‘Will & Grace’ actor Leslie Jordan dies at 67

LOS ANGELES — Leslie Jordan, who won an Emmy playing accomplice Beverley Leslie on “Will & Grace” and became a social media sensation during the pandemic, died Monday after crashing her car into a tree while he was driving in Hollywood, his agent said.

“The world is definitely a much darker place today without the love and light of Leslie Jordan,” David Shaul said. “Not only was he a mega talent and a joy to work with, but he provided emotional sanctuary for the nation at one of its most difficult times.”

Jordan, who was 67, was pronounced dead at the scene around 9:30 a.m. (PT) after firefighters responded to reports of a collision at Cahuenga Blvd. and Romaine Street found him “pulseless and breathless” in a gray sedan, authorities said.

His agent said they suspect Jordan suffered “some sort of medical emergency” that caused him to lose control of the vehicle.

Born April 29, 1955, in Chattanooga, Tennessee, little Jordan (he was 4-foot-11) carved out a thriving career on the small screen playing small but often scene-stealing roles in shows ranging from “Murphy Brown and “Boston Public” to “Star Trek: Voyage,” “American Horror Story,” and “Hearts Afire.”

Megan Mullally as Karen Walker, Leslie Jordan as Beverley Leslie, Bruno Amato as Officer Randy in an episode of “Will and Grace”.Chris Haston/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

But he was best known to viewers as Beverley Leslie – the nemesis of Karen Walker’s character played by Megan Mullally – who comes out as gay in one of the show’s most memorable episodes.

Declaring the openly gay actor a “national treasure,” the Society of LGBTQ Entertainment Critics last year awarded Jordan their timeless star career achievement honor.

During the pandemic, however, it was Jordan’s Instagram posts, which he dropped off twice a day from an Airbnb near his mother’s Chattanooga home, that made him famous with a new generation of fans. .

” What are you doing ? Jordan would usually start before launching into his often hilarious ruminations, delivered in a thick Southern drag, about life in lockdown.

Jordan seemed as surprised as anyone that much of America was following him.

“I didn’t realize (I exploded) until last night when everyone started calling me saying you had gone viral” Jordan said TODAY in March 2020. “I don’t even really know what that means!”

But Jordan’s videos have caught the eye of cultural critics like Brian Moylan.

Leslie Jordan
Leslie Jordan in Los Angeles in April 2021.Damien Dovarganes/AP

“Jordan is one of the real stars of containment, amassing more than 3.8 million Instagram followers in just over a month,” Moylan wrote in a April 2020 coin for the Think section of NBC News.

Jordan built on his newfound fame to release a gospel album called “Company’s Comin'” which featured Dolly Parton, Chris Stapleton, Brandi Carlile, Eddie Vedder and Tanya Tucker.

Jordan has also released a new book called “How Y’all Doing?: Misadventures and Mischief from a Life Well Lived”. His first book, “My Journey on the Pink Carpet” was released in 2008 and chronicled her early life in Hollywood and her struggles with drug addiction.

“It kind of dealt with all the angst and growing up gay in the Baptist church and the, the, the, the, the,” Jordan said in a Interview with the associated press Last year.

Diana Dasrath reported from Los Angeles, Corky Siemaszko reported from New York.

CORRECTION (October 24, 2022, 5:20 p.m.): A previous version of this article misspelled the first name of the character Jordan played in “Will & Grace.” It’s Beverly, not Beverly.

Andrew Blankstein contributed.

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