Leslie Jordan Dead at 67 After Crash — Hollywood Mourns 'Will & Grace' Star
Leslie Jordan, the beloved comedian whose flamboyant, chatty Instagram blew up in recent years, has died following a West Coast car crash. He was 67.
TMZ reported Jordan's shocking death, noting that law enforcement suspects Jordan suffered a medical emergency while driving his BMW in Hollywood near Romaine and Cahuenga, leading him to crash into a building.
"Extra's" Jenn Lahmers was at the scene of the crash and spoke to a security man, who claimed that Jordan was driving very slowly before he clipped a white truck. Cars were reportedly weaving around his BMW and honking just before he crashed into a building.
Jordan's agent, David Shaul at BRS/Gage Talent Agency, told "Extra" in a statement, "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 it''s 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."
"Extra's" Billy Bush called Leslie "lovable and adorable" in his remembrance of the actor, who just sat down with Billy recently. Watch:
Sean Hayes, Leslie's co-star on "Will & Grace," expressed his grief 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. You will be missed, my dear friend. 😔❤️ pic.twitter.com/RNKSamoES0
Eric McCormack, Will himself, called Leslie "the funniest & flirtiest southern gent I have ever known", writing:
Crushed to learn about the loss of @thelesliejordan, the funniest & flirtiest southern gent I’ve ever known. The joy and laughter he brought to every one of his #WillandGrace episodes was palpable. Gone about thirty years too soon. You were loved, sweet man. 💔
Jordan's final Instagram post for his nearly 6 million followers was a video of a duet of a new song with Danny Myrick. He wrote of the modern hymn, "Sunday Mornin’ Hymn Singin’ with @dannymyrick. Danny helped me with a new original song that should be comin’ out real soon. Love. Light. Leslie."
Born April 29, 1955, in Chattanooga, Tennessee, Jordan enjoyed a long career on TV and in films, one that often played up his diminutive stature (4'11") and oversized personality.
After making his debut on an episode of "The Fall Guy" in 1986, he notched over 130 credits, mostly on TV, none more prominent than his work as the hysterically villainous Beverely Leslie on "Will & Grace" (2001-2006; 2017-2020), a part originally written for Joan Collins. He appeared 17 times on the show, often opposite Megan Mullally as Karen Walker, Beverley's equally poison-tongued foil.
"I thought I smelled gin and regret," Beverely once sniped at Karen, a classic line from a classic series. He won the Emmy for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series for his performance on the show in 2006.
He was a series regular on "Reasonable Doubts" (1992-1993), "Bodies of Evidence" (1992-1993), "Hearts Afire" (1993-1995), "Sordid Lives: The Series" (2008), "Living the Dream" (2017-2019), "The Cool Kids" (2018-2019), and "Call Me Kat" (2021-2022).
Just weeks ago, Jordan told Jennifer Hudson that "Call Me Kat" was renewed for a third season, and that his character was getting a love interest.
He also made 10 appearances on "American Horror Story" from 2013-2019 and was a guest judge on "The Masked Singer" (2021-2022).
Jordan also toured with a one-man show and was the author of a book with the same title: "My Trip Down the Pink Carpet."
For many, it is unbelievably sad to consider his trip has ended so abruptly, so violently, and so early.
Jordan's improbable, late-in-life blossoming on social media earned him fans among entertainment A-listers, who regularly shared and commented on his video posts, which ran the gamut from self-effacing to naughty, gossipy to spiritual. News of his death led to an outpouring from Hollywood.
Michelle Pfeiffer wrote on Instagram, "I just heard the devastating news of the beloved Leslie Jordan’s passing. Leslie was such a light for so many. Generously gifting the world with his love and humor, especially during this lockdown; one of our bleakest and loneliest times. He lived everyday to bring joy to every one he came in contact with."
"Big Bang Theory" star Jim Parsons posted a portrait of Jordan on Instagram, writing, "If Leslie touched your life in any way, from near or far, you were never the same. Leslie was both a man of the earth and an absolute angel. He was funny as hell and had a depth of emotion that made everyone around him feel loved. I am shocked and sad beyond words to learn of his death, but I am equally filled with immense gratitude at having crossed his path on his journey. Rest in peace, you good, good man. ❤️"
"Abbott Elementary" creator and star Quinta Brunson recalled meeting Jordan, tweeting:
All of us at Abbott Elementary are sending love to @CallMeKatFOX . We share a stage with this wonderful production and one of my greatest joys was meeting Leslie in the hallway for the first time a few weeks ago. We know this loss is immense. He was pure joy.
Lance Bass posted on Instagram, "Legend is not a large enough word to describe Leslie Jordan. No one made me laugh harder. This one is heartbreaking. Rest well my friend."
"Wonder Woman" star Lynda Carter tweeted of Jordan's death, "Leslie Jordan put a smile on the faces of so many, especially with his pandemic videos. What a feat to keep us all laughing and connected in such difficult times... It feels so cruel that this could happen to such a beautiful soul." She commented on Jordan's Instagram, "I miss you already."
Tony-nominated playwright Jeremy O. Harris wrote on Twitter, "This is so heartbreaking. Your star shined bright no matter where you were on screen and even moreso off. You were truly one of the spirits that made aging as a queer man feel more exciting than existing in the present. To a lived fully! RIP LESLIE JORDAN."
Patton Oswalt tweeted five broken heart emojis, sharing one of Leslie's first viral posts, in which he proclaims, "Well, sh*t. What are y'all doin'? Screwin'?"
Oscar winner Marlee Matlin tweeted, "I’m so sad to read the news of Leslie Jordan’s passing. He was such a pleasure to work with on my first TV series, Reasonable Doubts. He was at the top of his game and had so much to look forward to. He exuded JOY and LAUGHTER. RIP dear Leslie #LeslieJordan."
"I’m heartbroken to hear the news that Leslie Jordan has died. I loved him. He was kind and sensitive and caring and of course funny as hell. He was a true original. The world will be a lot sadder without Leslie in it 💔," Katie Couric posted.
Trinity the Tuck, the drag queen who played Jordan so memorably on "RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars 7," eulogized him on Twitter with a photo of herself in full Jordan drag, writing, "Devastated to find out that Leslie Jordan has passed. He was such a queer icon to me. My first exposure to him was in one of my favorite movies Sordid Lives! I literally just saw him a few weeks ago in LA. my thoughts are with the people he was close to!"
The last time I worked with Leslie Jordan… we guest co hosted The Talk.. Leslie was so much fun to be around, always had a funny story and he inspired me to keep going in an industry that could be ageist … I will miss you my friend.. Mama is waiting on you. pic.twitter.com/HUsJNFAd9o
"I feel like I can’t breathe. My beautiful and sweet friend. What will we all do without you? Your entire being spread love, sunshine and goodness. I will miss you more than I have words to say. Love you friend. May you make heaven as joyful as you made earth. 💔" — Jennifer Love Hewitt
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I am stunned at the death of Leslie Jordan, who delighted us with his many roles on television and film. The cause of death was a car crash after he suffered a medical emergency. Leslie, we are heartbroken at your loss and will miss your mirth and your inimitable spirit.
"Completely heartbroken. Leslie Jordan was a kind spirit and provided us with so many laughs. Rest peacefully, friend. This man was never afraid to act a fool! The smiles he brought to our faces can never be counted. They're endless." — Jackée Harry
"I am gutted by this news. Leslie Jordan was a walking ball of love. I don’t know how to process this. He was always so full of joy and LIFE. I just…" — Yvette Nicole Brown
Hannah Waddingham of "Ted Lasso" tweeted, "No,No,No. This news is just horrendous. Leslie Jordan. You sunshine through our days. None more so than your selfless warmth and humour through world lockdown. So blessed I got to tell you in person what you’d meant to me. I’m so,so saddened by this news."
Leslie Jordan touched so many hearts, including ours. He was not only a beloved comedian but our dear friend. Sending our love and condolences to his family, friends and fans. pic.twitter.com/OSL5swfw6w