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She fell in the kitchen at her Florida home. Two weeks later, this beauty queen is gone

Madeleine Marr
·2 min read

The night of Oct. 12 was like any other for former beauty queen Leanza Cornett, according to her roommate, Sue Roberts.

Miss America 1993 was in her kitchen at her Jacksonville home when she accidentally fell, Roberts wrote on the Facebook page called “Leanza Cornett’s Circle of Love.” The page was for the 49-year-old beauty queen’s friends as well as employees at Walt Disney World, where Cornett had played Ariel in the live-action “Voyage of the Little Mermaid” show in the early ’90s.

From Sue Roberts: Dear Mermaids, Muppets, Puppets and Crew... It is with a heavy heart I need to share with you that...

Posted by Leanza Cornett's Circle of Love on Friday, October 16, 2020

In the Oct. 16 update, Roberts explained that the divorced mother of two had undergone surgery to stop the bleeding in her brain after “an enormous blow to the back of her head.” For days, Cornett lingered in ICU at an area hospital, where her condition worsened, Roberts reported.

“A fall in the kitchen,” Roberts wrote. “I am a self-proclaimed dork and have fallen a million times in my house. Accidents happen. I’m saying this because I think all of us need to just hug each other a little tighter and love each other a little longer.”

The Miss America Organization announced the former Miss Florida’s death on Instagram.

“Leanza had a bright, beautiful spirit and her laugh was infectious,” said the tribute. “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.”

After her reign ended, Cornett went on to have a career in television, including gigs on “Entertainment Tonight,” “Who Wants to Marry a Multi-Millionaire?” and DIY Network’s “On The Block.”

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

“I find comfort knowing Kai and Avery will forever have the best guardian angel watching over them as they navigate life’s path,” wrote her ex-husband, entertainment journalist Mark Steines, on Instagram. “We will always remember the wonderful times shared during her short time here on earth.”

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