Leslie Jordan passes at age 67

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Prime-time Emmy-winning actor, writer, singer, activist, animal lover, internet sensation, and beloved national treasure Leslie Jordan passed away on Monday morning at age 67.

The adorable comedic actor suffered an unknown “medical issue” while driving his BMW to Warner Brothers studios to film the Fox TV show Call me Kat. His car then struck a nearby building and he was pronounced dead at the scene. 

The news was confirmed by his agent, David Shaul in a statement that reads, 

“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 joy to work with, but he provided an emotional sanctuary to the nation at one of its most difficult times. What he lacked in height he made up for in generosity and greatness as a son, brother, artist, comedian, partner and human being. Knowing that he has left the world at the height of both his professional and personal life is the only solace one can have today.”

Leslie Allen Jordan was born April 29, 1955 and was raised in Chattanooga, Tennessee, which was especially challenging for the openly gay performer, living in a predominantly Baptist community, once stating in an interview, “I really wanted to be a really good Christian, like some of the boys in the movie. I was baptized 14 times. Every time the preacher would say, “Come forward, sinners!,” I’d say “Oooh, I was out in the woods with that boy, I better go forward. ” My mother thought I was being dramatic. She’d say, “Leslie, you’re already saved,” and I’d say, “Well, I don’t think it took.”

Jordan eventually moved to Los Angeles to pursue his career. After facing difficulties with drugs and alcohol, and even sharing a jail cell with Robert Downey Jr, Jordan’s big break came in 1993 when he played Lonnie Garr on Hearts Afire. He then became a household name for playing Karen Walker’s (Megan Mullally) flamboyant nemesis/frenemy Beverley Leslie in the hit TV show Will and Grace. The role earned him the Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series at the 58th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards in 2006.

In addition to Will and Grace, Jordan appeared in other projects such as the movie The Help and guest appearances on Murphy Brown, Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman, Star Trek: Voyager, Caroline in the City, Pee-Wee’s Playhouse, Reba, Boston Public, Boston Legal, Nash Bridges, and most notably American Horror Story.

He then became an internet sensation when he entertained himself and millions of fans by posting humorous videos on his official Instagram account. Jordan rode out the 2020 pandemic lockdown in Tennessee with his mother Peggy Ann Jordan and twin sisters Janet and Jana. Sadly both his mother and sister Janet passed away earlier this year, Janet passing in April and Peggy Ann in May. 

One of his funniest and most watched videos was his reaction to Cardi B’s WAP:

In 2021, he released the gospel music album, Company’s Comin. Jordan was later a guest panelist on season six of The Masked Singer during Week 5 where he also did a performance of This Little Light of Mine as “Soft Serve.” In the same year, he published his autobiography How Y’all Doing?: Misadventures and Mischief from a Life Well Lived.

Jordan starred in the short-lived series The Cool Kids, along with Martin Mull, Vicki Lawrence, and David Alan Grier and most recently on the Fox show Call Me Kat, along with Mayim Bialik, Swoosie Kurtz, Kyla Pratt, and Cheyenne Jackson. 


In addition to his Emmy win, Jordan received GALECA: The Society of LGBTQ Entertainment Critics’ Timeless Star award, the group’s career achievement honor given to “an actor or performer whose exemplary career is marked by character, wisdom and wit.”

His official Instagram asked fans to share their memories and many took to social media to share their memories and pay their respects to the beloved actor:

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