For someone who has been in the entertainment industry since 1986, you would expect that Leslie Jordan would have a lot to show for it. However, Leslie Jordan’s net worth is at $1.5 million, but he can blame his addiction to alcohol in coping with the fact that he was gay. For 30 years, Jordan wasted his money on alcohol and drugs because they helped him accept his sexuality. Being gay may have affected his esteem, but his sense of humor got him a career in the television and film industry, where he has raked his fortune. Here’s how the actor managed to achieve the $1.5 million net worth, which might soon increase since he is now a social media star.
Embracing Humor to Ward off Bullies
Jordan’s mother was only 19 when she gave birth to her son, while his father was 23. Still, the two young lovers made it work and later got twin girls. Jordan, however, was unlike other boys; while his father expected him to play with boys, Jordan chose to socialize with girls. So when the actor was six, his father asked his mother why young Jordan did not have any male friends, but his mother responded that there weren’t any in the neighborhood. His father continued worrying so much that when Jordan was 11, he was sent to the Baylor Camp for Boys to spend the summer socializing with boys. While other boys received trophies for activities such as horseback riding, archery, and swimming, Jordan did not get any, and he could see his father wonder if the camp had done more harm than good. Fortunately, those at the camp had seen the gift that Jordan had; thus, he was awarded a trophy for being the best camper because he was funny.
Unbeknown to Jordan’s parents, being funny was the only way their son could keep the bullies away. He already knew he was different in the sense that he was sexually attracted to boys, but his parents never quite grasped that. Even in high school, when he tried coming out, Jordan told The New York Times that no one bothered to pay attention, so it was not an actual coming out process. Unfortunately, his father died when Jordan was 11, and he wonders till now the news would have been received. However, the young boy had a hard time coming to terms with his sexuality and felt shame which he began drowning in alcohol and drugs at the age of 14.
Becoming an Actor
Since he was so good at horseback riding, Jordan thought he would be a jockey. Therefore he went to Atlanta at the age of 22 and began working towards his dream until the age of 27, when he realized he was not cut for it. With no college degree and nothing else to fall back on, Jordan decided it was time to rethink the direction his life was taking. He went back to school ready to study journalism, and since he heard other students saying taking the Introduction to Theater class would get the arts elective out of the way, Jordan followed suit.
He finished and, as he told Vogue, boarded a bus in 1982 armed with the skills to venture into the entertainment industry. He had a bucket list that concluded being cast in television series and movies. With only $1,200 to his name, Jordan went to Hollywood, ready to strike out on his own as an actor. He began his acting career by taking a commercial class, and soon he was acting in commercials. He is proud that he had done around eight national television commercials within nine months, but that is not what he set out to do. Luckily, he got a television role in “The Fall Guy,” which he disclosed to Pride Source was the first-ever television job.
Getting His Big Break
He played the role of a killer, and the gig lasted six episodes before his big break came in the form of “Murphy Brown.” As soon as it was aired, the doors of opportunity began opening for Jordan, and producers like Steven Spielberg and actors such as Peewee Herman and Burt Reynolds wanted to meet him. By 2001, he had landed a spot in “Will & Grace” as Beverly Leslie. The main cast got paid $400,000 per episode in the seventh season, which was then increased to $600,000 in the eighth season. Therefore, it is safe to assume that Jordan has made quite a significant amount from the nine seasons he has been featured. The actor got so good that he was nominated for an Emmy for the TV show, enabling Jordan to fulfill his lifelong dream of being on the red carpet. He won that award for the Best Guest Actor, going against legends like Patrick Stewart, Martin Sheen, and Ben Stiller.
He Could Rake in More Money as a Social Media Star
Jordan has continued making a killing in the world of television and films because, as he admits, he is a natural-born performer, and people recognize and appreciate his talents. His sense of humor has always been what Jordan rides on, and it has helped with his newfound fame on Instagram. He explained that while doing “The Cool Kids,” he would say funny stuff that had the girls rolling in laughter. They told him to post, but since he did not have an Instagram account, they signed up on his behalf, and before long, Jordan had amassed 80,000 followers. Unfortunately, the figure stopped growing until the pandemic hit. Jordan had nothing else to do, so he began posting funny videos.
According to NBC News, he didn’t realize he had gone viral until a friend called him with the news. Currently, his followers are over 5.6 million, and the fame opened him up to new opportunities, primarily music. Jordan even released a gospel album that features Dolly Parton, and at 65, Jordan is yet to retire from entertainment. He attributes his success to the fact that he is gay, single, and without children because being committed to anyone would limit him, yet his job expects him to be anywhere, anytime.