Leanza Cornett, an American television personality and beauty pageant titleholder who was crowned Miss Florida 1992 and Miss America 1993 has died at age 49. To Disney followers, Leanza was well known as the first actress to play a live-action version of Ariel at the “Voyage of The Little Mermaid” show at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in 1991.
As shared by People.com: Leanza’s death was confirmed by the Miss America Organization on Wednesday (Oct. 29) in a statement reading, “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,” the statement read. “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.”
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A Facebook group called Leanza’s Circle of Love, which was created to keep fans updated on her condition, said in an Oct. 16 post that Cornett “sustained a serious head injury that required emergency surgery” a few days prior and was admitted into the intensive care unit.
Our thoughts and prayers are with Leanza’s family and friends.