This past weekend, many of the individuals who were closest to the renowned character actor Leslie Jordan got together to celebrate his life and pay tribute to his legacy. Jordan held a very particular place in the hearts of many people.
On Saturday, Jordan was supposed to join his co-stars in Palm Springs, California, to commemorate the 22nd anniversary of the release of the cult classic film Sordid Lives. However, Jordan was unable to make it. In the 1996 play that was adapted into the 2000 film, the 2008 television series, and the 2017 sequel A Very Sordid Wedding, Jordan played the character of “Brother Boy,” which became a fan favorite throughout the course of its run.
Over the course of the production’s run, Jordan had screen time with a number of notable actors, including Olivia Newton-John, Rue McClanahan, Caroline Rhea, Delta Burke, Beau Bridges, Beth Grant, and Dale Dickey, among others. Whoopi Goldberg appeared in a brief role as well during the filming of A Very Sordid Wedding.
Saturday night’s episode event at the Camelot Theatre was not only a fundraising event for The Del Shores Foundation, which Jordan did serve as a Co-Chair of the Honorary Board for, but it also featured Writer/Director Del Shores and Producer/Star Emerson Collins. Both of these individuals took the stage during the event.
“Shores admitted that they weren’t all that outstanding, but said that the fact that they were there made everything better. This past week has been a difficult one for us.”
He continued, saying, “There was a discussion for a while that we were going to cancel because I was just so “torn up,” as we say in the South, over Leslie’s loss.”
Collins continued by saying, “It’s been an interesting week.” “It has been difficult to adequately express those sentiments since individuals have been reflecting on the past. And then when this turned into a sort of spontaneous memorial ceremony, we decided there was no better way to start it off than with a special message sung by Rosemary and Newell Alexander. So they performed it for us.”
The Alexanders, who have also featured alongside Jordan in the Sordid series from its inception in 2000, then paid tribute to their friend’s enthusiasm for hymns in their performance.
They presented John R. Butler’s interpretation of a hymn, which featured several four-letter words “The Hand of the Almighty,” by telling the audience something along the lines of “Leslie would do anything to garner a laugh, and we learned from him.” And the issue is, it is essential to have a spiritual message at a memorial service, so we are going to share a song with you at this time.”
Before a burlesque show that was won by one of the many guests dressed as Brother Boy, Shores and Emerson also revealed two winners of a $25,000 award from the Del Shores Foundation. The contest was won in a fitting manner by one of the many guests who came dressed as Brother Boy.
Collins said, “It’s just very exciting because we’ve done so many things that are around us, and as we sat and listened to their words, it was very exciting to think about this family that Del built, that Rosemary and Newell and Ann built, that Leslie built.” “It’s just very exciting because we’ve done so many things that are around us,” said Collins. “As a result, we are hearing new voices, and new individuals are joining us who come from “the same sort of dirt” that we do,” as Del likes to say.
Shores also shared a cherished remembrance of the night he enlisted Rosemary Alexander to prank Jordan just prior to the screening of Sordid Lives.
He started off by saying, “There are at least three different versions of this story because, as you may know, Mark Twain once said, ‘Never let the truth stand in the way of a good narrative.’” “And Leslie repeated the tale rather frequently. As he continued to recount the story, it became increasingly outrageous.”
He went on to say, “Closing night, those of you who are familiar with theater know that sometimes you pull a prank on somebody,” and he laughed. Shores remembered that he had approached Rosemary, who portrayed a sexually aggressive psychiatrist who was responsible for trying to “Will you do me a favor and de-homosexualize my character, Jordan the Texan?” Jordan begged. Are you going to perform tonight without wearing any underwear? “to playfully recreate a moment when Jordan realized that the mischievous doctor was stripping down to his underwear.
In retrospect, on Saturday, Rosemary buried her face in her hands as Shores continued, saying, “You know, this is my ex-mother-in-law, y’all — that’s how twisted and nasty my life is.” Rosemary was reacting to the fact that Shores was referring to her previous mother-in-law.
Shores proceeded by saying that “everyone knew” about the risqué switcheroo except for Jordan himself, and when it came time for Jordan to give his line, it was cut off by a shriek. Jordan was the only one who was unaware of the switcheroo.
Shores remembered that while the audience was laughing, “I had never seen Leslie Jordan in a situation where she was speechless before, but that day was the first time I witnessed it. After he had fully recovered, we concluded the act, and he approached me with the following statement: “Delferd, it is the cruelest thing you have ever done to me.” Since I was in high school, I hadn’t been across one of those!”
In conclusion, Shores said, “He was the source of so much happiness in my life. He improved the quality of my life as well as my professional career, as I am sure he did for all of you and millions upon millions of other people. We adore you, Leslie!”
Later, when asked backstage about his performance, Collins became emotional and said, “This is a very memorable evening. The fact that we already had this planned seemed somehow magically appropriate, and the fact that the work that we are doing, that [Del and Leslie] made together, and that we are making this possible for new LGBTQ+ writers seems like a lovely way to honor Del and Leslie’s relationship as muse and writer. Therefore, it is really meaningful to have a full house of individuals who really adore this play in order to laugh, cry, and rejoice together. He was one of us, and we were all his.”
After what appears to have been a medical emergency, Jordan, age 67, passed away on October 24 in an automobile accident. PEOPLE was the first publication to confirm the news before it was published on his official Instagram account.
According to the post, the text stated as follows: “The love and light that Leslie shared will never go out and we invite you to share your memories and console each other during this time.” “In the coming days, we will be releasing a preview of a project that Leslie was incredibly proud of and was looking forward to sharing with the world,” the statement continued.
Jordan is well known for his scene-stealing performances, such as his role as Beverley Leslie in Will & Grace. For this role, he was awarded the Primetime Emmy in 2006 for outstanding guest actor in a comedy series. Jordan has also played other memorable characters.
In addition, he had roles in films and television series such as Sordid Lives, The Help, Murphy Brown, Ugly Betty, Boston Public, and American Horror Story. At the time of his passing, he was playing the lead role in Fox’s Call Me Kat. Other films and television series in which he appeared include American Horror Story, Boston Public, and Ugly Betty.
In the midst of the COVID-19 epidemic, Jordan gained a new following because of the amusing pictures he made on Instagram. In the wake of his passing, tributes from other performers flooded social media. One of these came from Bravo’s Andy Cohen, who brought up Jordan’s renaissance on social media.
Cohen, who is 54 years old, stated, “Considering that Instagram was his medium, I’m going to talk about Leslie Jordan on my Instagram Story.” “I just find it to be quite depressing. Who among us would wish to exist in a world where there is no Leslie Jordan?”
And Jordan’s good friend Dolly Parton was one of the numerous country stars who expressed their sorrow at his passing.
An emotional tribute was written by the country music legend, who is 76 years old, and it begins, “Well, I am as hurt and startled as if I have lost a family member.” “A special connection existed between Leslie and me, and I believe the rest of the world felt the same way about their relationship with him. I am aware that people have a habit of saying things like “Oh, they will be missed,” but in this instance, such words could not be more appropriate. Everyone who had the pleasure of being entertained by him or who knew him personally will experience a sense of loss at his passing. Brother, may you finally rest in peace.”