Leslie Nielsen

Leslie Nielsen Was Extremely Close To Having A Role In Ben-Hur

Screen tests offer a glimpse into what could have been. Once we've become accustomed to seeing the film's original actor in the role, it can be difficult to even imagine someone else filling their shoes. At the very least, screen tests show us how other actors approached the material versus what we ended up getting in the finished film. What would "Star Wars" have looked like if Kurt Russell had gotten the part of Han Solo instead of Harrison Ford? Or if Robert DeNiro had been chosen as Sonny Corleone in "The Godfather" rather than James Caan? What would it have been like if Messala in William Wyler's "Ben-Hur" was played not by Stephen Boyd, but Leslie Nielsen? Because that's what almost happened.
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‘Matlock’ Star Andy Griffith Once Revealed Leslie Nielsen Carried Around a ‘Little Poopoo Machine’

Actor Leslie Nielsen of “Airplane!” fame did have a sense of humor off-screen. “Matlock” star Andy Griffith was let in on a Nielsen secret. “You know, he has this little poopoo machine with him all the time,” Griffith said in a 1996 interview with Parade Magazine. “He presses it, and it makes a poopoo sound. He gave me one and showed me how to use it. I may try it in church sometime.”

Happy Birthday Leslie Nielsen: Relive the Iconic Actor’s Best Moments

Leslie Nielsen’s career spanned six decades. During that time, the leading man took roles in a variety of genres. He starred in both television productions and feature films. Today, he is best known for his impeccable comedic timing. However, before he was the king of comedies, he made a name for himself as a serious actor. Before his death in 2010, he appeared in over 250 roles.