Leeza Gibbons

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Leeza Gibbons
Leeza Gibbons (2082296832).jpg
Gibbons at the 1990 Emmy Awards
Leeza Kim Gibbons

(1957-03-26) March 26, 1957 (age 64)
Years active1976–present
John Hicks
(m. 1980; div. 1982)

(m. 1989; div. 1991)

(m. 1991; div. 2005)

Steven Fenton
(m. 2011)

Leeza Kim Gibbons (born March 26, 1957) is an American talk show host. She is best known as a correspondent and co-host for Entertainment Tonight (1984–2000) as well as for having her own syndicated daytime talk show, Leeza (1993–2000). In 2013, her book Take 2 became a New York Times bestseller and she won the Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Host in a Lifestyle or Travel program for the PBS show, My Generation. On February 16, 2015, Gibbons was named the winner of Celebrity Apprentice, having raised $714,000 for her charity Leeza's Care Connection.[1]


Early life[edit]

Gibbons was born in Hartsville, South Carolina, the daughter of Jean and Dr. Carlos Gibbons. Gibbons has two siblings – a brother, Carlos Jr., and a sister, Cammy. Gibbons grew up in Columbia, South Carolina in a housing subdivision called Whitehall, and graduated from Irmo High School. After completing high school, Gibbons graduated summa cum laude from the University of South Carolina's school of journalism and mass communication, where she was a member of the Delta Delta Delta sorority.


Leeza Gibbons’s television career started at WSPA-TV in Spartanburg, South Carolina.[when?] Then she was the co host of PM Magazine for KFDM-TV in Beaumont, Texas[when?], and later moved up to then-sister station WFAA-TV in Dallas.[citation needed]

In 1983 Gibbons joined WCBS-TV in New York City, where she became a host on Two on the Town, a program modeled after PM Magazine; her co-host was Robb Weller. The following year, they would both join Entertainment Tonight, with Gibbons as a reporter and co-anchor of the program's weekend edition. Concurrently hosted, Leeza was 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 Entertainment Tonight co-host John Tesh. Tesh was dropped from the show after seven months, and Gibbons hosted solo for the remainder of the series. From 2001–2003, Gibbons was the host and managing editor of the television show Extra. In 2011, she pulled down double duty (again) as the host of the PBS talk show My Generation (2011–2014) and as co-host and executive producer of the syndicated news magazine show America Now (2011–2015).

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. The change in format brought new life to the show, as the show continued on for another 12 years (ending in 2013).

In the early to mid-1990s, Gibbons partnered with Guthy Renker and became a trailblazer in the world of direct response.

She was the first television star on a daily show to be featured in an infomercial as she starred in back-to-back blockbusters (Personal Power 2 and Get the Edge) with a young Tony Robbins.

In 1998, Gibbons has received the Congressional Horizon Award (1998) for her work on children's issues[clarification needed].[2]

In early 2000s, Gibbons launched her mineral makeup line, Sheer Cover Studio, with Guthy-Renker.[3] Gibbons said, "Sheer Cover is 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."[3] Presently, Sheer Cover continues to be sold around the world.

In 2005, Gibbons received the Public Leadership in Neurology Award from the American Academy of Neurology for raising awareness about Alzheimer's disease.[4]

On November 14, 2007, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger announced the appointment of Gibbons to the board that oversees California's stem cell research agency.[5] 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.[6] 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.[3]

Gibbons replaced Meredith Vieira for a week of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire shows on June 23–27, 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.[7]

In 2013, Gibbons won her first Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lifestyle/Travel Host for the PBS series My Generation.[8]

In 2015, she won the NBC reality game-show series Celebrity Apprentice, beating out TV news personality Geraldo Rivera. She became the second female winner of the show, after Joan Rivers.[9]

She began co-hosting the Rose Parade on January 2, 2017.[citation needed]

In 2015, Gibbons received the Icon award from the Electronic Retailing Association, where it was announced that Gibbons had crossed the $1 billion mark in sales. Her partnership with Guthy-Renker is the longest studio/talent relationship in infomercial history.[citation needed]

Personal life[edit]

Gibbons has been married four times; she was married to John Hicks from 1980 to 1982.[citation needed] From 1989 to 1991, she was married to British actor Christopher Quinten, who she met when they both featured in the 1988 New Zealand Telethon,[10] and with whom she has a daughter, Jordan Alexandra (Lexi) Gibbons. She was married to actor Stephen Meadows from 1991 to 2005, and they had two sons, Troy and Nathan Daniel.[11] In 2011, she married New York Times best selling author, Steven Fenton, in Beverly Hills.[12] Fenton is the son of the former mayor of Beverly Hills, Frank M. Fenton.

Gibbons is a member of Hollywood United Methodist Church, and had all her children baptized there.[13]

Her grandmother and mother have both been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease.[4]


  1. ^ Leeza's Care Connection
  2. ^ "Horizon & Leadership Awards". Congressional Award. August 15, 2014. Retrieved November 20, 2020.
  3. ^ a b c "Everything Leeza". Leezagibbons.com. Retrieved October 19, 2010.
  4. ^ a b "Public Leadership in Neurology Award Honors Leeza Gibbons for Alzheimer's Awareness Efforts". www.aan.com. Retrieved November 20, 2020.
  5. ^ "California Stem Cell Report: Celebrity Leeza Gibbons Named as CIRM Director". Californiastemcellreport.blogspot.com. November 15, 2007. Retrieved October 19, 2010.
  6. ^ "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.
  7. ^ Take Your Oxygen First (November 8, 2004). "> Home". Take Your Oxygen First. Archived from the original on May 14, 2009. Retrieved October 19, 2010.
  8. ^ "Variety". June 15, 2013. Retrieved February 17, 2015.
  9. ^ Baretto, Megan (February 17, 2015). "'Celebrity Apprentice' crowns a winner". AOL. Retrieved February 17, 2015.
  10. ^ "6.30PM News - Leeza Gibbons". NZ On Screen.
  11. ^ "Leeza Gibbons and Her Husband Split Up". People Magazine. Retrieved April 18, 2016.
  12. ^ Jordan, Julie. "Leeza Gibbons Gets Married". People. April 22, 2011.
  13. ^ Wayne, Gary. "Hollywood United Methodist Church". www.seeing-stars.com. Retrieved February 12, 2017.

External links[edit]

Media offices
Preceded by
Miss Universe color commentator
(with Margaret Gardiner)
(with Angela Visser)
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Miss USA color commentator
(with Laura Harring)

Succeeded by
Preceded by
Miss USA color commentator
(with Courtney Gibbs)

Succeeded by
Preceded by
Miss Teen USA color commentator
(with Kelly Hu)
(with Bridgette Wilson)
Succeeded by