The beloved actor from Airplane! and the Naked Gun franchise died Sunday. Fresh Air remembers Nielsen with highlights from a 1993 interview, in which he discussed his transition from dramatic roles in The Poseidon Adventure and Forbidden Planet to starring in spoofs and parodies.
Nielsen is best known for his comic roles in Airplane! and the Naked Gun films. He's been acting since the late forties, after he was taught radio broadcasting by Lorne Greene. He's just written a "fictional autobiography" called "The Naked Truth," a pun-encrusted look at nearly fifty years of show business.
Guest film critic Owen Gleiberman reviews the home video release of "Naked Gun," the police farce produced and directed by the makers of "Airplane." "Naked Gun," which premiered on movie screens early last spring, was based on the six-episode TV program "Police Squad," which recently aired on cable TV.