Leslie Jordan, Emmy-winning ‘Will & Grace’ actor and comedian, dies at 67

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Leslie Jordan, the actor whose wry Southern accent and versatility made him a standout comedy and drama actor on television shows like “Will & Grace” and “American Horror Story,” has died. The Emmy winner, whose videos made him a social media star during the pandemic, was 67 years old.

“The world is definitely a much darker place today without the love and light of Leslie Jordan. Not only was he such a great talent and delight to work with, he provided an emotional sanctuary to the nation in one of his moments.” more difficult”. a representative for Jordan said in a statement Monday. “Knowing that he has left the world at the top of his professional and personal life is the only consolation one can have today.”

The Chattanooga, Tennessee native, who won an Emmy for Outstanding Guest Actor in 2005 for his role as Beverly Leslie on “Will & Grace,” had a recurring role on the Mayim Bialik comedy “Call Me Kat” and co-starred in the comedy “The Cool Kids” situation.

Jordan’s other eclectic credits include “Hearts Afire,” “Boston Legal,” “Fantasy Island” and “The United States vs. Billie Holiday.” He played various roles in the “American Horror Story” franchise series.

Jordan died Monday in a car accident in Hollywood, according to reports from celebrity website TMZ and the Los Angeles Times, citing unnamed law enforcement sources.

Jordan gained an unexpected new following in 2021 when he spent time during the pandemic lockdown near his family in his hometown. He broke the monotony by posting daily videos of himself on Instagram.

Many of Jordan’s videos included him asking “How’s it going?” and some included stories about Hollywood or his childhood growing up with identical twin sisters and her “mom,” as he called her. He other times he did silly things like complete an indoor obstacle course.

“Someone called from California and said, ‘Oh, honey, you’ve gone viral.’ And I said, ‘No, no, I don’t have COVID. I’m just in Tennessee,” Jordan said. Celebrities like Michelle Pfeiffer, Jessica Alba, and Anderson Cooper, along with brands like Reebok and Lululemon, posted comments.

He soon became obsessed with the number of views and followers he had, because not much else was happening. At the time of his death, he had amassed 5.8 million followers on Instagram and another 2.3 million on TikTok.

“For a while, it was like obsessive. And I thought, ‘This is ridiculous. Stop, stop, stop. You know, it almost became, ‘If it doesn’t happen on Instagram, it didn’t happen.’ first of all. You’re not a teenager.'”

The spotlight led to new opportunities. Earlier this month, she released a gospel album called “Company’s Comin” with Dolly Parton, Chris Stapleton, Brandi Carlile, Eddie Vedder and Tanya Tucker. She wrote a new book, “How’s It Going?: Misadventures and Mischief of a Life Well Lived.”

It was Jordan’s second book, following his 2008 memoir “My Trip Down the Red Carpet.”

“That kind of dealing with all the heartbreak and growing up gay in the Baptist Church and the, the, the, the. And this one, I just wanted to tell stories,” he told The Associated Press in a 2021 interview. Among the anecdotes : working with Lady Gaga on “American Horror Story”; how meeting Carrie Fisher led Debbie Reynolds to name her mother and the Shetland pony she had as a child named Midnight.

In a 2014 interview with Philadelphia magazine, Jordan was asked how he related to his role in the 2013 film “Southern Baptist Sissies,” which explores growing up gay while being raised in a conservative Baptist church.

“I really wanted to be a good Christian, like some of the kids in the movie. I was baptized 14 times,” Jordan said. “Every time the preacher would say, ‘Go ahead, sinners!’ I’d be like, ‘Oooh, I was in the woods with that boy, I better get on with it.’ saved,’ and I was like, ‘Well, I don’t think that was necessary.

Jordan said that he considered himself a storyteller by nature.

“It’s very southern. If they were going to teach me a lesson or something as a kid, they told me a story,” he told the AP.

Mark Kennedy and Alicia Rancilio in New York contributed to this report.

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