The Late Leslie Nielsen on Knowing He Wanted to Keep Moving

credit: Airplane!

Famed actor Leslie Nielsen began his acting career in 1950, and he didn’t give it up until his death in 2010. His career began when he was in his mid-20s, and he is also a former military man. He spent decades – six of them, to be precise, working on projects that spoke to him, and he had no regrets about it. His death was unexpected. He suffered a bout of pneumonia in which he was hospitalized one day and was gone the next. He died peacefully in his sleep while in the hospital with pneumonia, and we want to share with you a few things you didn’t know about this iconic actor and his impressive career.

Leslie Nielsen Knew Stopping Was Never an Option

When it came to his career and his life, the iconic actor knew that it would be the moment he stopped that his life would change. “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. I don’t see any reason in the world not to keep working. But I am starting to value my downtime a great deal because I am realizing there might be other things to do that I am overlooking,” he said of his life and career.

My own grandmother died peacefully in her sleep two weeks before turning 102. Until the day she died, she was more active than even I am. She worked out, was active in church and the Lion’s Club, and had many animals to care for on her farmland. My grandmother knew that the moment she stopped, she’d become an old person. She didn’t want that. Leslie Nielsen’s feelings were not wrong.

Leslie Nielsen on His Love of Golfing

One of his favorite things to do in life was hit the golf course. The actor played regularly throughout his life – we have no idea if he was any good, though – and he loved it. He and his wife even liked to live near golf areas. They split their time living between their home in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and their second home in Paradise Valley, Arizona. Both areas are famous for their fabulous golfing, which might be a big part of why the actor chose to make a home in both cities.

credit: Airplane!

“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,” he once joked. It’s obvious that his athletic nature and love of golf kept him young and healthy. You don’t spend that kind of time in the sunshine and on the golf course being active and growing old.

Leslie Nielsen Believed in Love

Well, we assume he did. He married many times over the course of his 84 years, so we think it’s safe to assume that love is something he believed in. His first marriage was to Monica Boyar. They got married in 1950 and stayed married for six years before their divorce. Nielsen’s second wife was Alisande Ulman. He married her in 1958, but their marriage lasted only five years. It was then that Nielson took a break from marriage. He would not marry his third wife until 1981, meaning he spent eight years single before entering a third marriage. His third wife was Brooks Oliver. They were only married for two years.

By the time he married his fourth wife in 2001, he’d been unmarried for 18 years. His fourth wife is Barbaree Earl, and they remained married until Leslie Nielsen died in 2010. His longest marriage was also his final marriage. Their nine-year marriage was going well when he died, and we imagine she was heartbroken. Of all of his marriages, though, he only welcomed two children. His daughters, Maura and Thea, were both born during his second marriage to Alisande Ulman.

credit: Airplane!

Leslie Nielsen Will Always Be Remembered as a Funny Guy

He’s been gone more than 12 years now, but he is certainly not a man anyone will forget. Those who worked with him and those who knew him from other things all have one thing to say about him. They all found him delightfully hilarious. Though he was a bit shy outside of his work, he was a man the world loved. He was a jokester, and he always kept the mood light. Those who were fortunate enough to know him will always remember that he made them laugh, which was effortless.

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