Monday, October 24, the world lost one of its brightest lights in Leslie Jordan, who passed away at the age of 67. The celebrated actor and comedian was driving through Los Angeles when he suffered an unknown medical emergency, causing him to crash into the side of a building.
Leslie Jordan began his career in the ’80s with an appearance on the action comedy series The Fall Guy. From there, he amassed an impressive filmography consisting of more than 100 films and TV series, including Will & Grace and American Horror Story.
Through his illustrious acting career, Leslie Jordan gained countless fans around the world. But in 2020, the actor’s popularity exploded to unforeseen heights.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Leslie Jordan made a hobby out of posting to Instagram, where he spread joy with his life lessons, adorable anecdotes, and hilarious quarantine antics. His “fellow hunker-downers” could always count on a smile from Jordan, even in the darkest days of the pandemic.
One of his most popular videos features a childhood story in which Leslie Jordan’s father desperately wanted his son to find an interest in football. To his father’s dismay, however, little Leslie just wanted to twirl a baton with the majorettes. “Daddy! Watch me twirl,” became an instant meme and circulates social media to this day.
In another Leslie Jordan classic, the actor is lying in bed (like we all were during the pandemic), bemoaning the sluggish passage of time. “Well, s–t. What are y’all doin’?” is one of many Leslie Jordan quotes that will no doubt endure for decades to come.
Leslie Jordan On His Thriving Social Media Presence
Like the late, great Betty White (who he was friends with, by the way), Leslie Jordan was a firm believer in kindness – even to wasps. And it was this kindness that inspired the videos making up his enormous social media presence.
In a 2020 interview with TODAY, Leslie Jordan reflected on the start of his pandemic videos and the unbelievably positive reaction they received. “I didn’t realize (I blew up) until last night when everybody started calling me telling me you’ve gone viral,” Jordan said. “I don’t really even know what that means!”
The picture of humility, Leslie Jordan didn’t take credit for his Instagram videos. Instead, he credited a friend who told him his inspiring light would be a gift to the world in such a dark time – and he was right.
“I had this friend right when the pandemic hit. He said, ‘You know what, Leslie? Your thoughts are exactly what people need to hear right now. It’s not like wagging your finger or saying ‘Wear your mask’ or do this or do that. You’re just funny,'” Jordan explained. “And so we started coming up with all kinds of little ideas. Mainly I do it for the response of the people.”