Mayim Bialik is revealing the tragic way she learned her “Call Me Kat” co-star Leslie Jordan had unexpectedly passed away in October.
“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, you know to have the whole crew there and the whole cast,” the “Jeopardy!” host said of the circumstances.
On “The Jennifer Hudson Show,” Bialik explained, “We were a family, and we were one of the first shows back actually after the lockdown, so we were all in our homes and then the people we got to spend the most time with was each other. So we kind of became like this little COVID unit,” she said of those involved in the Fox show.
“We were often the only people we were interacting with, outside of whomever was in our homes. So we were all, um, very close.”
LESLIE JORDAN, ‘WILL & GRACE’ ACTOR, DEAD AT 67
Jordan died following a car crash in Los Angeles, where he was “pronounced dead at the scene,” according to Sarah Ardalani, the Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner public information officer.
The crash occurred around 8:50 a.m. in Hollywood.
On Oct. 24, the 67-year-old actor died of “sudden cardiac dysfunction,” the Los Angeles County Medical Examiner-Coroner’s office later confirmed.
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“People knew Leslie Jordan as Leslie Jordan, not just necessarily as the character he played on our show,” Bialik said of Jordan, who played Phil on “Call Me Kat” since season one.
“You know, he’s been in people’s lives… 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. So when he passed… we kind of all, you know it’s rare to find a group of people so unanimous about something so quickly, and we all just said like, we want him to live forever,” she said of immortalizing his character in the show.
“We all kinda felt, it’s a really hard thing to do, there’s no right way to do it. But our showrunners Jim Patterson and Maria Ferrari really helped usher us through it, but it was very emotional to decide like, how do you grieve also while having to act as people grieving.”
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“Our show uses breaking the fourth wall where our characters, you know, I talk right to the camera and I think that kind of helped us have a little grace about it,” she said of how they bid Phil farewell. “That we knew we could really talk right to people and say like, ‘There’s no way to make this what it’s not.’ You know, we lost our friend,” she said.
They did not kill off his character, instead sharing he would move to Tahiti for personal and business reasons.
“I think this whole season feels like the season that – that we lost Leslie. “
“It’s been hard… and we’re grateful to have gotten the opportunity to, to work with him, um, the way we did, and in the time of his life that we got to work with him,” she told Hudson.