Actor Leslie Jordan died in a car accident in Los Angeles on Monday at the age of 67. Law enforcement sources told TMZ and then the Los Angeles Times that they suspected the beloved actor suffered a medical emergency before crashing his BMW into the side of a Hollywood building.
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Actor Leslie Jordan dies at 67 History
Known for her roles on American Horror Story, Hart’s Affair, and her Emmy-winning turn on Will & Grace, Jordan found renewed fame at age 65 as an accidental internet sensation during the pandemic. Posting gossipy, relatable daily videos on Instagram, the lanky star — he stood 4’11” in shoes — reached a new audience after decades as a jobbing actor.
“The world would be a much darker place today without the love and light of Leslie Jordan,” said Jordan’s agent David Shall. “He was not only a mega talent and a joy to work with, but he provided an emotional refuge during the nation’s most difficult times.”
The veteran actor’s credits include The Help, The Cool Kids and Call Me Cat, a remake of the British hit Miranda, which is airing its third season on Fox. He received critical acclaim for his portrayal of Earl “Brother Boy” Ingram in the stage play Sordid Lives, which was later adapted into a 2000 cult romantic comedy film of the same name.
Born in Tennessee in 1955, Jordan grew up Southern Baptist in the middle-class suburbs of Chattanooga. His father, a lieutenant colonel in the US Army, died in a plane crash when he was 11 years old.
As a teenager, he was torn between the church of his youth and his sexuality – “I wanted to be a good Christian, I really did,” he told the Guardian in 2021. “I wanted to follow Christ’s teachings to the best of my ability, and I tried, but then the whole gay thing started happening. At the age of 17, I turned away from religion.
He resorted to humor as a defense mechanism – “Even today, if I meet someone and I’m not comfortable or ready to open up, I just laugh at them”, he said. “Then I didn’t have to let them in. So I was teased [at school], but I always fought back.”
Jordan moved to Los Angeles in 1982 and began in advertising before finding work in film and television. In the early 90s, he was involved with Project Angel Food in LA, a non-profit organization that provides food to people living with HIV/AIDS.
Tributes began pouring in as news of Jordan’s death was confirmed Monday.
Jordan’s Will & Grace co-star Sean Hayes tweeted: “My heart is broken. Leslie Jordan was one of the funniest people I’ve ever had the pleasure of working with. Everyone who met her loved her. There will be no one else like her. A huge, unique talent with a caring heart. You will be missed, my dear friend.”
“I am shocked by the death of Leslie Jordan, who delighted us with her many roles in television and film,” actor George Takei posted on Twitter. “Leslie, we are heartbroken at your loss and will miss your joy and your inimitable spirit.”
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