Happy Birthday to Leslie Jordan!
He may stand just 4 feet, 11 inches tall but Leslie Jordan is a huge talent.
The Emmy winning star is probably best known to the masses for his recurring role as Karen Walker’s bitchy nemesis, Beverley Leslie, on Will & Grace. But his greatest role, in my opinion, is that of Brother Boy in Sordid Lives which he played on stage, feature film and in a television series.
He also appeared on Broadway in his one-man show My Trip Down the Pink Carpet based on his memoir. There is a DVD available!
More recently, Leslie had a role as a newspaper editor in the huge box office hit The Help, did guest spots on Desperate Housewives and The Game, and had a delightful cameo in the documentary Hollywood to Dollywood.
I last chatted with Leslie in November at the LA Gay and Lesbian Center’s annual gala and wondered what he thought about a growing feeling among some that the LGBT community is becoming too mainstream.
“You know, I fluctuate on that,” he said. “When I came out, there was one gay bar in Chattanooga, Tenn. and in that gay bar there were lawyers, there were black people, there were white people, there were drag queens and we had one leather queen all under one roof and what we had in common was that we were gay. And sometimes I miss that. But then again, c’mon. We were also that gay bar that you had to go down an alley and knock on the door. We feared for our lives.”
He added: “The other day, I was at a restaurant and there were two young guys sitting side by side and they were holding hands. I watched them and, I couldn’t help it, I went by and I said, ‘This is just so beautiful and I hope you realize what we went through.’ They thanked me but, you know, I don’t think they had any idea of what it was like. I try to tell my story sometimes to younger people and they’re like, ‘Wow! Oh really?’ A world without the Internet, a little gay boy in Chattanooga Tenn. immersed in a Baptist church with not one soul to talk to, not one soul! I think if there had been a Trevor Project that I could have talked to.”
But would he be as brilliant as he is, especially in his one-man shows, had he not had those difficult experiences?
“No. I wouldn’t change a thing,” Leslie said. “I look back and I wouldn’t change a thing. Everything that I went through brought me to here.”
Happy 57th birthday to Leslie!
Here are some random Leslie clips to enjoy: