Family and Friends Remember Leslie Jordan at His Tennessee Memorial

by Suzanne Halliburton
Getty Images

Leslie Jordan, the audacious actor and comedian, was laid to rest on Sunday, as more than 2,000 friends and family gathered in his hometown of Chattanooga, Tenn. for a memorial service.

Jordan died in October after suffering a medical emergency while he was driving in Hollywood to the set of Call Me Kat. The day before, Jordan had been singing gospel songs and posting them to his popular Instagram account.

The 67-year-old enjoyed a long acting career. But he reached new audiences in 2020, when most people were locked down because of the COVID-19 pandemic. His jokes and comic acts enabled thousands to laugh through some of the darkest times in current history. Seeing Jordan twirl a baton made you forget about why you were stuck at home.

His team still is operating Jordan’s Instagram account. On Sunday, the account shared two photos of Jordan. In one, he was a little boy, with a very slight smile. In the other, he had a twinkle in his eye. He looked like he knew a good story and was about to tell it.

The Leslie Jordan account publicized the memorial service, writing: “We will never say goodbye. We will keep you alive in our memories and with your stories.”

The Leslie Jordan memorial service also served as a fundraiser for one of his favorite projects — Cempa Community Care. His family wanted everyone to try and make the service. That included members of the public, otherwise known as people Jordan would’ve befriended if only he’d met them.

Actor Justin Long left an emotional tribute on Jordan’s Instagram page. Long now does a podcast called “Life is Short. “He interviewed Jordan on the pod back in 2020. The two talked about how meeting Dolly Parton “would make him weak at the knees” and how he journaled to keep his sanity during the pandemic.

“If there is a way to access Instagram in the hereafter, I feel like Leslie is checking these messages and being ‘tickled’ by them,” Long wrote. “I remember once referring to people following him on here as ‘followers’ and he corrected me, ‘I prefer to call them friends.’ ”

Friends and family said a final good bye to Leslie Jordan at his memorial service Sunday. This is a photo of Jordan from his sit-com Call Me Kat. (Lisa Rose/FOX Media)

Eddie Vedder Called Jordan ‘One of Brightest Lights’ He’s Ever Met

The Leslie Jordan memorial service also featured several video tributes from the people who knew him. He had friends from all walks of life. Delta Burke and Beau Bridges offered their thoughts. So did Eddie Vedder, the Pearl Jam frontman. Vedder described Jordan as “one of the brightest lights I ever witnessed.

“He was joyful, inclusive, inspiring and his limitless energy was truly contagious,” Vedder added. “We are all so blessed to have had him on this planet. If only we had had him longer.”

A group called the Hunker Downers (one of Jordan’s favorite phrases) also sang Jordan’s favorite hymns at his service. But if you ever get sad or blue, all of Jordan’s videos still are there on Instagram. Remember his favorite phrases and smile. That way, he’ll never be forgotten.