June 23, 2024 The Newspaper Serving LGBT Los Angeles

Leslie Jordan, Beloved ‘Will & Grace’ Actor, Queer Icon Dies at 67

By Susan Payne 

A queer icon, known for his roles in “Will & Grace” and “American Horror Story” passed away Oct. 24. 

Jordan, 67, was driving a BMW when he crashed into the side of building at Cahuenga Boulevard and Romaine Street at 9:30 a.m., according to a police officer who spoke with the Los Angeles Times. 

The longtime, Emmy Award-winning actor was pronounced dead at the scene. 

A source from the law enforcement said the condition of his vehicle suggested Jordan may have lost control before slamming into the building, the LA Times reported. 

Jordan’s crash scene had been replaced by bundles of flowers and a handwritten note that read, “Thank you being a light in this world! You will be missed. RIP!”

The makeshift memorial donned silence as several people visited and took photos. 

Dan Mryglot, managing editor of the WeHo Times visited the crash site, and told the LA Times, “he was in on the joke. He knew he was a little effeminate man and he profited from it – it’s great.”

Another West Hollywood resident said he felt a strong connection to Jordan and told the LA Times he was a “gay icon” who opened a lot of doors for the whole community. 

Jordan was also known for his uplifting pandemic Instagram videos that tuned millions of views. 

“I think it brought a lot of us together in a time when we were not sure what was going,” said Joey Wiser, at the crash site. 

In 1989, Jordan was cast in the first season of “Murphy Brown” and held roles in other TV shows such as “Bodies of Evidence” and “Hearts Affire.”

Growing fame came to him during his starring role in NBC’s “Will & Grace.” He also played in “American Horror Story” and “The Cool Kids.” Recently, he starred in “Call Me Kat.”

Jordan’s iconic Instagram videos began with, “Well (expletive), what are yall doin’?” and would have a day-to-day focus. Sometimes he genuinely reacted to music or created dance montages to pop music. 

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

A statement from David Shaul, Jordan’s representative, was made in his honor. 

“The world is definitely a much darker place today without the love and light of Leslie Jordan,” Shaul said. “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.”

Tributes from Hollywood mounted over social media for the star, strongly about his representation of the LGBTQ community. 

Sarah Kate Ellis, president and chief executive of the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, said Jordan “was a multi-talented entertainer who charmed audiences for decades with heartfelt characters on-screen and passionate LGBTQ advocacy off-screen.” The advocacy group called him “a loyal friend to so many LGBTQ organizations including GLAAD,” who also “made it a priority to help increase visibility for LGBTQ for people in the South.”

in NEWS
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