Leanza Cornett, who was crowned Miss America in 1993, has died at the age of 49.
Her death was confirmed by the Miss America Organization on Wednesday in a statement reading: “Leanza had a bright and beautiful spirit and her laughter was contagious. We know she meant so much to so many, including all of you.”
“We are devastated by this sudden loss of our Miss America family, and we deeply regret her family and close friends for their loss,” the statement said. “At the moment we do not have any further information about a service to Leanza and we kindly ask you to respect her family during this difficult time.”
“Hold on to the ones you love today. Time is definitely precious,” the organization added.
No cause of death was given, though News 4 Jax – an NBC News affiliate based in the party queen’s hometown of Jacksonville, Florida – reported that Cornett died after being hospitalized due to a head injury.
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A Facebook group called Leanza’s Circle of Love, which was set up to keep fans updated on her condition, said in a Oct. 16 post that Cornett “suffered a serious head injury that required emergency surgery” a few days before and was admitted to the intensive care unit.
Before being crowned Miss Florida in 1992, Cornett starred as Ariel in the “Voyage of The Little Mermaid” stage show Disney Hollywood Studios in Walt Disney World.
After winning the title of Miss America, Cornett appeared in several television series, including Saved by the clock: The new class, Adults, Tick, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation and Weeds.
She married earlier Home and family hosted Mark Steines in 1995.
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Steines, who split with Cornett in 2013 after 17 years of marriage, confirmed the news of her death in an Instagram post on Wednesday.
“It is with a heavy heart that I share with you that my ex-wife, Mother Leanza, has died to our two extraordinary sons Kai and Avery,” he wrote along with a photo of Cornett with their children. “We will always remember the wonderful times that were shared during her short time here on earth. I’m glad to know that Kai and Avery will forever have the best guardian angel watching over them as they navigate. the way of life. “
“I ask you to keep them as well as Leanza’s parents and her family in your prayers,” Steines added.