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Stars pay tribute to the late Leslie Nielsen

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It is hard to think of an abundance of things that would unite Ryan Seacrest, Roger Ebert, Brooke Burke, Josh Groban, Kevin Pollak, Marlee Maitlin, Nia Vardalos, and Slash. But it’s hard to think of many people with quite the universal appeal of Leslie Nielsen, whose passing today at the age of 84 has moved all of the aforementioned to pay their respects via Twitter.

Predictably, many of those who marked the Naked Gun star’s death are comedians—including Russell Brand, David Wain and Patton Oswalt—and many tipped a hat to the late Nielsen’s instruction from Airplane! not to call him a certain woman’s name (“Shirley, this breaks my heart,” wrote Groban).

Maitlin, an acquaintance of Nielsen, described him as “a lovely, funny, talented man,” while legendary film critic Roger Ebert referred his followers to a quartet of Nielsen-featuring clips, including the actor’s ultimately unsuccessful screen test for Ben-Hur.

UPDATE: Leslie Nielsen tributes on Twitter from Rainn Wilson, Snoop Dogg, and more (Nov. 29)

More on Leslie Nielsen from EW:

‘Airplane’ star Leslie Nielsen dies at 84

‘Don’t call me Shirley’: Remember Leslie Nielsen with these classic clips

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