Comedian and actor Leslie Jordan died on October 24 in a car accident in Los Angeles, which was first reported by TMZ. One of his dreams during his time in the entertainment business was to be on “Dancing With the Stars,” and pro-turned-judge Derek Hough says it “breaks [his] heart” that they never made that happen.
Leslie Jordan Started a Facebook Page to Get Himself Cast on ‘Dancing With the Stars’ After He Said It Turned Him Down 3 Times
Back in 2010, the Emmy-winning “Will & Grace” actor started a Facebook page called “Leslie Jordan DWTS” to see if he could do what Betty White’s fans did when they got her tapped as a host of the show in 2010.
The Facebook page is now defunct, but the YouTube videos Jordan made as part of his efforts are still out there. In the first one, Jordan thanked his 2500 fans for joining in the petition.
“We’re on a roll. You know how Betty White got on ‘Saturday Night Live’? It’s happening. Two thousand, five hundred people have signed up to get me on ‘Dancing With the Stars.’ I’m ecstatic, thank you, thank you! But we have to keep spreading the word, we have to! I can’t get up. I just can’t get up until I’m on ‘Dancing With the Stars,” said Jordan.
Jordan’s second video featured him showing off his dance moves to Lady Gaga’s “Just Dance”:
In the third video, Jordan said that the show actually turned him down three times, but he would not be deterred and it has to do with wanting to be the star of the ballroom, dating back to his childhood dance lessons.
“I suppose you’re wondering why I’m practically prostrate with grief,” said Jordan in the video. “‘Dancing With the Stars’ has turned me down, I think it’s three times now, and I suppose you’re wondering why I want to be on ‘Dancing With the Stars’ so bad. When I was a little boy, I was in dancing lessons. I was swirling around the floor with my fat little sweaty-faced partner and the teacher tapped me on the shoulder, she said, ‘Mr. Jordan, you must remember the young lady is the picture. You are but the frame.’ I’ve been the frame my whole life. I want to get on ‘Dancing With the Stars’ where I can be the picture!”
Derek Hough is Heartbroken He Didn’t Know About Leslie Jordan Wanting to be on ‘Dancing With the Stars’
At the Monday show the day Jordan died, “Extra TV” asked Hough if he knew how badly the comedian wanted to be on “Dancing With the Stars” back in the day. Hough said he didn’t know and it “breaks [his] heart” that they never made it happen for Jordan because Hough thinks Jordan’s personality would have been so great on “Dancing With the Stars.”
“What we’ve seen on the show, his personality was so big, so grand, so joyful and this show welcomes that, always welcomes that,” said Hough. “So it actually breaks my heart right now. I wish I would’ve known that [he wanted to be on the show] because whenever I hear people like that who are vying to be on the show, I like to reach out and find ways that we can incorporate them somehow, even if they’re not a contestant. I love to do that. It breaks my heart I wasn’t able to do that.”
Several members of the “Dancing With the Stars” family worked with or interviewed Jordan over the years and they took to social media after learning of his death to mourn his loss.
“I was fortunate enough to interview Leslie during the pandemic [and] it was my first time getting to really meet him. I grew up on a lot of Leslie’s comedies, the sitcoms, he made great TikTok videos. Leslie made me happy. Leslie made millions of people happy, and at the end of the day, that is the biggest legacy that one can leave. So, God bless you, Leslie, and thank you,” said current “Dancing With the Stars” contestant Wayne Brady in an interview with “Entertainment Tonight.”
Season 30 contestant Amanda Kloots posted a photo of Jordan appearing on her talk show and wrote, “”This man was pure joy. His smile lit up the stage. His laugh got everyone laughing. His stories had everyone on the edge of your seat. I remember feeling so lucky just being in his presence. Life is so precious. The world will miss you, Leslie. You were the definition of a beautiful human.”
“Dancing With the Stars” airs Monday nights at 8 p.m. Eastern and 5 p.m. Pacific time on Disney Plus.