Emmy award-winning actor, writer and singer Leslie Jordan has died aged 67. The star was best known for his roles in Will & Grace, American Horror Story, The Help and most recently building a huge following on Instagram with his joyful videos and music.
Jordan was driving in Hollywood on Monday (October 24) morning and crashed into the side of a building at Cahuenga Boulevard and Romaine Street. It’s been reported the star suffered some form of medical emergency while driving.
Leslie Jordan appeared in multiple television shows and movies throughout his long and successful career including Ally McBeal, Ugly Betty, Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman, Hidden Palms, Star Trek: Voyager, Caroline in the City, Pee-Wee’s Playhouse, Reba, Boston Public, Nash Bridges and Boston Legal, as well as films like Ski Patrol, Roadside Rodeo, Love Ranch, Southern Baptist Sissies and The United States vs. Billie Holiday. He also appeared as three different characters in Ryan Murphy’s hit show American Horror Story. Jordan appeared in the Coven, Roanoke and 1984 instalments.
In 2020 he became a social media phenomenon gaining 5.8 million followers on Instagram due to his humorous videos that brought comfort and joy to people throughout the pandemic. Fans grew used to his hilarious stories, and more recently enjoyed his own music, in 2021 Jordan released a gospel music album entitled Company’s Comin and also as a guest panelist on The Masked Singer, where he performed gospel standard This Little Light of Mine.
Leslie Jordan was also an LGBTQ icon, and received the GALECA: The Society of LGBTQ Entertainment Critics’ Timeless Star award in 2021. Jordan also appeared on RuPaul’s Drag Race as a guest judge in 2013, and again in 2022 as a guest director. During the AIDS crisis, he was involved with the AIDS Project Los Angeles and Project Angel Food.
Speaking to Variety, Leslie Jordan’s agent David Shaul, said: “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.”
The tragic news sent shockwaves through the internet with many of his co-stars and fans expressing their sadness at the news of his death.
His co-star Megan Mullally who played Karen Walker in Will Grace shared a tribute via Instagram: ‘My heart is breaking. I really can’t believe it. Leslie Jordan was, hands down, one of the greats. People use that expression a lot, and I’m not sure it’s always applicable. there aren’t that many people who are truly great at anything. but Leslie was flawlessly funny, a virtuoso of comedy. his timing, his delivery, all apparently effortless. you can’t get any better than that.
and what a friendly, fun-loving, dear person. I was just with him last month.
“The prestigious national book festival was showcasing Leslie and his best-selling book in Washington d.c., and he’d asked me to come interview him for his event. I’d done my prep, but it was all completely unnecessary, of course, as I just had to barely unleash him and he went off on a series of absolutely hilarious stories that had the very large audience in hysterics for a solid hour.”
“Off-stage, he was so relaxed and happy, there with his best friend Mike. He truly seemed so happy. how brilliant it was that millions of people were able to discover the real Leslie and his love of life and unparalleled story-telling abilities on instagram. He had so much to share, and it meant so much to him that finally he’d found a vehicle through which to share it. He was absolutely unique. one of a kind. Thank you to all of his fans! He really loved you all and was so genuinely appreciative of you.
“I’m so glad that I got to spend some time with Leslie that day before and after the event, just us, catching up. I felt such a deep affection for him that day; he was so warm and present and darling. As we were leaving, I got a couple more big hugs and told him I loved him, as usual. so glad! What a gift! and so. love you, leslie. I miss you already. and one thing i know for sure… there will never ever be another you.”
Mullally’s Will & Grace co-star, Sean Hayes, shared his own remembrance of Jordan on social media on Monday, writing on Twitter, “My heart is broken. Leslie Jordan was one of the funniest people I 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 an enormous, caring heart. Leslie, you will be missed, my dear.”
Viola Davis, who co-starred with Jordan in The Help, shared a touching tribute: “Oh no!!! Leslie!! I have nothing but the fondest memories of you while filming The Help. I’d never been in the presence of anyone who loved life and people as much as you. Your heart was as big as your humor. You lived. You took up space. You were present. Rest well!”