Leslie Jordan, ‘Will & Grace’ actor and ‘queer icon,’ dies at 67 after crash in Hollywood crash that killed 3
Leslie Jordan, who played Will Smith’s wife in Will & Grace, has died in a plane crash in Hollywood. He was 67.
Jordan was one of three people aboard flight 89, which crashed into the Hollywood Hills on Saturday, according to TMZ and the Los Angeles County Fire Department. Both the pilot and the co-pilot died from their injuries, as did the passenger who died from his injuries.
Jordan had been scheduled to appear on this week’s cover of Time magazine for its ‘100 Most Influential People,’ which included a photo of him at his desk – seated, of course, with his ‘Will & Grace’ character.
The actor died after being taken ill on the plane shortly after takeoff.
Jordan was openly gay in his private life, and was a prominent voice for gay rights on and off-screen. But he was best known for his role as Will Smith’s wife and the leader of her hairdresser’s salon in Will & Grace, a sketch comedy program that aired for five seasons on NBC.
In the show, which ran from 1999 to 2004, he played Will’s partner and eventually husband, Don, a man who becomes a gay icon after he marries Will’s character and moves in with Will and Grace.
Will & Grace was one of the ‘Top 5 most successful television franchises of all time,’ according to the New York Times, with Jordan playing a role he described as ‘a man trying to find himself in the middle of someone else’s experience.’
He was also known as a role model who dealt with his sexuality openly, and was a leading voice for the LGBT community.
Jordan was an avid supporter of the LGBT community and was known for his efforts to dispel the long-standing myth that gays and lesbians were ‘bad’ or ‘immoral.’
He served four years on the board of directors of Lambda Legal, a lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights group.
He worked with the AIDS Project of Los Angeles – where he was the gay rights executive director – and was a leading member of