The 67-year-old comedian passed away suddenly on October 24 when he experienced a medical event that led him to crash into a building in Hollywood, California. The Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office later listed his cause of death as “sudden cardiac dysfunction” due to arteriosclerotic cardiovascular disease.
Mayim Bialik Says The ‘Call Me Kat’ Cast Was Waiting On Set For Leslie Jordan When He Passed
On Tuesday’s episode of the “Jennifer Hudson Show” (via Entertainment Weekly), the “Blossom” child star revealed that the whole cast and crew were already on set waiting for Leslie to show up when they received the tragic news that he had crashed his vehicle.
“It was a sudden thing. We were all at work and waiting for him to show up at work, so it was very, very, very complicated to have the whole crew there and the whole cast,” Mayim explained, adding that they had become a tight-knit team being “one of the first shows back” from the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown.
“We kind of became this little COVID unit,” Mayim recalled. “We were often the only people that we were interacting with outside of whoever was in our homes so we were all very close.”
“People knew Leslie Jordan as Leslie Jordan; not necessarily just as the character that he played on our show,” she continued. “He’s been in people’s lives and, especially during COVID, he was in people’s Instagram feeds and a lot of people really formed a real connection with him and he loved that. He loved being approachable. He loved being loved.”
‘Call Me Kat’ Has Leslie Jordan’s Character Phil Move To Tahiti
The “Call Me Kat” sitcom decided to give his character, Phil, a proper send-off by having his character move to Tahiti with his new husband. At the end of the episode, stars Mayim Bialik, Cheyenne Jackson, Kyla Pratt, Julian Gant, and Swoosie Kurtz broke the fourth wall to address Leslie’s passing with the audience.
“What we’ve done here is given Phil a happy ending. What we’re really doing is mourning the loss of our dear friend, Leslie Jordan,” Bialik said. “He is irreplaceable. We will miss him very much. Love, light, Leslie.”
The “Jeopardy!” co-host also discussed the tribute with host Jennifer Hudson. “When he passed, we all — it’s rare to find a group of people so unanimous about something so quickly and we all just said, ‘We want him to live forever,'” she said.
“We all kind of felt like this is a really hard thing to do. There’s no right way to do it, but our showrunners, Jim Patterson and Maria Ferrari, they really kind of ushered us through it but it was very emotional to decide how do you grieve also, while having to act as people grieving?” she went on.
Mayim Bialik Says She Is ‘Grateful’ For The Opportunity To Have Worked With Leslie Jordan
They broke the mold when they made Leslie Jordan. He was a dear mentor and a beloved friend. I will miss him so much – it’s unimaginable that he’s gone. Rest well, sweet buddy. pic.twitter.com/c9kN0vkxyM
— Mayim Bialik (@missmayim) October 24, 2022
“This whole season for us feels like it’s the season that we lost Leslie,” Mayim concluded. “It’s been hard, and we’re grateful to have gotten the opportunity to work with him the way we did and in the time of his life that we got to work with him.”
At the time of his death, the series paused production to give the cast and crew members time to mourn. The “Call Me Kat” crew released a statement shortly following his passing that described the late comedian as “tender, wise, naughty, and hilarious.” The statement read:
“There aren’t words to convey the loss we are experiencing as a cast and a Call Me Kat family. Leslie Jordan was larger than life. He was a Southern gentleman; tender, wise, naughty, and hilarious. We got to know and love him at the height of his happiness and joy and it is inconceivable to imagine a world without our Leslie: the man who would spit on his contact lenses before putting them in his eyes, the man who had a story about every man in Hollywood and some of the women as well, the man who lived to make people laugh. We will be taking time to grieve and to celebrate the many gifts Leslie gave to us and to the entire world and we appreciate privacy at this time.”