Dolly Parton made a surprise appearance to pay tribute to her friend Leslie Jordan on Thursday night’s episode of Call Me Kat.
Jordan, 67, died in October in a car accident in Los Angeles. Authorities said he may have had a health episode that caused him to lose control of the car, which crashed into a building. The gay actor was beloved for his many TV and movie roles and for the Instagram videos he posted during the pandemic.
The Thursday episode of Call Me Kat also gave “a happy ending,” in the words of star Mayim Bialik, to Jordan’s character Phil, a baker at the show’s cat-themed café. It revealed that he and his boyfriend, Jalen (John Griffin), had gotten married and settled in Tahiti, where they bought a bakery. Vicki Lawrence appeared as Phil’s mother, and after she and the rest of the cast reminisced about Phil’s wedding, Bialik addressed the audience out of character.
“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,” she said. “He is irreplaceable. We will miss him very much.” The cast then concluded, “Love, light, Leslie.”
After that, the scene switched to Parton. She sang a portion of “Where the Soul Never Dies,” which she had recorded with Jordan, and then spoke to her friend. “I know usually at a memorial, people talk about somebody. Well, I’m going to talk to you,” she said. “Because there is that place on the other side, and I’m certainly going to see you there, little brother. You left a lot of people here with a lot of precious, precious memories. Everybody loved you, but I doubt many of them loved you more than I did.”
“I just want you to know that we all love you, we all miss you, and I bet you’re having a big laugh over all of us being sad and sorrowful,” she continued. “And I know that would be the last thing you would want us to be. You made us happy while you were here, and we’re happy that you’re at peace. I just want you to know that I will always love you. Goodbye, my sweet Leslie.”
Clips of Jordan’s appearances on the show followed, with “Where the Soul Never Dies” playing. Watch below.