Standing On A Chair

Telling it like I see it…

On Leslie Nielsen Part Two

My face grew hot as I looked up into his twinkling, smoky-blue eyes.  He laughed, and then this tall, older man with a full head of white hair gave me a hug and walked away.

The rest of the afternoon remains a bit of a blur.  He eventually replaced his stand-in on the stool in front of the big, blue screen.  He wore a black suit with a red tie, and as the cameras rolled he pitched the virtues of Ford Motor Company.

The long day was finally coming to a close.  I spent my last few minutes as a production assistant hauling trash to a bin outside the back door of the studio.  I stopped to admire a Bentley parked in the alley.  The stand-in suddenly appeared and said, “It’s a beauty isn’t it?”  I nodded, running my fingers over the smooth, flawless beige enamel.  “Mr. Nielsen would like you to join him for cocktails. Are you available?”  My heart once again banged in my chest. 

Of course I said yes.  Are you kidding me? 

I went back inside to grab my purse, and used one of the desk phones to call Melvin.  “I’m going to be late, honey.  I’m having cocktails with Leslie Nielsen.”  Melvin didn’t believe me.  “I swear to God it’s true, Mel!  See you later!”  I didn’t wait for a response.  I banged the phone down, and the next thing I knew, I was sitting in that Bentley with the man himself, on our way to a place he knew, where the lights were dim and there was a specific corner booth they always kept open for him. 

I really wish I could recall the details of our conversation in that corner booth.  Servers hovered, all “Mr. Nielsen this and Mr. Nielsen that.”  Things were said about his recent Poseidon Adventure role, and what TV projects he was currently working on.  He asked me questions about myself, too.  I remember he made me laugh, and I remember being surprised that he was funny, since I knew of him only as a dramatic actor.  Here’s something I most definitely remember:  the moment when he reached over, moved my hair behind my ear, stroked my cheek with his forefinger, and kissed me swiftly and ever-so-softly on my lips.

I am not making this up when I say my whole body throbbed and tingled.  The man was beautiful, the man was charming, and the man was immensely sexy.

He wanted more from me that night.  I said no.

He asked me for my phone number.  I said yes.

When I arrived home at around 10:30 p.m., I was tipsy and crackling with energy.  I couldn’t stop smiling.

Melvin was furious.

“Oh Jeez, Mel,” I told him.  “It was just a one time fluke thing!  I won’t be seeing him again…he’s a celebrity, for God’s sake!”

Three days later, while I was in a sales meeting with the boss and most of the marketing team, all of whom were males, the switchboard operator’s voice cackled over the intercom, “Sorry to interrupt sir, but Jill has an important call from a Mr. Leslie Nielsen.  He insists she take the call right now.”

The room fell silent, everybody’s jaws dropped and suddenly all eyes were on me.

Of course I took the call.  Are you kidding me?

The next day, as I drove to the studio where he was working a part in Buddy Ebsen’s TV drama Barnaby Jones, I thought how surreal it was, that he would be calling me at work, wanting to see me again, inviting me to visit him on set, inviting me to lunch.  I thought, My God!  What will come next?  What the hell am I doing?

He greeted me with a hug and plopped me in a high canvas chair close to the set.  Watching him act with Buddy Ebsen that afternoon was a kick!  But again, it was quite tedious, with long waits between takes and a lot of sitting around.  They had to keep working through lunch for some reason, and he was only able to throw me a smile and a wave on occasion. 

Finally I had to get back to work.  I couldn’t interrupt the filming to tell him good-bye, so I just left.

I did not hear from Leslie Nielsen again.

Melvin was relieved, and really, so was I.  We both had fun telling the story to our friends, though.  And as a result they all started calling me “Star Fucker.”

“I did not sleep with Leslie Nielsen!” I swore.  “It’s the truth!”

But they wouldn’t believe me.

Nobody has ever believed me.

But honest to God I didn’t.


May he rest in peace.


December 7, 2010 - Posted by | Stars | , , ,

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