Leslie Jordan: The Man Who Made Hollywood’s Most Famous Actors

Leslie Jordan, ‘Will & Grace’ actor and ‘queer icon,’ dies at 67 after crash in Hollywood

Leslie Jordan, a gay veteran of more than 50 movies, played one of the most iconic roles of the 1980s in a top-billing TV movie, appeared in a 1990 TV-movie starring Kevin Bacon, and appeared in a series of movies and miniseries with ‘Will & Grace’ cast member Kate del Castillo (pictured below).

But Jordan was best known for a role that catapulted him into the limelight: He was the beloved son of “Will & Grace” actor Tim Conway, who died of a brain hemorrhage in 1987 at the age of 59.

Conway, a longtime gay male ally, helped introduce Jordan, then 34, to his father, who became a mentor and supporter of the young actor.

“Leslie had such an incredibly powerful and profound impact on my father,” Tim Conway said. “He was the only person of that caliber that I’ve ever come into contact with, and he had that quality about him that really opened the door for anything to happen.”

Leslie Jordan, who was born in Brooklyn, N.Y. and raised in San Diego on his father’s side while the parents moved around the country while running their own business, started acting when he was 13 and moved to Los Angeles when he was 18 to pursue an acting career in the late 1970s.

After starring in a bit part in the 1980 movie “The Young Gods,” Jordan got his big break as the tough-guy villain in a TV series with Kevin Bacon in the early ’90s, titled “The Outer Limits.” Jordan played a villain in the series called “Nightshift,” which was executive produced by Tim Conway, and Jordan then appeared in “The Outer Limits” movie.

“The Outer Limits” was canceled after one season. Jordan went on to star in the TV-movie “Will & Grace,” as a gay man on his way to becoming an astronaut. Jordan played Will Graham, one of the stars of the 1980s hit TV show “Will & Grace” before landing the role of Ryan, a struggling actor.

“The Will & Grace” movie was a success, but Jordan was

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