by Patricia Johnson for starredreviews.com
Leeza Gibbons was born March 26, 1957 in Hartsville, South Carolina. She has one brother and one sister plus her family adopted and raised a chimpanzee named Martha. Martha, the chimpanzee, was later taken to Africa and released into a wildlife preserve. After completing high school, she went on to attend the University of South Carolina, majoring in mass communication and journalism. She has been active in broadcasting in some form or other since 1976.
Some of her broadcasting jobs include:
o Co-hosting local segments of PM Magazine in Beaumont, TX
o Working for WFAA-TV Channel 8 in Dallas-Fort Worth
o Hosting Entertainment Tonight and Extra
o Hosting her on NBC/syndicated talk show, Leeza
o Co-host of the John and Leeza talk show with former co-host of Entertainment Tonight, John Tesh
o Hosted Lifetime’s What Should You Do? It was a series that explored the true of stories of survival.
o Hosted the Telethon Show on New Zealand’s TVNZ
o Hosts the PBS show My Generation
o Hosted her own syndicated radio show called Hollywood Confidential
o Hosted Who Wants to be a Millionaire
She has also guest starred in several shows that include:
o The Geena Davis Show
o The Simple Life
o The Simpsons
o The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air
o Home Improvement
o Just Shoot Me.
Leeza has also appeared in several movies such as:
o A television reporter in the RoboCop films
o A small role as a reporter in Soapdish
In the 2000’s she launched her own mineral make-up line Sheer Cover with Guthy-Renker. In the spring of 2007 she participated in the television show Dancing With The Stars, but was the third celebrity eliminated.
She has been married four times, the last time in April, 2011. Her three previous husbands are:
o John Hicks married in 1980, divorced in 1982
o Christopher Quinten married in 1989, divorced in 1991
o Stephen Meadows married in 1991, divorced in 2005
Her current husband, Steven Fenton, age 41 and Leeza Gibbons, age 54 exchanged vows that they had written themselves at midnight on the roof top of the Montage Hotel in Beverly Hills on April 19th. This is where they had their first date, which was a blind date three years prior. He had proposed to her on the lawn of their LA home just before they moved in.
Her daughter Lexi who is 21 and her son Troy who is 19 became ordained ministers on the internet just so they could officiate at their mother’s wedding. It was a private wedding that also included her third son Nathan who is 13 who was ring bearer. To represent the five members of the family, their rings consisted of five stacked bands.
Former California Governor, Arnold Schwarzeneegger, in 2007 announced the appointment of Leeza Gibbons to the board that overseas California’s stem cell research agency. She is filling the slot designated for a patient advocate for Alzheimers. This is the result of her non-profit group called Leeza’s Place. This group is aimed at caregivers for people with memory disorders. Her efforts with memory disorders grew from her and her family’s experience with her mother. She was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and died in May 2008.
She has also written a book that tells of her and her family’s own personal struggle with Alzheimer’s disease. It gives practical advice on how caregivers and their families can and must take care of their own emotional, spiritual and physical needs. This must be done in order to give better care to their loved ones that is suffering from a memory loss disorder. The name of the book is Take Your Oxygen First: Protecting Your Health and Happiness While Caring for a Loved One with Memory Loss.
By Patricia Johnson