J. J. Adams in Forbidden Planet (1956). His career took an unexpected shift into comedy with Airplane! (1980), with similar roles in Dracula: Dead and Loving It (1995), 2001: A Space Travesty (2000), Superhero Movie (2008) and Stan Helsing (2009).
Surely I will always remember him as The Swamp Fox, the American Revolutionary War leader he played in several episodes of ABC’s Disneyland series (but I know, don’t call him Shirley…) When Walt Disney’s TV show moved to NBC the season after I told my father, who worked at NBC’s Burbank studio as a video engineer, he should ask them to make another Swamp Fox story. I was an 8-year-old history buff at the time and convinced this good idea would be practically self-evident. General Sarnoff and Walt must have felt otherwise.
[Thanks to David Klaus, Steve Green and Andrew Porter for the story.]