Coroner Reveals Leslie Jordan's Cause of Death

Actor died from heart failure, not car crash
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 24, 2022 4:26 PM CDT
Updated Jan 20, 2023 8:05 AM CST
Actor Leslie Jordan Dead at 67
Leslie Jordan poses for a portrait at Pan Pacific Park in the Fairfax district of Los Angeles on Thursday, April 8, 2021, to promote his new book "How Y'all Doing?: Misadventures and Mischief from a Life Well Lived."   (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes, File)
UPDATE Jan 20, 2023 8:05 AM CST

The Los Angeles County Coroner's office has confirmed what many people suspected after Leslie Jordan was declared dead at the scene of a car crash in Hollywood October: The 67-year-old Will & Grace actor wasn't killed in the crash but died from a medical emergency that caused him to lose control of his BMW while he was on his way to the set of sitcom Call Me Kat. The coroner said Jordan experienced sudden heart failure due to arteriosclerotic cardiovascular disease, NBC reports. Jordan's manner of death was classified as natural. Deadline reports that stars including Eddie Vedder, Lukas Nelson, and Mayim Bialik will perform at a Feb. 19 tribute to Jordan at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville.

Oct 24, 2022 4:26 PM CDT

Hollywood is in mourning for Emmy-winning actor and comedian Leslie Jordan, who died Monday at age 67. Jordan, best known for his roles in Will & Grace and American Horror Story, was declared dead at the scene after his BMW crashed into a building in Hollywood on Monday morning, the Los Angeles Times reports. It's not clear whether he was killed in the crash or died in a medical emergency that caused him to lose control of the vehicle. Jordan, who grew up in Chattanooga, Tennessee, appeared in dozens of movies and TV shows in his decades-long career. After getting a theater degree in 1982, he took a bus to Hollywood. It was a difficult time for a gay actor to find work, the New York Times notes, but he appeared in numerous commercials, and TV roles followed.

Jordan won the 2006 Emmy Award for guest actor in a comedy series for playing Beverley Leslie in Will & Grace, a role Variety describes as the "sexually ambiguous, socialite frenemy" of character Karen Walker. He appeared in three different roles in three seasons of American Horror Story and also had a recurring role on the sitcom Call Me Kat. His fame grew during the pandemic, when he posted daily humorous videos as he spent time near family in his hometown, the AP reports. His following on Instagram grew to 5.8 million. "Someone called from California and said, 'Oh, honey, you've gone viral.' And I said, ’No, no, I don't have COVID. I'm just in Tennessee,'" he quipped in one video.

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His online fame led to new opportunities, and he released a gospel album earlier this month featuring Dolly Parton and Chris Stapleton, among others, the AP notes. "The world is definitely a much darker place today without the love and light of Leslie Jordan," representative David Shaul said in a statement. "Not only was he a mega talent and joy to work with, but he provided an emotional sanctuary to the nation at one of its most difficult times. What he lacked in height he made up for in generosity and greatness as a son, brother, artist, comedian, partner, and human being. Knowing that he has left the world at the height of both his professional and personal life is the only solace one can have today." (Read more obituary stories.)

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