Thursday, December 2, 2010

Don’t call me Shirley

Remembering Leslie Nielsen (1926-2010)

During the 31 years I owned Lambchops Studios, I met quite a few celebrities. The most charming was Leslie Nielsen. I’ll never forget the day I introduced him to Hugh Downs in the lobby of our studio. I just stood there grinning like an idiot.

As soon as I met Leslie, I started scheming to interview him. I knew he had some experience with horses from his years playing Revolutionary War hero, Francis Marion, “The Swamp Fox.” But I had a firm rule at the studio: We treated celebrities like regular folks. In rare instances, we would take photos or get autographs, but I wanted celebrities to think of our studio as a place of refuge where they could relax and be themselves.

Finally one day, Leslie was in to record some narration for "Katie and Orbie," the wonderful animated children’s series, and I felt the time was right to ask him for an interview. He couldn't have been nicer, and in the interview he was very open and free. We talked about his career and his love of horses. I’ve rerun that radio interview I don’t know how many times. And this week, it has special meaning to me. Rest in peace, Leslie.

Listen for: Growing up in the frozen tundra of northern Canada, riding mishaps and wisecracks on Disney’s “The Swamp Fox,” his daughter’s jumping accident, and … something better than a whoopee cushion.

Full interview with Leslie Nielsen on The Horse Show on Rick Lamb

Quickies from The Horse Show Minute

Leslie's Famous Dismount
Rex, the Saddlebred
Swamp Fox Spills

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