Frank Drebin

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Frank Drebin
First appearanceA Substantial Gift
(The Broken Promise)
Last appearanceNaked Gun 33⅓: The Final Insult
Created byJerry Zucker, Jim Abrahams, and David Zucker
Portrayed byLeslie Nielsen
AliasTony De'Wonderful[1]
Bob Kelly[2]
Enrico Pallazzo
Nick "The Slasher" McGuirk
TitleSergeant, Detective Lieutenant
OccupationPolice officer
SpouseJane Spencer-Drebin
ChildrenFrank Drebin Jr (flashforward) from "The Naked Gun 33⅓: The Final Insult"

Franklin "Frank" Drebin is a fictional character in the Police Squad! series and The Naked Gun movies played by Leslie Nielsen.[3] In 2008, Drebin was selected by Empire magazine as one of The 100 Greatest Movie Characters of All Time.[4] In 2000, TV Guide named him to its list of the 25 greatest TV detectives, ranking him #23.[5] He was also named by as one of The 100 Best Heroes of All Time.[6]

Character overview[edit]

Frank Drebin is a member of Police Squad, a special department of the police force, where he served for many years. In the original TV series, he is a competent yet sometimes clumsy police officer, who plays the straight man to the wacky comedy going on around him. In the subsequent films, he is changed to a more comic figure; he is known for being a bumbling fool, causing lots of problems, often more than he solves, but being entirely oblivious to it all. In the TV series, he treats his colleagues and people that he helps with respect and shows pity for the latter, although he sometimes unintentionally causes them a bit of grief. In the film unlike people such as his friend under whom he works, Captain Ed Hocken (Alan North/George Kennedy), he is a very indiscreetly and unsympathetically outspoken man, therefore tending to appear cold and insensitive towards people, not to mention cynical. He just as well lacks having pity and compassion towards struggling individuals when they need it, and having any of it when conversing with officials who confront him about his mistakes. All of this may be due to the news Frank receives from Ed in the first film: His dedication to police work has caused his wife to leave him for an Olympic gymnast and she is now having "the best sex she's ever had"[7]. While he works under Ed, in Police Squad, he works with Norberg (Peter Lupus). In the Naked Gun series, he works with Nordberg (O. J. Simpson). Drebin has held the rank of Sergeant and Lieutenant Detective.

He and Ted Olson (Ed Williams) are the only characters that appeared in both Police Squad! and the Naked Gun films and were portrayed by the same actors.[8]


  1. ^ "Testimony of Evil (Dead Men Don't Laugh)". Police Squad!. Season 1. Episode 6. 1982-07-08. ABC.
  2. ^ "Ring of Fear (A Dangerous Assignment)". Police Squad!. Season 1. Episode 2. 1982-03-11. ABC.
  3. ^ Canvy, Vincent; Nichols, Peter M.; Scott, A. O. (2004). "The New York Times Guide to the Best 1,000 Movies Ever Made". New York City: Macmillan. p. 687.
  4. ^ "Empire's The 100 Greatest Movie Characters". Empire. London, England: Bauer Media Group. 29 June 2015. Retrieved 21 May 2010.
  5. ^ TV Guide Book of List. Running Press. 2007. p. 219. ISBN 0-7624-3007-9.
  6. ^ "UGO's 100 Best Heroes of All Time". January 21, 2010. Retrieved May 21, 2010.
  7. ^
  8. ^ In the films Ed was portrayed by George Kennedy and Nordberg by O. J. Simpson. Johnny and Lincoln didn't return in the films

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