UPDATED: Tributes are pouring in for beloved actor Leslie Jordan. Jordan, remembered for his work on sitcom Will & Grace, among numerous other credits, died this morning in a single-car crash in Hollywood.
Jordan portrayed the caustic Beverley Leslie, frenemy of Megan Mullally’s Karen Walker, in Will & Grace. Mullally posted a remembrance on Instagram, along with a photo of the two from the show. (You can see it below).
“my heart is breaking,” Mullally wrote. i really can’t believe it. leslie jordan was, hands down, one of the greats. people use that expression a lot, and i’m not sure it’s always applicable. there aren’t that many people who are truly great at anything. but leslie was flawlessly funny, a virtuoso of comedy. his timing, his delivery, all apparently effortless. you can’t get any better than that.
and what a friendly, fun-loving, dear person. i was just with him last month. the prestigious national book festival was showcasing leslie and his best-selling book in washington d.c., and he’d asked me to come interview him for his event. i’d done my prep, but it was all completely unnecessary, of course, as i just had to barely unleash him and he went off on a series of absolutely hilarious stories that had the very large audience in hysterics for a solid hour.
off-stage, he was so relaxed and happy, there with his best friend mike. he truly seemed so happy. how brilliant it was that millions of people were able to discover the real leslie and his love of life and unparalleled story-telling abilities on instagram. he had so much to share, and it meant so much to him that finally he’d found a vehicle through which to share it. he was absolutely unique. one of a kind. thank you to all of his fans! he really loved you all and was so genuinely appreciative of you.
i’m so so glad that i got to spend some time with leslie that day before and after the event, just us, catching up. i felt such a deep affection for him that day; he was so warm and present and darling. as we were leaving, i got a couple more big hugs and told him i loved him, as usual. so glad! what a gift!
and so. love you, leslie. miss you already. and one thing i know for sure… there will never ever be another you.”
Leslie’s Will & Grace co-star Sean Hayes wrote of Jordan on Twitter: “My heart is broken. Leslie Jordan was one of the funniest people I ever had the pleasure of working with. Everyone who ever met him, loved him. There will never be anyone like him. A unique talent with an enormous, caring heart. You will be missed, my dear friend.”
Eric McCormack, who starred as Will Truman on Will & Grace tweeted “Crushed to learn about the loss of @thelesliejordan, the funniest & flirtiest southern gent I’ve ever known. The joy and laughter he brought to every one of his #WillandGrace episodes was palpable. Gone about thirty years too soon. You were loved, sweet man.”
Gary Janetti, a writer on Will & Grace also posted a remembrance of Jordan on Instagram. “Rest In Peace, Leslie Jordan. It was a joy to write for you,” Jenetti’s caption read alongside an episodic video clip featuring Jordan, Megan Mullally and Sean Hayes.
Jordan played the Beverley Leslie character during Will & Grace‘s original run and when it was brought back in the late 2010s. He won an Emmy for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series for the role in 2006.
Fox Entertainment and Warner Bros. Television, co-producers of Fox sitcom Call Me Kat, in which Jordan starred with Mayim Bialik and Swoosie Kurtz, issued statements mourning the actor:
Fox Entertainment: “We are shocked and devastated by today’s tragic passing of Leslie Jordan. Leslie was far more than an Emmy Award winning comedic talent with whom we’ve laughed alongside for all these years. He was the kindest person you could ever imagine who simply lit up a room and brought pure joy and huge smiles to millions of people around the world. The truest of Southern Gentlemen, Leslie carried an infectious exuberance, indelible sense of humor and, throughout, gifted us with countless fond memories that will last forever. As we grieve this sad news, we also wish to extend our most profound sympathies to Leslie’s family, friends and fans, whom he held so dear.”
Warner Brothers Television: “Warner Bros. Television is devastated about the tragic and sudden loss of our dear friend Leslie Jordan. Leslie was an extraordinary person and talent. He brought joy to fans across the globe. Our thoughts are with his family, friends, and fans at this time.”
FX and 20th Television, the network and studio behind American Horror Story, on which Jordan appeared, also issued a statement remembering the actor.
20th Television/FX: “The incomparable Leslie Jordan left an indelible mark on our industry, on the LGTBQ+ community, and on the hearts of everyone fortunate enough to have worked with this incredibly kind, wildly funny and immeasurably talented soul. Having played nuanced and memorable characters across the American Horror Story franchise for almost a decade, he will be missed deeply by all who knew him.”
In a statement, Jordan’s attorney Eric Feig, of Eric Feig Entertainment & Media Law, said “Today one of Hollywood’s brightest lights went out. We are heartbroken at the untimely passing of our client and friend Leslie Jordan, one of the most talented actors, singers and performers we have had the joy, privilege and honor to know and work with. Beyond his talents, Leslie’s gifts of bringing joy to those he touched, his ability to connect with people of all ages, his humility, kindness and his sweetness will be sorely missed by all. Yesterday, on Leslie’s Instagram, Leslie posted himself singing the hymn “When the Roll is Called Up Yonder.” Today, Leslie was called way too soon and the world is a little bit darker without him.”
You can read tributes from Mullally, Hayes, McCormack and others below: