|This biographical article relies on references to primary sources. (October 2010)|
|Born||Leeza Kim Gibbons
March 26, 1957
Hartsville, South Carolina, United States
|Spouse(s)||Steven Fenton (m. 2011)|
Leeza Kim Gibbons (born March 26, 1957) is an American talk show host. She hosted her own syndicated talk show, Leeza, from 1993 to 2000. Gibbons is currently the host of her own radio show, Hollywood Confidential, part of the United Stations radio syndication company.
Gibbons was born in Hartsville, South Carolina, the daughter of Jean and Carlos Gibbons, a former state superintendent of education and antique shop owner. Gibbons has two siblings - a brother, Carlos Jr., and a sister, Cammy. Gibbons grew up in Irmo, South Carolina, a suburb of Columbia, and graduated from Irmo High School. After completing high school, Gibbons attended the University of South Carolina's school of journalism and mass communication, where she was a member of the Delta Delta Delta sorority.
Her past television credits include co-hosting local segments of PM Magazine in Beaumont, TX before moving to WFAA-TV Channel 8 in Dallas-Fort Worth during the early 1980s. She has hosted Entertainment Tonight and Extra, as well as hosting Leeza, her own NBC/syndicated talk show, which ran from June 1993 to September 2000. The show originated as John & Leeza from Hollywood, a talk show with former co-host of Entertainment Tonight, John Tesh. Tesh was dropped from the show after seven months, and Gibbons hosted solo for the remainder of the series. She also has guest-starred on several shows, including The Geena Davis Show, The Simple Life, The Simpsons, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Home Improvement, and Just Shoot Me. She played a television reporter Jess Perkins in RoboCop and RoboCop 2, she had a small role as a reporter in Soapdish. She also hosted a series that explores true stories of survival in Lifetime's What Should You Do?
In 1987 she co-hosted the GOFTA awards in New Zealand with Nic Nolan. In 1988 she was also the host of the Telethon show on New Zealand's TVNZ network, which she hosted alongside Christopher Quinten, whom she later married (see below). In addition to her television and radio career, Gibbons has received the Congressional Horizon Award for her work on children's issues.
In the 1990s Gibbons hosted the radio countdown show Blockbuster Top 25 Countdown with Leeza Gibbons. The show was created for Adult Contemporary and Hot Adult Contemporary formats. Gibbons counted down the hits in the respective formats and included entertainment news and pre-recorded interviews. When Blockbuster Video stopped sponsoring the program in 1999, the show's name was changed to Leeza Gibbons' Top 25 Countdown. The Adult Contemporary version was cut to a top 20. In January 2001 the countdown aspect of the show was dropped and was renamed Leeza Gibbons' Hollywood Confidential, which focused more on entertainment news.
In early 2000s Gibbons launched her mineral makeup line, Sheer Cover with Guthy-Renker. Gibbons says, "Sheer Cover is a not just a makeup product, it's a transformative experience for women who have serious skin issues like sun damage, birth marks, scars and acne or just for any woman who wants natural looking skin that glows with a healthy radiance."
On February 20, 2007, the ABC television network announced that Gibbons would be a participant in its Spring 2007 Dancing with the Stars reality show. She was eliminated from the competition on April 10, 2007; the third celebrity eliminated.
On November 14, 2007, California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger announced the appointment of Gibbons to the board that oversees California's stem cell research agency. Gibbons fills a slot designated for a patient advocate for Alzheimer's as the result of her nonprofit group, Leeza's Place, which is aimed at caregivers for persons with memory disorders. Gibbons' efforts with memory disorders grew out of her own family's experience with her mother who was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease and died in May 2008.
In May 2009 Gibbons' new book, "Take Your Oxygen First: Protecting Your Health and Happiness While Caring for a Loved One with Memory Loss", tells the story of Leeza's family's personal struggle with Alzheimer's disease after her mother's diagnosis. She provides practical advice on how caregivers and their families can (and must) take care of their own physical, emotional and spiritual needs in order to give better care to their loved ones who may be suffering with a memory loss disorder. The book was co-written by Leeza's Place Executive Director of the Leeza Gibbons Memory Foundation, Dr. Jamie Huysman, and by Dr. Rosemary Laird, Health First Aging Institute in Florida.
In 2009 the Alfred Mann Foundation for Scientific Research presented Leeza with its Artistic and Philanthropic Visionary Award.
Gibbons has been married four times. Her first was to John Hicks from 1980-82. She reported the reasons for her divorce on air in 1982. From 1989- 91 she was married to British actor Christopher Quinten, with whom she has daughter, Jordan Alexandra (Lexi) Gibbons. Her third marriage began in 1991 to Stephen Meadows; they have sons, Troy and Nathan Daniel. Meadows filed for divorce in February 2005 after 14 years of marriage to Gibbons. Her fourth marriage was in 2011, when she married Steven Fenton in Beverly Hills.
- "Leeza Gibbons Biography (1957-)". Filmreference.com. Retrieved October 19, 2010.
- "Leeza Gibbons Biography - Yahoo! Movies". Movies.yahoo.com. Retrieved October 19, 2010.
- "Everything Leeza". Leezagibbons.com. Retrieved October 19, 2010.
- unknown (February 20, 2007). "Meet the New Cast of 'Dancing With the Stars". ABC.com Dancing with the Stars. Retrieved February 21, 2007.
- "California Stem Cell Report: Celebrity Leeza Gibbons Named as CIRM Director". Californiastemcellreport.blogspot.com. November 15, 2007. Retrieved October 19, 2010.
- "Welcome to Leeza's Place - A Place for Caregivers, Caregiver Support Groups, Connecting Caregivers, Caregiver Resources, Caregiver Help, Family Caregiving, Senior Caregiving, Caregiving Support". Leezasplace.org. Retrieved October 19, 2010.
- Take Your Oxygen First (November 8, 2004). "> Home". Take Your Oxygen First. Retrieved October 19, 2010.
- Official site
- Leeza's nonprofit
- Leeza Gibbons' Oscar Night Gala
- Leeza Gibbons at the Internet Movie Database
Emma Samms and Karen Baldwin
|Miss Universe color commentator
(with Margaret Gardiner)
(with Angela Visser)
Cecilia Bolocco and Angela Visser
|Miss USA color commentator
(with Laura Harring)
Barbara Eden and Debbie Shelton
Terry Murphy and Deborah Shelton
|Miss USA color commentator
(with Courtney Gibbs)
Arthel Neville and Laura Harring
|Miss Teen USA color commentator
(with Kelly Hu)
(with Bridgette Wilson)
Arthel Neville and Kelly Hu