Comedian and actor Leslie Jordan dies after car crash at age 67
Leslie Jordan, the legendary stand-up comedian and actor, died Friday night in New York after a traffic accident, according to a representative for the comedian, who had been hospitalized since the crash. Jordan was 67.
Jordan — who had been married and divorced four times before starting a romantic relationship with his then-wife, Debra Katz, in the early 2000s and ultimately living with her until 2014 — had been hospitalized since Friday and was pronounced dead at Lenox Hill Hospital. His death was confirmed to The Associated Press by a representative, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because Jordan and his family requested privacy.
The comedian wrote his first joke at age 7, at the local comedy club in his hometown of New Orleans.
He began starring in television commercials while still in high school and soon became a staple on the hit sketch comedy show “Saturday Night Live.” After the show, Jordan landed roles on Broadway and appeared in movies such as “DodgeBall,” “Loot,” and “The Cooler.”
A two-term mayor of New York, he was a major voice in political history, most notably as the first openly gay or lesbian candidate in the nation’s history to run for office.
Born in Boston on the night of Sept. 20, 1943, his family moved to New Orleans when he was just 2, and he spent his childhood there and in New Hampshire before moving to Boston, where he graduated from the prestigious Roxbury Latin School.
Jordan got his first job — and job reference — as a busboy at an upscale restaurant in the early 1960s, and then moved into comedy and improv, as he was quickly discovered in New Orleans.
He eventually developed a career in stand-up, and he was a staple on the HBO sketch comedy series “Weekend Update,” which debuted in 1980.
In the years after his break as both a comedian and television host, Jordan appeared in films such as “Swing Fever,” “Shallow Hal” and “I’m Gonna Git You Sucka,” and wrote and acted in the series “I Dreamed of Jeannie,” the 1990 film “Hocus Pocus” and the animated series “SpongeBob SquarePants.”
But Jordan’s celebrity status was especially