Skip to main content

Home Culture Culture Film & TV

Iconic ‘Will & Grace’ character Beverly Leslie was written for Joan Collins

Leslie Jordan ended up taking the role and won an Emmy for his performance

By Steve Brown

The iconic Will & Grace character Beverly Leslie was originally written for Dame Joan Collins.

The tiny, flamboyant, closeted – until recently – character featured in only 12 episodes of the original run of the hit NBC comedy show and was portrayed by Leslie Jordan, who went on to win an Emmy for the role.

Beverly Leslie became an iconic character and his ongoing feud with Megan Mullally’s Karen Walker made him an instant fan favourite and no one could ever be seen playing the character other than Jordan.

However, in a recent interview with Instinct Magazine, Jordan revealed the character was originally written for Dynasty star Joan Collins.

He said: “The part of Beverly Leslie was originally written for Joan Collins. That is a true story.

“The point was for her to steal Rosario the maid away from Megan Mullally’s character and then they would have a big Dynasty cat fight.

“But then Ms Collins couldn’t do it, so they just changed the character and I went out and auditioned.

“People think it was written for me because ‘Leslie Jordan’ and ‘Beverley Leslie’, but nope. Ms Joan Collins was Beverley Leslie.”

Collins did end up with a guest role in one of the original episodes but we cannot think how different the show would have been if she was Beverly Leslie.