Leeza Gibbons

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Leeza Gibbons
Leeza Gibbons (2082296832).jpg
Born Leeza Kim Gibbons
(1957-03-26) March 26, 1957 (age 63)
Hartsville, South Carolina, United States
Occupation Broadcaster
Years active 1976–present
Television Leeza
Spouse(s) John Hicks (m. 1980–82) (divorced)
Christopher Quinten (m. 1989–91) (divorced)
Stephen Meadows (m. 1991–2005) (divorced)
Steven Fenton (m. 2011)
Website http://www.leezagibbons.com

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 (1984–1995) as well as for having her own syndicated daytime talk show, Leeza (1993-2000). Gibbons is currently the host of her own radio show, Hollywood Confidential, part of the United Stations radio syndication company. On February 16, 2015, Leeza was named the winner of Celebrity Apprentice, having raised $714,000 for her charity Leeza's Care Connection.


Early life

Gibbons was born in Hartsville, South Carolina, the daughter of Jean and Carlos Gibbons, a former state superintendent of education and antique shop owner.[1][2] 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, Duckman, and Just Shoot Me. She played television reporter Jess Perkins in RoboCop and RoboCop 2, and 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 personal life 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.[3] 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."[3]

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.[4] 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.[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] 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 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]

Personal life

Gibbons has been married four times. Her first was to John Hicks from 1980 to 1982. She reported the reasons for her divorce on air in 1982.[citation needed] From 1989 to 1991 she was married to British actor Christopher Quinten, with whom she has a daughter, Jordan Alexandra (Lexi) Gibbons. Her third marriage began in 1991 to Stephen Meadows; they have two 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.


  1. "Leeza Gibbons Biography (1957-)". Filmreference.com. Retrieved October 19, 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. "Leeza Gibbons Biography - Yahoo! Movies". Movies.yahoo.com. Retrieved October 19, 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 "Everything Leeza". Leezagibbons.com. Retrieved October 19, 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. unknown (February 20, 2007). "Meet the New Cast of 'Dancing With the Stars". ABC.com Dancing with the Stars. Retrieved February 21, 2007.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. "California Stem Cell Report: Celebrity Leeza Gibbons Named as CIRM Director". Californiastemcellreport.blogspot.com. November 15, 2007. Retrieved October 19, 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  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.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. Take Your Oxygen First (November 8, 2004). "> Home". Take Your Oxygen First. Retrieved October 19, 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. "Variety". Variety. June 15, 2013. Retrieved February 17, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. "'Celebrity Apprentice' crowns a winner - AOL.com". AOL. February 17, 2015. Retrieved February 17, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

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