Leslie Jordan, the Emmy-winning actor best known for his roles as Lonnie Garr in ‘Hearts Afire’, Beverly Leslie in ‘Will & Grace’ and most recently as Phil in ‘Call Me Kat’, is deceased. He was 67 years old.
His agent David Shaul confirmed his death to USA TODAY in an emailed statement Monday.
“The world is definitely a much darker place today without the love and light of Leslie Jordan,” Shaul said in a statement. “Not only was he a mega talent and a joy to work with, but he provided an emotional sanctuary for the nation at one of its most difficult times. What he lacked in size he made up for in generosity and in greatness as a son, brother, artist, actor, partner and human being. Knowing that he left the world at the height of his professional and personal life is the only consolation one can have today.”
The beloved actor and comedian has had a decades-long career on stage and screen, appearing in a slate of movies including “The Help,” “The United States vs. Billie Holiday” and “Fear Inc.” He played Earl “Brother Boy” Ingram onstage in “Sordid Lives” and later took the role on the big screen for the movie of the same name.
His television roles showed his comedic range and he played scene-stealing roles in ‘Reba’, ‘Sabrina the Teenage Witch’, ‘Monk’, ‘George Lopez’, ‘Ugly Betty’, ‘The Secret Life of the American Teenager” and Suite.
The Tennessee native, who won an Outstanding Guest Actor Emmy in 2005 for NBC’s “Will & Grace,” recently starred alongside “Big Bang Theory” alum and star Mayim Bialik on Fox’s “Call Me Kat” as as the new single chef baker at Kat’s Dinner. The Fox sitcom has been renewed for a third season, which premiered in September.
Standing at 4ft 11in, Jordan was known in Hollywood for his larger than life personality and unwavering positivity.
Speaking to USA TODAY at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner in April, Jordan showed his carefree attitude: “When I first got the invite, I was like, ‘Oh, why me? And I’ve talked to some friends and they’re like, ‘You know what, Leslie? It’s a night in and of itself: there’s comedy, there’s politicians…you see celebrities.’ And I thought, ‘Well, why not?’ So I’m just here with my eyes wide open.”
The Southern character actor has become a social media sensation in recent years. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Jordan documented his time in quarantine, and his hilarious and relatable Instagram rants won collective hearts around the world. He broke the similarity by posting daily videos of himself on Instagram.
Many of Jordan’s videos included him asking “How are you?” and some included stories about Hollywood or his childhood growing up with identical twin sisters and their “mom,” as he called her. Other times he did stupid things like complete an indoor obstacle course.
Earlier this month he released a gospel album titled “Company’s Comin'” featuring Dolly Parton, Chris Stapleton, Brandi Carlile, Eddie Vedder and Tanya Tucker.
Her 2021 memoir, “How Y’all Doing? Misadventures and Mischief From a Life Well Lived,” hit USA TODAY’s best-selling book list.
This story is developing.
Contributors: Hannah Yasharoff, Anika Reed