Miss America's Leanza Cornett dies aged 49

Former Miss America Leanza Cornett has sadly died at the age of 49, it has been confirmed. 

The beauty queen, who won Miss America in 1993, was reportedly taken to a Jacksonville hospital on October 12 to receive treatment for a head injury. 

Her death was confirmed by Miss America Organisation on Wednesday night in a statement which said: ‘Leanza had a bright and beautiful spirit and her laugh was infectious. We know she meant so much to so many, including all of you.

‘We are devastated by this sudden loss in our Miss America family and we are deeply sorry for her family and close friends for their loss.’ 

They continued: ‘At the moment, we do not have any further information regarding a service for Leanza and we ask that you please respect her family during this difficult time. 

‘Hold on tight to those you love today. Time is certainly precious.’ 

Cornett’s husband, Home and Family host Mark Steines, shared his heartbreak over his wife’s death in his own statement. 

The TV presenter said: ‘It is with a heavy heart that I share with you the passing of my ex-wife, Leanza the mother to our two extraordinary sons Kai and Avery. 



‘We will always remember the wonderful times shared during her short time here on earth. I find comfort knowing Kai and Avery will forever have the best guardian angel watching over them as they navigate life’s path.’ 

He added: ‘I ask that you please keep them as well as Leanza’s parents and her family in your prayers.’ 

A Facebook page, Leanza Cornett’s Circle of Love, had been keeping fans updated with the model’s condition after her hospital admission. 

Sue Roberts, who was running the page, told followers yesterday: ‘Dear Disney family, I’m here to let you know Leanza passed this afternoon. She was so loved. I don’t feel like writing a lot right now; my heart is broken.’ 

The page previously said Cornett had ‘sustained a serious head injury that required emergency surgery’ and was in intensive care. 

Cornett was crowned Miss Florida in 1992 and also made an appearance as Ariel in the Voyage of The Little Mermaid stage show at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Walt Disney World. 

She went on to launch a successful acting career with roles in hit TV shows such as Saved by the Bell: The New Class, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, Weeds and Grown Ups, The Tick.

Cornett is survived by her husband Steines and their two sons Kai, 18, and Avery, 16. 

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