Leslie Jordan, ‘Will & Grace’ actress and gay icon, dies at 67 after crashing in Hollywood

Actor, comedian and musician Leslie Jordan, known for his roles in “Will & Grace” and “American Horror Story” and for his pandemic videos on Instagram, died after a car accident Monday in Hollywood.

Jordan, 67, won an Emmy in 2006 for his performance as Beverly Leslie on the popular TV show “Will & Grace.” His stars were among the many who paid tribute on social media on Monday.

Jordan was behind the wheel of a BMW when it crashed into the side of a building on Cahuenga Boulevard and Romaine Street at 9:30 a.m., Los Angeles Police Officer Liseth Lomelli told The Times. The death of the actor and writer has long been announced at the scene.

A law enforcement source said it was not immediately clear if Jordan was killed in the accident or suffered from a medical emergency beforehand, but the condition of the vehicle indicates that Jordan may have lost control before it hit the building.

At the scene, black skid marks from Cahuenga Boulevard led to the sidewalk where a Jordanian BMW crashed into the building, its metal facade skewed.

By late afternoon on Monday, BMW had been replaced by bundles of lilies and chrysanthemums and a handwritten note on lined paper: “Thank you for being a beacon in this world! We’ll miss you. Rest in peace!”

Many people visited the site to take pictures and gaze at the temporary memorial.

Dan Merlott, a West Hollywood resident and editorial director of the WeHo Times, paused after a workout at the nearby Gold’s Gym.

He said, “He was into the joke.” “He knew he was a little androgynous guy and he took advantage of it – he’s cool.”

Aaron Rosenberg, who lives down the street near the crash site, said he felt a strong connection to Jordan, calling him a “gay icon.”

“It opened a lot of doors for the whole community,” he said.

Joey Wesser and Felipe Arriba also went on their way home to visit the memorial. They both grew up watching Jordan on “Will & Grace” and were among the millions who followed his entertaining messages about the pandemic.

“I think it brought a lot of us together at a time when we weren’t sure what was going on,” Weiser said of Jordan’s Instagram videos.

Chloe Phoenix, who drove to the location with her mother, Jesse, and sister Jasmine, gleefully took out her phone and grinned while watching one of Jordan’s viral videos, as he spins with a stick in hand, and shouts, “Dad, watch me spin!”

Phoenix and her sister said they were impressed with how he represented the LGBTQ community. Their mother said Jazmine was crying after learning of Jordan’s death.

“Not a lot of celebrities touch you that way,” Jesse said after the family lit a prayer candle next to the flowers. “This was a complete crush on us.”

Leslie Jordan co-hosted the trailer for the 94th Academy Awards earlier this year.

(Richard Harbo/AMPAS)

After Jordan got his big break in 1989 when he was cast in the first season of “Murphy Brown,” his 30-year career was marked by scene-stealing roles on TV shows like “Bodies of Evidence” and “Hearts Afire.”

His fame grew while starring in NBC’s “Will & Grace”, as well as his work on Ryan Murphy’s series “American Horror Story” and “The Cool Kids”, where he played confident young citizen Syd Delacroix. Most recently, Jordan was starring in the Fox sitcom “Call Me Kat”, which premiered its third season last month.

While in an apartment in his hometown of Chattanooga, Tennessee, during the early months of the pandemic in 2020, Jordan found widespread fame through a steady series of comedy videos posted on Instagram. He has amassed 5.8 million followers, including many celebrities, who have continued to listen to his rude stories conveyed in his Southern accent.

Greet his followers with the distinct login, “Okay, s-, what are you all doing?” And posting it twice a day for 80 days, Jordan has been making fun of daily life during the pandemic. He gave colorful reactions to new music, such as Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion’s song, “WAP.” He created a dance-pop montage from his backyard to his living room. While walking, he recalls with humor moments from his acting career.

A friend of mine called from California and said, ‘You have The virus has spread.And I said, No, honey, I’m fine. Jordan joked in one of the videos, I don’t have COVID. “I don’t know how I did it because now I scramble for content… Every day, I think, ‘Oh my God! I want to post. What should I come up with?”

The actor’s representative, David Shaul, issued a statement on his death.

“The world is definitely a darker place today without the love and light of Leslie Jordan,” Shaul said. “Not only was he an immense talent and a joy to work with, but he provided an emotional sanctuary for the nation at one of its most difficult times. What he lacked in length he made up for in generosity and greatness as a son, brother, artist, comedian, partner and human being. Knowing that he left the world at the height of his career and personal life is solace. The only one one can get today.”

Tributes from Hollywood began pouring in after news of Jordan’s death spread on social media, including from his “Will & Grace” co-stars.

Eric McCormack, who starred as Will Truman on the sitcom, celebrated the diminutive Dandy—Jordan was 4 feet 11 feet tall—as “the funniest and funniest Southern Gent I’ve ever known.”

“The joy and laughter he brought to each of his #WillandGrace episodes was palpable. It was about thirty years too early. You were loved, sweet man,” McCormack tweeted.

“Will & Grace” co-star Sean Hayes also shared, “Leslie Jordan was one of the funniest people I’ve ever enjoyed working with.”

“Everyone who met him loved him” Hayes tweeted. “There will never be anyone like him. A unique talent with a formidable and caring heart. We will miss you, my dear friend.”

“Leslie was flawlessly funny, talented at comedy. His timing, his birth, all seemingly effortless.” Megan Mulally, who played Karen Walker, Jordan’s arch rival, wrote in Will & Grace, ‘You can’t Get better than that.”

Actress Linda Carter, who portrayed Wonder Woman on the TV show of the same name in the 1970s, said pandemic-era videos in Jordan “put a smile on the faces of many.”

“What a feat that makes us all laugh and connect in such difficult times…. It feels so cruel that this can happen to such a beautiful soul,” Carter Books.

Jordan, who was openly gay, was also celebrated by some mourners as a gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBTQ) symbol who expanded the possibilities of gay identity both on and off screen.

“I was truly one of the spirits who made old age as an eccentric man feel more exciting than what is there at present,” Wrote Tony Award-nominated playwright Jeremy O. Harris.

Dragon Queen tuck trinity She said she just saw Jordan in Los Angeles last week and considered the actor “a strange icon to me.”

Trinity said she drew inspiration from the LGBTQ classic “Sordid Lives,” a 2000 movie based on the play of the same name in which Jordan played Earl “Brother Boy” Ingram, a gay queen whose Texas family struggles to accept him.

in the current situation Posted on TwitterSarah Kate Ellis, president and CEO of the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, said Jordan “was a multi-talented artist who has attracted audiences for decades with influential characters on screen and a passionate advocate for gay and transgender people off screen.” The advocacy group described him as “a loyal friend of many LGBTQ organizations including GLAAD,” who “also made it a priority to help increase LGBTQ visibility for people in the South.”

A man with a white smile raises his arm and smiles

Leslie Jordan appeared on Gutfeld! Talk show in July.

(Evan Agostini/Invision/The Associated Press)

In several of his Instagram videos, Jordan shared stories of the difficulties of growing up gay in a religious environment with a father who served in the military. Jordan, who has been vigil for two decades, said he adapted by turning to alcohol and drugs.

“There was a feeling that I was a little disappointed,” he recalls during one of the videos. The actor then revealed that he struggled with being “androgynous” more than with being gay. “I open my mouth and 50 yards of purple chiffon come out,” he said.

In an interview with the New York Times in June 2020, Jordan said that his gender identity allowed him to stand in solidarity during the uprisings that followed the killing of George Floyd. He handed his Instagram account over to Deesha Dyer, a former Cabinet member in the Obama administration, to lead a conversation about systemic racism.

“I’m really divided over whether to go to Instagram or anything to do with that,” Jordan said. “But when you have 4.7 million followers, I mean, you can’t just sit still. I’m a gay guy who went through a lot of early gay rights movements.”

Besides acting, Jordan has also engaged in music as an extension of his Instagram posts where he sang carols on Sundays. Rooted in his church upbringing, these videos inspired him to create a country gospel album, 2021’s Company Coming, which featured guests such as Dolly Parton and Brandi Carlisle.

Jordan spoke to the Los Angeles Times to promote the album, as it reflected on his Hollywood journey.

“When I got off the bus in 1982, I had $1,200. I came from Tennessee to LA, had a little money and got my degree in theater. I couldn’t pronounce it. I called it ‘THEE-ate-er,'” he said.

“So I had a list of what I wanted to achieve. I wanted to be in movies and TV, but this [album] It was too far from the radar. It’s not like I’m sitting down and thinking, “What’s the next big challenge?” This has always happened to me. You have really had a blessed career. I’m just all the way.”


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