12 times Leslie Nielsen guest-starred in our favorite shows

The hilarious actor was a veteran of Westerns and Sci-Fi

"I am serious... and don't call me Shirley."

Before he was Dr. Rumack in Airplane! or Lt. Frank Dreblin in The Naked Gun, Leslie Nielsen was a bona fide acting workhorse. The guy showed up in... everything! That's what made him such a great comedic actor. He was a great actor actor, first and foremost. His skill set as a thespian grounded his comedy work in reality, and he was able to elevate the material with real gravitas.

So, let's take a look back on these twelve times Leslie Nielsen popped up in some of our favorite TV series. See if you can remember the mall, and be sure to share your favorite in the comments section below!

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1. Alfred Hitchcock Presents


1958 - "The $2,000,000 Defense"

The fate of accused killer Lloyd Ashley depends on whether or not his lawyer Mark Robeson can prove that a gun can fire accidentally, even with the safety catch on.

2. Rawhide


1959 - "Incident Below the Brazos"

Favor and crew drive the herd into an area populated by farmers who have previously waged a range war against cattlemen. A group of farmers warns Favor to keep his men and cattle off the farmland, but a thunderstorm causes some of the horses to stampede and a farmer is killed. The man's death threatens to start a war between the farmers and the drovers.

3. Wagon Train


1960 - "The Jeremy Dow Story"

When the wagon train passes through town, habitually drunk Jeremy Dow finds that his past has caught up with him. His choices: continue running, or face the demons from his past when he is confronted with this wife and son on the train.

4. Alfred Hitchcock Presents


1961 - "Ambition"

A DA's ambition for higher office may interfere with the plans of a crime boss, who saved his life during the war, to go straight.

5. The Alfred Hitchcock Hour


1964 - "The Magic Shop"

After a little boy vanishes in a magic shop, he comes back later with supernatural powers and evil intentions.

6. Wagon Train


1964 - "The Brian Conlin Story"

The wagon train crew helps a group of Irish immigrants who have been mistreated.

7. Gunsmoke


1969 - "Time of the Jackals"

Matt and Festus shoot it out with an outlaw who was a member of the infamous Jess Trevor gang, particularly notorious for murder and mayhem. 

8. The Big Valley


1969 - "Town of No Exit"

Heath arrives in a dying desert town, only to find himself a visitor in a madhouse. His hosts are five deranged people who play bizarre and deadly games with their infrequent guests. Heath's role in their hellish fantasy: the accused.

9. M*A*S*H


1973 - "The Ringbanger"

Hawkeye and Trapper hit it off with a wounded Colonel, but when they discover his combat zeal is costing lives, they conspire to keep him from returning to the front line.

10. Barnaby Jones


1973 - "The Killing Defense"

Barnaby Jones investigates the disappearance of a man he believes was involved in the theft of one million dollars in precious jewels. It isn't long before Barnaby suspects the man met with foul play and that the wife and defense lawyer of the man are involved.

11. Cannon


1974 - "The Man Who Died Twice"

Cannon teams up with former officers who were on the force the same time he was. Their task is to find another colleague who they believed was dead for the past eight years, but now suspected of killing those he was involved with in crime.

12. The Love Boat


1978 - "A Selfless Love/The Nubile Nurse/Parents Know Best"

Bruce's parents Harry and Phyllis want him to date women on the cruise and not settle for his girl back home. New nurse Dawn frustrates Adam by rejecting him. Dan has second thoughts about marrying young Laura.

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Stoney 3 months ago
He was also in the very first episode of "Thriller", hosted by Boris Karloff.
LalaLucy 5 months ago
Love every chance I get to spot him in something. He was always so good. However, I have to admit that even when it is a serious role, I can't help giggling when I see and hear him as my earliest exposure to him was Airplane and Naked Gun. Never can fully shake the images of Dr. Rumack/ Frank Drebin.🙂
Moverfan 5 months ago
You forgot Murder, She Wrote--he played Jessica's old boyfriend who was hunting for sunken treasure...and involved with some not-so-nice people.
cheryl1725 5 months ago
And he did two Columbos. He was so good on those two although he wasn't in one very long.
CoreyC 5 months ago
Leslie Nielsen play Blanche's uncle who married Dorothy in the series finale of The Golden Girls.
Runeshaper 5 months ago
Leslie Nielsen was FANTASTIC! I've liked him in every role I've ever seen him play! (-:
JHP Runeshaper 5 months ago
well - I haven't seen it - "just don't call him Surely" :)
Andybandit 5 months ago
I thought LN was a great actor, very funny in a lot of his different movies and shows that he was in.
WGH 5 months ago
Leslie used to come into a restaurant where my wife worked.

Super nice to everyone including kids who would come up and want to meet Mr Magoo!

I really think my wife would have left me for him. Even though he was like 40 years older than her. Lol.
cperrynaples WGH 5 months ago
Well, Nielsen did the movie in the '90's, but we all Jim Baccus was the REAL Magoo! "Oh MeTV, you've done it again!" Now how about some Magoo on TIWM?
LoveMETV22 cperrynaples 5 months ago
" Now how about some Magoo on TIWM"
Yes that would be cool. Doesn't " DreamWorks" currently own the rights?
Bapa1 cperrynaples 5 months ago
Some years ago Antenna TV was showing cartoons om weekend mornings, and they were showing Mr. Magoo cartoons.
seltaeb 5 months ago
He was in 2 episodes of Columbo.
Peter_Falk_Fan seltaeb 5 months ago
Yeah. He is the murder victim in 'Identity Crisis' and provides Columbo with the key evidence in 'Lady in Waiting'.
justjeff 5 months ago
...but they left out his role as a "heavy" in an episode of Naked City! From IMDb:

"Down the Long Night (TV Episode 1960) - Norman Garry is harassed by former neighbor Max Evar. Evar, an "expert on horror", lost his family due to a fire he holds Garry responsible for. Garry asks the NYPD for help and Det. Flint becomes interested in the case. The discovery that Evar was recently released from a mental hospital heightens the drama..."
cperrynaples 5 months ago
Surely you won't serious about this post? Maybe you were but don't call him Shirley...LOL! Bonus Question: on what show did Leslie play a title character that was originally invisible?
MsRockford74 5 months ago
I liked him in the Fugitive! He is really good. He got stuck with a lot of serious roles back then, but I heard he always wanted to be funny:)
cperrynaples MsRockford74 5 months ago
Another bonus: In what '90's comedy was he really a fugitive?
WGH cperrynaples 5 months ago
Can't remember the name but I know he did a parody of the fugitive.

Actually he did a lot of parodies like dead and Loving It - Vampire movies.
cperrynaples WGH 5 months ago
Mel Brooks' version of Dracula! "Children of the night, SHUT UP"...LOL!
toddo 5 months ago
After Wagon Train #6, before Gunsmoke #7, he was the "intelligence" director Brent, in the '68 pilot of Hawaii Five-0. McGarrett gets plenty ticked off at him for "putting a tail" on him!
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