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Ryan Seacrest wrote on Twitter, “Sad to hear about Leslie Nielsen passing. To this day Airplane is still one of my favorite comedies ever.”
Comedian Russell Brand referenced one of Nielsen’s most famous lines from Airplane!, when he asks the pilot if he can fly the plane. Says the pilot, “Surely, you can’t be serious.” Nielsen responds, “I am serious, and don’t call me Shirley.” RELATED: Hollywood power players gone too soon.
Wrote Brand, “RIP. Leslie Nielsen. Shirley, he will be missed.”
Writer and stand-up comic Patton Oswalt joked about Nielsen’s death, saying, “He would want it that way.”
Nielsen, best known for Airplane! and the Naked Gun franchise, died Sunday of complications from pneumonia at a hospital near his home in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. He was surrounded by family, including his wife, Barbaree, and friends.
“We are sadden 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,” said a statement from Nielsen’s family released through his rep.
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