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Who is Leanza Cornett? :Bio, Wiki, Age, Career, Family, Death(Miss America 1993 dies at 49 after suffering head injury)

Leanza Cornett, Miss America who was crusading AIDS activist, dies at 49

Leanza Cornett bio, wiki, age, career, family, early life, education, death

Leanza Cornett is the former Miss America who died on October 28 after she sustained head injuries. Cornett was crowned 1993’s Miss America in September 1992 at age 21. Cornett is survived by her two children, Kai Steines, 18, and Avery Steines, 16. Cornett was married to Mark Steines from 1995 until 2013.

Cornett’s death was announced on the Facebook page for Leanza Cornett’s Circle of Love, which was created after her injury to keep friends and fans updated on her condition. The post read, “I’m here to let you know Leanza passed this afternoon. She was so loved. I don’t feel like writing a lot right now; my heart is broken.” According to an earlier post on that page, Cornett suffered a head injury on October 12. After receiving her injuries, Cornett underwent emergency surgery. The exact circumstances surrounding Cornett’s injuries were not immediately made public, though another post indicated “she sustained an enormous blow to the back of her head”

Leanza Cornett age

She died at the age of 49 years old.

Early life

Cornett was born in Big Stone Gap, Virginia, and was a 1989 graduate of Terry Parker High School. She was inducted into the school’s Hall of Fame in 2006.

Cornett married broadcast journalist Mark Steines on July 22, 1995. Weeks after their wedding, Cornett was let go from her Entertainment Tonight position and immediately replaced by Steines himself. Cornett and Steines had two sons, Kai Harper (born on February 19, 2002), and Avery James (born on November 4, 2003). The couple later divorced after 17 years of marriage. She died on October 28, 2020, after being hospitalized for a head injury incurred in a fall at her home in Jacksonville, Florida.


Cornett was previously National Sweetheart 1991. As Miss America 1993, she became the first beauty queen to adopt AIDS awareness and prevention as her platform for her year of service. She became one of the first Miss America titleholders to refuse to wear the Miss America crown at public appearances.


Cornett was the first actress to play a live-action version of Ariel, the title character from The Little Mermaidat the “Voyage of The Little Mermaid” show at Disney’s Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World Resort in 1991. She was also a member of the contemporary Christian music group Area Code, which released their single album, One Big World, before Leanza’s big break.

Cornett also served as a host for several television shows, including Entertainment Tonight (1994–1995), New Attitudes (1998), and Who Wants to Marry a Multi-Millionaire? (2000). She made television guest appearances in television series such as Melrose PlaceThe Tick, and Fear Factor. In addition, she served as a reporter for Animal Planet’s coverage of the Eukanuba AKC National Dog Show programs and hosted the “On The Block” show on DIY Network.

Her stage credits included: Barefoot in the Park, Godspell, The Best Little Whorehouse in TexasBye Bye Birdieand Voyage of the Little Mermaid.

In paying tribute to Cornett on Twitter, the former beauty pageant winner’s friend Kate Shindle wrote, “Heartbroken to hear about the loss of @LeanzaCornett. A trailblazer, an amazing talent, a human who fought for the world to be better and took the time to share what she had learned when I, too, aspired to use the @MissAmerica title in the battle against HIV/AIDS. #RIP, my friend.” Cornett’s death was noted on the Facebook page for the Miss America Organization. The tribute read in part, “Leanza had a bright and beautiful spirit and her laugh was infectious. We know she meant so much to so many, including all of you.”

Cornett, who more recently hosted “The Chat” on Jacksonville’s First Coast News, was formerly married to “Entertainment Tonight” host Mark Steines. She was let go from the show shortly after they married in 1995 and replaced by her husband. The couple divorced in 2013 after 17 years of marriage.


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