Former Miss America Leanza Cornett Dies at 49

Leanza Cornett posing for the camera: Donald Kravitz/Getty Images Leanza Cornett Leanza Cornett

A former Miss America has died at the age of 49 years old, her death was confirmed by the Miss America Organization on Wednesday 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, hold on tight to those you love today, time is certainly precious, the organization added.

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, before she was crowned Miss Florida in 1992, Cornett starred as Ariel in the “Voyage of The Little Mermaid” stage show Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Walt Disney World. After winning the title of Miss America, Cornett appeared in several television series, including Saved by the Bell: The New ClassGrown UpsThe TickCSI: Crime Scene Investigation and Weeds.

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