Remembering Leslie Jordan

Staff Writer: Kamryn Kobel

Email: kkobel@umassd.edu

On October 24th, 2022, actor Leslie Jordan passed away due to a car crash. The crash occurred in Hollywood at 9:30AM on the morning of the 24th. Sources from the Los Angeles Times report that Jordan may have had a medical emergency while driving, causing him to crash. 

The exact cause of death is still unknown. He was pronounced dead at the scene. Jordan was 67 years old. 

Jordan had been on his way to film Call Me Kat, a television show that Jordan stars in, when the crash occurred. Call Me Kat is one of the many television shows and movies that Jordan leaves behind in his legacy. 

Some of Jordan’s most notable roles are in American Horror Story, Will & Grace, and The Help. He won an Emmy for his role in Will and Grace in 2006. 

In addition to his acting career, Jordan was also a stand-up comedian. His show, My Trip Down the Pink Carpet, was nominated for a GALECA award and sold out across the country. 

(Leslie Jordan [@thelesliejordan]. Photo of Leslie Jordan wearing rainbow Converse sneakers. 7 June 2021. https://www.instagram.com/p/CP0iU6fh23R/?igshid=YmMyMTA2M2Y=)

Throughout his years as a young man, Jordan struggled with drug addiction and alcoholism. However, he became sober at age 42 after being sent to prison for multiple DUIs.

Jordan said that his experiences in prison are what motivated him to achieve sobriety, which he maintained throughout the last twenty years of his life. 

Despite his struggles with addiction, Jordan remained a beacon of light and hope throughout his life.

As an openly gay man, Jordan was not only an iconic figure within the LGBTQ community – he was also an activist that worked toward change.

He was a strong advocate for HIV/AIDS victims, partnering with Project Food Angel, an organization that cooks and delivers meals for those impacted by these serious illnesses.

Jordan was also a member of Project Nightlight, where he volunteered to stay with AIDS victims through their last moments of life. 

Jordan had been advocating for the LGBT community for most of his career, but his status as an icon within queer culture truly took off in 2020 during the pandemic.

At the beginning of quarantine, Jordan began posting Instagram videos that instantly became internet hits. Jordan became a TikTok sensation, with clips of his voice trending and his videos gaining millions of views. His comedic content was used by thousands of people to spread humor and lightheartedness throughout the pandemic.

(Leslie Jordan [@thelesliejordan]. Photo of Leslie Jordan wearing an embroidered gold suit. 24 February 2021. https://www.instagram.com/p/CLskyFKBJA9/?igshid=YmMyMTA2M2Y=)

Throughout his career, Leslie Jordan has collaborated with stars such as Robert Downey Jr., Lynda Carter, Lady Gaga, Betty White, and Dolly Parton. After his passing, many of the people he has worked with came forward and spoke about their loving memories with Jordan.

Some of the last projects he completed before his passing include guest starring on the television show Trixie Motel, creating country music with Danny Myrick, and acting in the upcoming movie Strangers in a Strange Land.

Leslie Jordan was widely loved and respected by his fans and coworkers. His story of struggle and success is an inspiration to everyone. His advocacy for the LGBTQ community and those with AIDS/HIV made a lasting impact on the world.

The joy and humor he brought to the world, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, will last far into the future. 

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