Leslie Jordan, an Emmy-winning actor whose Southern drawl and versatility have made him a comedy and drama standout on TV series including Will & Grace and American Horror Story, he died. Jordan, whose videos turned him into a social media star during the pandemic, was 67.
He died Monday in a car accident in Hollywood, according to reports by celebrity website TMZ and the Los Angeles Times, citing unnamed law enforcement sources.
“The world is definitely a much darker place today without the love and light of Leslie Jordan.” “Not only was he a mega talent and a joy to work with, but he provided emotional refuge to the nation during one of its most difficult times,” Jordan’s representative said in a statement on Monday.
“Knowing that he left the world at the peak of his professional and personal life is the only comfort he can have today.”
Stars from Will & Grace mourned Jordan’s death.
“My heart is broken,” Sean Hayes tweeted. “Everyone who ever met him loved him. There will never be another like him. A unique talent with a huge, caring heart. I will miss you dear friend.”
My heart is broken. Leslie Jordan was one of the funniest people I’ve ever had the pleasure of working with. Everyone who ever met him loved him. There will never be anyone like him. A unique talent with a huge, caring heart. I will miss you dear friend. 😔❤ <а хреф="хттпс://т.цо/РНКСамоЕС0">pic.twitter.com/RNKSamoES0а>
Eric McCormack, who played the title character Will Truman, said on Twitter that he was devastated to learn of Jordan’s death, calling him “the funniest and funniest Southerner I’ve ever known.”
“The joy and laughter he brought to each of his own.” [Will and Grace] episodes were palpable.”
The Chattanooga, Tenn., native, who won an Outstanding Guest Actor Emmy in 2005 for his role as Beverly Leslie on the hit NBC sitcom, most recently appeared in the Mayim Bialik comedy Call me Kat and starred in a sitcom The Cool Kids.
Jordan’s other credits include Fantasy Island and United States v. Billie Holiday. He also played various roles on American Horror Story franchise series.
Gaining new followers on social networks
Jordan gained an unexpected new following in 2021 when he spent time during the pandemic near family in his hometown – posting daily videos of himself on Instagram and TikTok.
Many of his videos included him being asked “How are you?” and some included stories about Hollywood or his childhood growing up with identical twin sisters and their “mom,” as he called her. Other times he did stupid things like crossing an indoor obstacle course.
“Someone called from California and said, ‘Oh, honey, you’ve gone viral.’ And I said, ‘No, no, I don’t have COVID. I’m just in Tennessee,’ Jordan said.
Celebrities including Michelle Pfeiffer, Jessica Alba and Anderson Cooper, along with brands such as Reebok and Lululemon, would comment on his posts.
He soon became fixated on the number of views and followers he had, because it wasn’t happening anymore.
I am devastated to learn of the loss <а хреф="хттпс://твиттер.цом/тхелеслиејордан?реф_срц=твсрц%5Етфв">@thelesliejordanа>, the funniest & the most flirtatious southern gentleman I ever knew. The joy and laughter he brought to each of his <а хреф="хттпс://твиттер.цом/хасхтаг/ВилландГраце?срц=хасх&амп;реф_срц=твсрц%5Етфв">#VillandGraceа> episode were tangible. He left about thirty years too soon. You were loved, sweet man. 💔
“For a while there it was like obsessive. And I thought, ‘This is ridiculous. Stop, stop, stop.’ You know, it almost became, ‘If it doesn’t happen on Instagram, it didn’t happen.’ And I thought, ‘First of all, you’re 65 years old. You’re not some teenage girl.’ ”
The spotlight has led to new opportunities. Earlier this month, he released a gospel album titled Company’s Comin including Dolly Parton, Chris Stapleton, Brandi Carlyle, Eddie Vedder and Tanya Tucker.
The books shared encounters with glory, the Baptist church
He also wrote a book called How Are You?: Mishaps and Mischief from a Life Well Lived.
It was Jordan’s second book, following his 2008 memoir. My red carpet journey.
“It kind of dealt with all the angst and growing up gay in the Baptist church… I just wanted to tell stories,” he said in an interview last year.
Anecdotes of the new book included stories about working with Lady Gaga American Horror Storyhow his encounter with Star Wars actress Carrie Fisher led to her mother Debbie Reynolds calling his mother and the Shetland pony he got as a child named Midnight.
In a 2014 interview with Philadelphia magazine, Jordan was asked how he felt about his role in the 2013 film. Southern Baptist Sissieswhich explores growing up gay while being raised in a conservative Baptist church.
“I really wanted to be a really good Christian, like some of the boys in the movie. I was baptized 14 times,” Jordan said.
“Every time the preacher would say, ‘Come out, you sinners!’ My mother thought I was dramatic. She’d say, ‘Leslie, you’re already saved,’ and I’d say, ‘Well, I don’t think I should have.’ “
A storyteller by nature
Jordan said he considers himself a storyteller by nature.
“It’s very Southern.” “If they gave me a lesson or something like that when I was a kid, they told me a story,” the actor said.
Jordan first arrived in Los Angeles in 1982 on a Trailways bus “with a dream and $1,200 in his underpants,” hoping to make it as an actor. He was told his 4-foot-11 height and accent would hold him back, but the naysayers were proven wrong.
His big break came as a hapless ex-convict in a 1989 episode Murphy Brown.
“When that episode aired, my agent called the next day and said, ‘I’ve never seen anything like this.’ The phone is ringing off the hook.’ “