Leslie Jordan, ‘Will & Grace’ actor and ‘queer icon,’ dies at 67 after crash in Hollywood
Leslie Jordan, who played an angelic gay mother in hit sitcom ‘Will & Grace’ and later appeared on television’s ‘Will & Grace: The Golden Years,’ has died at 67. A rep for Jordan said he died of “natural causes” on Saturday after a brief hospital stay.
Jordan was an icon to gay audiences.
His role as the angelic gay mother in “Will & Grace” — the first lesbian sitcom on U.S. television — earned him two Emmy Awards and an Academy Award nomination.
And when Jordan was first cast to play Grace, the ‘Will & Grace’ creator, Mike Myers, had a simple quip for his gay actor pal.
“Leslie, I’m so glad I cast you,” Myers said. “You’ll always be my gay best friend.”
Indeed, the former child actor earned his place in television history and the hearts of straight fans for playing the angelic gay mother.
He would later appear regularly on “Will & Grace: The Golden Years,” on NBC and CBS.
‘Will & Grace’
Leslie Jordan’s ‘Will & Grace’
Jordan, who had long had a reputation of being openly gay, came out on the scene in a 1967 autobiography titled “Dear Husband,” a book that was a finalist for the National Book Award and won a National Book Critics Circle Award, the National Medal of Arts, and a first-place award from the American Booksellers Association and the Associated Press Booksellers.
Jordan was also the first openly gay person to appear on the cover of Time magazine, in an April 1983 cover story on the American LGBT community.
Jordan was born in Fort Worth, Texas, on Jan. 25, 1944.
“We were raised Catholic (and) the church called it ‘sodomite’ and