Leanza Cornett, 49, miss America 1993 has died two weeks after sustaining a brain injury, the Miss America Organization said.
The Miss America Organization released the following statement:
“It is with great sadness the Miss America Organization relays the news our beloved Miss America and friend, Leanza Cornett, has passed away. 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. 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, who died Wednesday, was crowned at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City in September 1992. She was the first Miss Florida to win the national title.
A spokesperson for the Miss America Organization confirmed in an email to NBC News that Cornett died from brain injury complications after she sustained injuries during a “slip and fall at home.”
Cornett’s ex-husband and former “Home and Family” host Mark Steines expressed sadness over the loss.
“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,” he wrote in an Instagram post on Wednesday. “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,” Steines wrote.
After winning Miss America in 1993, Cornett advocated for AIDS awareness as her yearlong platform. Cornett later guest-starred in several television series, including “Saved by the Bell: New Class,” “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation,” and “Weeds,” according to her IMDb page.
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