leslie jordan

5 Facts You Didn’t Know About Leslie Jordan

Leslie Jordan became one of the most beloved and recognizable faces in entertainment throughout his long career. His journey towards stardom created a one-of-a-kind story that caught peoples attention and hearts all around the world. His legacy will forever be remembered as a comedian, Stage / TV / Film performer, voice-over artist, fund raiser, spokesperson, out artist and equal rights activist. He graciously shared his life story to the world, hoping that it would give people hope, motivation, and comfort knowing what he had to go through to create a name for himself.

As his heavenly 68th birthday approaches on Saturday, April 29, we remember Leslie as someone who taught the world to never stop being who you are.

Here are 5 facts you may not have known about Leslie Jordan:

1. Acting Was Not His First Career Choice

Although Leslie proved that performing was his calling, it actually wasn’t his first career choice. In an interview, Leslie talked about how he got his start in acting —and it was kind of an accident.

“I used to race horses for exercise, and I wanted to be a jockey at first. Then I went back to school at 27 to study journalism, because I wanted to write, and someone recommended that I take the intro to theatre to cover my arts curriculum. So I went to that class, and we did improvisations and all that different stuff – and it hit me like a drug. After that, I went up to the teacher and asked how I could do this instead, and I got my degree in acting, and I got on a bus and went to Hollywood.”

2. He Has Over 100 Acting Credentials

Although you may have your favorite Leslie Jordan character or performance, did you know he was involved in 100 acting roles during his Hollywood career?

Making his on-screen debut in 1986, Leslie captured roles such as Beverly Leslie in the television series “Will & Grace,” and Lonnie Garr in the television series “American Horror Story.” He also appeared in Ellen’s 90s sitcom and made guest appearances in numerous other television shows, including “Ally McBeal,” “Boston Public,” “Desperate Housewives,” and “The Help.” His last reoccuring role was the series Call me Kat on Fox.

3. He Was An Author

Besides his acting and comedic career, as he is also a published author! In 2008, he released his first book, “My Trip Down the Pink Carpet,” and following his success on social media, he secured another book deal. “How Y’all Doing?,” was published in 2021 and quickly became a bestseller on the New York Times list. The book is a collection of essays chronicling significant moments in his life, including his newfound fame that he received online during the pandemic.

4. He Was Baptized 14 Times

Leslie Jordan grew up in Chattanooga, Tennessee where he had a very conservative southern Christian upbringing. He revealed in an interview just how many times he had gotten baptized.

“I was baptized 14 times. Every time the preacher would say, “Come forward, sinners!” I’d say, “Oooh, I was out in the woods with that boy; I better go forward.” My mother thought I was being dramatic. She’d say, “Leslie, you’re already saved,” and I’d say, “Well, I don’t think it took.”

5. His Childhood Dream Of Working With Dolly Parton Came True

It’s undeniable that Leslie did some incredible things in life, but one that tops everything is the fact that he got to meet one of his all-time heroes, Dolly Parton. Dolly and Leslie worked together on Leslie’s Christmas album, Company’s Comin’, on the song, “Where the Soul Never Dies.”

A Tribute To Leslie Jordan

As we continue to remember the legacy of Leslie Jordan, Circle Network is offering viewers an exclusive opportunity to honor Leslie like never before.

On Saturday, April 29, Leslie’s heavenly birthday, Circle Network will air “Reportin’ For Duty: A Tribute to Leslie Jordan,” for the first time. Filmed at the iconic Grand Ole Opry House in February, the one-of-a-kind special features an intimate collection of performances and storytelling moments from some of Jordan’s closest friends across Nashville and Hollywood, such as Mayim Bialik, Jim Parsons, and Max Greenfield.  Musical tributes will include performances by Brothers Osborne, Jelly Roll, Lainey Wilson, Lukas Nelson, Maren Morris & Ryan Hurd, Tanya Tucker. Each song and story shares insights into some of Jordan’s lasting life lessons and experiences and showcases the impact he had on everyone around him.

Watch “Reportin’ For Duty: A Tribute to Leslie Jordan” on Saturday, April 29 at 10/9c pm on Circle Network, or livestream it on Facebook or YouTube or watch below right here!