Leslie Nielsen Dies. The Actor is Dead at 84.Leslie Nielsen has died. The 84-year-old funnyman, who Roger Ebert once referred to as the "Laurence Olivier of spoofs," passed away after suffering complications from pneumonia.

News of Nielsen's death was reported on Canadian radio station CJOB Sunday.

Nielsen's nephew told CJOB that the actor had been in the hospital in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, for 12 days, and that with family and friends by his side at 5:30PM Sunday, "He just fell asleep and passed away."

The Canadian-born Nielsen came to Hollywood in the mid-1950s after performing in 150 live television dramas in New York. With a craggily handsome face, blond hair and 6-foot-2 height, he seemed ideal for a movie leading man.

Nielsen was indeed a lead actor for decades in Hollywood, appearing in the 1956 sci-fi classic 'Forbidden Planet' as well as 'The Poseidon Adventure.' But his turn in 1980's classic comedy 'Airplane!' as a deadpan doctor on a doomed flight, changed his career forever as he switched gears to become one of Hollywood's top comic talents.