Comedian Leslie Jordan Dead at 67

Leslie Jordan, the actor and comedian died at age 67. Early reports (via TMZ) seem to indicate that Jordan was driving in Hollywood, California, on the morning of Monday, October 24th, and crashed his BMW into the side of the building, after it's suspected that he suffered some sort of "medical emergency." Jordan was a longtime comedic staple of shows like Murphy Brown, Ugly Betty, Boston Public, Will & Grace, and The Cool Kids – he recently became a whole new level of stardom during the worldwide pandemic, making entertaining videos for social media that highlighted his dazzling personality. 

Leslie Allen Jordan was born in Chattanooga, Tennessee in 1955. He was famously outspoken about how his LGBTQ+ lifestyle clashed with his Southern Baptist upbringing; his mother, Peggy Ann always loved and supported him, but his father (who was in the Army Reserve) died tragically in a civilian airplane crash at Camp Shelby, Mississippi, when Jordan was eleven years old. 

(Photo: NBC)

Jordan's maturation was troubled; his arrival on the Hollywood scene in the early 1980s Los Angeles was marred by drugs, alcohol, and arrests. He managed to go through recovery, using creative techniques like daily journaling to overcome his demons. He channeled his energy in performing, breaking through with his out loud persona and sharp comedic wit. 

 His screen persona landed him consistent roles in now-iconic TV and film projects, with The Help, Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman, Star Trek: Voyager, Caroline in the City, Pee-Wee's Playhouse, Reba, Nash Bridges, Celebrity Big Brother, Call Me Kat and American Horror Story also on his resume, in addition to the aforementioned work. He was also prolific in the theatre and even released a gospel album in 2021. His personality helped propel him to new social media heights during COVID (5.8 million Instagram followers), where he shared hilarious anecdotes like quarantining with his family (including his 98-year-old mother) back in Chattanooga. The overwhelming response from the likes of IG users and influencers only proves that Jordan's charisma never faded. 

That enduring star power was clearly understood: Leslie Jordan received GALECA: The Society of LGBTQ Entertainment Critics' Timeless Star award in 2021, which is given to "an actor or performer whose exemplary career is marked by character, wisdom and wit." If ever there was an award perfectly suited to its recipient, that would be it. 

RIP Leslie Jordan.