Leeza Gibbons

Last updated

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

(1957-03-26) March 26, 1957 (age 62)
Occupation Broadcaster
Years active1976–present
Television Leeza
John Hicks
(m. 1980;div. 1982)

Christopher Quinten
(m. 1989;div. 1991)

Stephen Meadows
(m. 1991;div. 2005)

Steven Fenton(m. 2011)
Website 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 (1984–2000) 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, Leeza was named the winner of Celebrity Apprentice , having raised $714,000 for her charity Leeza's Care Connection. [1]



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. [2] [3] Gibbons has two siblings – a brother, Carlos Jr., and a sister, Cammy. Leeza and her family also adopted a young chimpanzee from a traveling circus they named Martha. [4] When Martha was older, it became difficult to manage her care and she was sent to a Great Ape sanctuary in Florida where she still lives to this day. [5] Gibbons grew up in Irmo, South Carolina, a suburb of Columbia, 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.


Gibbons television career started in her home state of South Carolina, at WSPA-TV in Spartanburg. Her next stop was as the co host of PM Magazine for KFDM-TV in Beaumont, Texas, and later moved up to then-sister station WFAA-TV in Dallas.

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 show My Generation (2011–2014) and as co-host and executive producer of the syndicated news magazine show America Now (2011–2015).

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. 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 early 2000s, Gibbons launched her mineral makeup line, Sheer Cover Studio, with Guthy-Renker. [6] 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." [6] Presently, Sheer Cover continues to be sold around the world.

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.

In 2016, Gibbons and Guthy-Renker launched their latest infomercial together, Dr Denese Skinscience.

On November 14, 2007, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger announced the appointment of Gibbons to the board that oversees California's stem cell research agency. [7] 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. [8] 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. [6]

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. [9]

In 2013, Gibbons won her first Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lifestyle/Travel Host for the PBS series My Generation. [10]

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. [11]

She began co-hosting the Rose Parade on January 2, 2017.

Personal life

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 after they both featured in the 1988 New Zealand Telethon [12] , 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. [13] In 2011, she married New York Times best selling author, Steven Fenton, in Beverly Hills. [14] 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. [15]

Related Research Articles

Irmo, South Carolina Town in South Carolina, United States

Irmo is a town in Lexington and Richland counties, South Carolina, United States and a suburb of Columbia. It is part of the Columbia Metropolitan Statistical Area and is located 12 miles (19 km) northwest of the city center. The population of Irmo was 11,097 at the 2010 census.

John Tesh American musician and sports announcer

John Frank Tesh is an American pianist and composer of pop music, as well as a radio host and television presenter. His Intelligence for Your Life radio show airs on nearly 300 stations, and is syndicated by Teshmedia in the U.S., Canada, and the U.K. In addition, since 2014, he has hosted Intelligence for Your Life TV with his wife Connie Sellecca. The syndicated TV program airs on 174 stations that cover 93% of the potential U.S. television audience.

<i>Entertainment Tonight</i> American entertainment television news series from CBS Television Distribution

Entertainment Tonight is an American first-run syndicated entertainment television newsmagazine that is distributed by CBS Television Distribution throughout the United States.

<i>The Dean Martin Show</i> television series

The Dean Martin Show, not to be confused with the Dean Martin Variety Show (1959–1960), is a TV variety-comedy series that ran from 1965 to 1974 for 264 episodes. It was broadcast by NBC and hosted by entertainer Dean Martin. The theme song to the series was his 1964 hit "Everybody Loves Somebody".

Christopher Quinten is a British actor, best known for his role as Brian Tilsley on Coronation Street, which he played from 1978 to 1989.

Extra is an American syndicated television newsmagazine that is distributed by Warner Bros. Television Distribution and premiered on September 5, 1994. The program serves as a straight rundown of news headlines and gossip throughout the entertainment industry, providing coverage of events and celebrities; however, since 2013, it has also placed an even greater emphasis on interviews and insider previews of upcoming film and television projects. As of 2019, the program's weekday broadcasts are anchored by Billy Bush, with the weekend editions anchored by Renee Bargh and Jennifer Lahmers.


Proactiv, also known as Proactiv Solution, is a brand of skin-care products developed by two American dermatologists, Katie Rodan and Kathy A. Fields, and launched in 1995 by Guthy-Renker, a California-based direct marketing company. The range includes moisturizers, body washes and hair products, but the brand is known for its three-step anti-acne kit consisting of a cleanser, toner and lotion. Proactiv+, a reformulation of the three-step kit, was introduced in 2013.

Martin J. Schreiber American politician

Martin James "Marty" Schreiber is an American politician, publisher, author, and lobbyist, the 38th Lieutenant Governor of Wisconsin, and, the 39th Governor of Wisconsin from 1977 to 1979. Schreiber has become an advocate on issues related to Alzheimer's disease and dementia.

Rebecca Marie "Becky" O'Donohue and Jessica Elleanore "Jessie" O'Donohue are American reality TV show contestants, models and actresses. Becky was a semi-finalist in the fifth season of American Idol. They are identical twins. They appeared in a Guthy-Renker infomercial for Wen Hair Care products for red hair.

Stephen Meadows is an American actor, architect and inventor.

Leeza is an NBC and syndicated daytime television talk show. It premiered on June 14, 1993 as John & Leeza from Hollywood, hosted by John Tesh and Leeza Gibbons. Tesh left the show after seven months, and on January 17, 1994, the program was retitled Leeza, and Gibbons became the sole host remaining in that capacity throughout the remainder of its run. The show aired its final episodes on September 8, 2000.

Guthy-Renker is an El Segundo-based direct-response marketing company that sells products directly to consumers through infomercials, television ads, direct mail, telemarketing, e-mail marketing, and the Internet. As of 2014, it has 8 different product groups, with an emphasis on celebrity-endorsed beauty products.

Family caregivers are “relatives, friends, or neighbors who provide assistance related to an underlying physical or mental disability but who are unpaid for those services.”

Brooke Burke American actress, dancer, model and television personality

Brooke Lisa Burke is an American actress, dancer, model, and television personality. She is known as a Playboy model, hosting Wild On!, Rock Star (2005–2006), winning the seventh season of Dancing with the Stars, for co-hosting Dancing With the Stars from 2010 to 2013 and featuring in Need for Speed: Underground 2 as Rachel Teller.

Jesinta Franklin Australian model

Jesinta Franklin is an Australian TV Host, model and beauty pageant titleholder. Franklin won Miss Universe Australia 2010 and represented Australia at Miss Universe 2010, placing 2nd Runner-Up.

The Celebrity Apprentice 7 is the seventh installment of the reality game show, Celebrity Apprentice. Despite this season having long concluded filming in early 2014, it premiered on Sunday, January 4, 2015. As a result of the significant time between the season's filming and its airing, numerous spoilers were released. The season aired more than a year and a half after the conclusion of the previous season. This was Donald Trump's final season as host as he was replaced by Arnold Schwarzenegger amidst Trump's campaign for the U.S. Presidency in advance of the 2016 election.

Gregory Renker, is best known for cofounding Guthy-Renker with partner Bill Guthy. He was born in Phoenix, Arizona in 1957 and had eight siblings. Growing up, Renker's family moved a lot due to his father's work managing country clubs and hotels. Renker worked his way through college at the San Diego State University and married Stacey Renker several years later.

Caregiving by country is the regional variation of caregiving practices as distinguished among countries.

<i>The Fundamentals of Caring</i> 2016 film by Rob Burnett

The Fundamentals of Caring is a 2016 American comedy-drama film written and directed by Rob Burnett, based on the 2012 novel The Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving by Jonathan Evison. Starring Paul Rudd, Craig Roberts, and Selena Gomez, the film had its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival on January 29, 2016, and was released on Netflix on June 24, 2016.

Dr. Connie Siskowski is a United States activist for young people who are caring for ill, disabled, or aging family members. She was named as a Purpose Prize winner in 2009 and a top 10 CNN Hero in 2012.


  1. Leeza's Care Connection
  2. "Leeza Gibbons Biography (1957–)". Filmreference.com. Retrieved October 19, 2010.
  3. "Leeza Gibbons Biography – Yahoo! Movies". Movies.yahoo.com. Retrieved October 19, 2010.
  4. Gibbons, Leeza. "Interview with Huffington Post" . Retrieved August 26, 2017.
  5. "The Center for Great Apes" . Retrieved August 26, 2017.
  6. 1 2 3 "Everything Leeza". Leezagibbons.com. Retrieved October 19, 2010.
  7. "California Stem Cell Report: Celebrity Leeza Gibbons Named as CIRM Director". Californiastemcellreport.blogspot.com. November 15, 2007. Retrieved October 19, 2010.
  8. "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.
  9. Take Your Oxygen First (November 8, 2004). "> Home". Take Your Oxygen First. Archived from the original on May 14, 2009. Retrieved October 19, 2010.
  10. "Variety". Variety. June 15, 2013. Retrieved February 17, 2015.
  11. Baretto, Megan (February 17, 2015). "'Celebrity Apprentice' crowns a winner". AOL . Retrieved February 17, 2015.
  12. "6.30PM News - Leeza Gibbons". NZ On Screen.
  13. "Leeza Gibbons and Her Husband Split Up". People Magazine. Retrieved April 18, 2016.
  14. Jordan, Julie. "Leeza Gibbons Gets Married". People . April 22, 2011.
  15. Wayne, Gary. "Hollywood United Methodist Church". www.seeing-stars.com. Retrieved February 12, 2017.
Media offices
Preceded by
Emma Samms and Karen Baldwin
Miss Universe color commentator
(with Margaret Gardiner)
(with Angela Visser)
Succeeded by
Cecilia Bolocco and Angela Visser
Preceded by
Angie Dickinson
Miss USA color commentator
(with Laura Harring)

Succeeded by
Barbara Eden and Debbie Shelton
Preceded by
Terry Murphy and Deborah Shelton
Miss USA color commentator
(with Courtney Gibbs)

Succeeded by
Arthel Neville and Laura Harring
Preceded by
Marcia Strassman
Miss Teen USA color commentator
(with Kelly Hu)
(with Bridgette Wilson)
Succeeded by
Arthel Neville and Kelly Hu