Leslie Jordan is a huge star at 65. The Emmy-winning Southern actor found unexpected fame thanks to his Instagram videos. “I posted a video on Instagram twice a day for 80 days”. His daily posts proved to be very, very popular. The Washington Post declared Jordan, “our feisty quarantine uncle”.
After past struggles with substance abuse and a long career of ups and downs, Jordan says, “people discovered me as me. They loved me and they came back”. He’s back on TV this month in Fox’s Call Me Kat.
Jordan fell into alcoholism after his career took off. For the next 33 years, alcohol gave him confidence especially through his 30’s. “I was no longer awkward. I felt it was a lot easier to be gay when I was loaded. My problem was – I was a bar drinker. I started getting DUI’s and in 1997 I got three in a row.”
Jordan starred on popular 80’s shows such as Murphy Brown and The Fall Guy. The ’90s brought him roles on Caroline in the City and Hearts Afire. At the time of his DUI’s, he was on Pacific Blue. He was sentenced to 120 days in jail, but thought “they can’t put me in jail, I’m on TV”. But he did have to serve 12 days, and at one point shared a cell with Robert Downey Jr.
Jordan has been sober and a member of a 12-step program for 22 years. “I don’t do parties”, he says. Jordan spent lock-down near his mother’s house in Tennessee where he shared memories with a new generation on Instagram. He now has 5.6 million followers -and counting!