Sunday, April 29, 2018

Happy Birthday to Emmy-Winning Actor Leslie Jordan

Leslie Jordan was born today April 29, 1955, He is an American actor, writer, and playwright. He is best known for his role as Karen's pretentious, sexually ambiguous rival Beverley Leslie on the series Will & Grace. For that role he received an Emmy Award for Best Guest Actor in a Comedy Series at the 58th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards in 2006.

Leslie Jordan was born in Memphis, Tennessee and later moved to Chattanooga, Tennessee. Jordan has discussed his early life in Chattanooga, saying that he had a difficult time with religion growing up in the South and that he was baptized 17 times. Whenever the preacher would ask if anyone had sinned, Jordan would always think of something and come forward even when his mother thought he was overreacting about the situation.

During an appearance on Today with Hoda Kotb and Kathie Lee Gifford, Jordan discussed his personal life and career. He described his mother, Peggy Ann, as being supportive and accepting though never truly understanding him. When asked about his mother he said that she was a very private woman and that she still lives in Chattanooga. Jordan's father was a lieutenant colonel in the United States Army and he died in a plane crash when Jordan was eleven.

Jordan left Tennessee and arrived in Los Angeles in 1982. During this time he became involved with alcohol and other drugs and was arrested many times. When Jordan was 17 years old, he started to write in journals every day. He said that writing in his journals helped him with recovering from drug and alcohol abuse.

Jordan became involved in volunteer work. Early in the AIDS crisis, Jordan became involved in AIDS Project Los Angeles (APLA) as a buddy and as a food delivery person for Project Angel Food.

Jordan has made numerous appearances in both film and television. He is recognizable for his diminutive size and Southern drawl. He appeared as a newspaper editor named Mr. Blackly in the popular movie The Help. He is best known for his television work, including guest appearances on Will & Grace, Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman, Star Trek: Voyager, Caroline in the City, Pee-Wee's Playhouse, Reba, Boston Public, Boston Legal, Nash Bridges, American Horror Story and his secondary role on Hearts Afire. He guest-starred on the comedy-drama Ugly Betty as celebrity-trasher Quincy Combs. In 2007, Jordan starred as Jesse Joe in the short-lived CW television program Hidden Palms. He also portrayed the ski patrol director in Ski Patrol.

Jordan starred in the pilot episode of Laugh Out, the world's first interactive, gay-themed comedy show. On August 18, 2014, Jordan became a housemate in the celebrity edition of the British reality game show Big Brother. He was the second person to leave the Big Brother house (August 29, 2014). In January 2015, Jordan guest starred in the British sitcom Benidorm for two episodes as the character "Buck-A-Roo."

Jordan is an accomplished stage actor and playwright. In one of his best-known performances onstage, he played Earl "Brother Boy" Ingram in Sordid Lives, a role he took to the big screen in the popular cult film of the same name. Jordan reprised the role in the Sordid Lives: The Series, a televised spin-off of the movie airing on Logo where he plays a character that is in a mental hospital. 

He wrote and starred in the autobiographical play Lost in the Pershing Point Hotel, which was also made into a motion picture. He recently toured the country performing his one-man stage comedy, Like a Dog on Linoleum, to generally favorable reviews.

Jordan's first autobiographical stage show was called Hysterical Blindness and Other Southern Tragedies That Have Plagued My Life Thus Far, with music and lyrics by Joe Patrick Ward. The production, in which Jordan was backed by a gospel choir singing satirical songs about racism and homophobia, was produced off-Broadway at the Soho Playhouse and ran for 7 months. Next, he distilled his experiences growing up as an effeminate tiny boy in the Southern United States and in show business into an autobiographical one-man show and book, My Trip Down the Pink Carpet. After touring the nation for several months with the production, the show opened off-Broadway at the Midtown Theater on April 19, 2010. The show is produced by Jordan's friend, actress Lily Tomlin. 

No comments: