Leanza Cornett

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Leanza Cornett
Leanza Cornett.jpg
Cornett at the 2017 Show Us Your Shoes parade in Atlantic City.
Born (1971-06-10) June 10, 1971 (age 47)
Alma materTerry Parker High School
Rollins College
OccupationActress, singer
TitleMiss Florida 1992
Miss America 1993
PredecessorCarolyn Sapp
SuccessorKimberly Aiken
Mark Steines
(m. 1995; div. 2013)

Eva Leanza Cornett (born June 10, 1971 in Big Stone Gap, Virginia; raised in Jacksonville, Florida) is an American television personality and beauty pageant titleholder who was crowned Miss Florida in 1992 and Miss America in 1993.


Cornett is a 1989 graduate of Terry Parker High School. She was inducted into the school's Hall of Fame in 2006.[1]


She was previously National Sweetheart 1991.[2]

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.[3]


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

She has 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), and made television guest appearances in television series such as Melrose Place, The 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 include: Barefoot in the Park, Godspell, The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, Bye Bye Birdie, and Voyage of the Little Mermaid.

Personal life[edit]

Cornett married broadcast journalist, Mark Steines, on July 22, 1995. Weeks after their wedding, Cornett was let go from her Entertainment Tonight position, only to be immediately replaced by Steines himself.[3] Cornett and Steines have two sons, Kai Harper[4] (born on February 19, 2002), and Avery James[4] (born on November 4, 2003). The couple later divorced after 17 years of marriage.[4]


  1. ^ Florida Times-Union: Apr 8, 2006-Parker High establishes Braves hall of fame
  2. ^ "National Sweetheart Pageant History". Hoopeston Jaycees. Retrieved January 22, 2012.
  3. ^ a b Tauber, Michelle; Neill, Mike; Russell, Lisa; Fowler, Joanne; Dam, Julie; Tresniowski, Alex; Miller, Samantha; Dougherty, Steve; Yu, Ting (October 16, 2000). "American Beauties: 80 Years". People.
  4. ^ a b c Johnson, Zach (January 28, 2013). "Mark Steines Splits From Wife Leanza Cornett". Us Weekly.

External links[edit]

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Carolyn Sapp
Miss America
Succeeded by
Kimberly Aiken
Preceded by
Mary Ann Olson
Miss Florida
Succeeded by
Melinda Miller
Preceded by
Carolyn Sapp
National Sweetheart
Succeeded by
Elizabeth Simmons