Former Miss America winner Leanza Cornett died at age 49.
The Miss America Organization confirmed his death on Wednesday in a statement after a Facebook group wrote on October 16 that Leanza had “suffered a serious head injury that required emergency surgery”.
Her ex-husband Mark Steines also confirmed the news.
Although no official cause of death has been given, News 4 Jax – an NBC affiliate based in Leanza’s hometown of Jacksonville, Florida – reported that she died after hospitalization due to a head injury.
The Miss America Organization wrote: “It is with great sadness that the Miss America Organization communicates the news that our dear Miss America and friend, Leanza Cornett, has passed away.
“Leanza had a bright and beautiful spirit and her laugh was contagious. We know that she meant a lot to many, including all of you.
“We are devastated by this sudden loss in our Miss America family and we are deeply sorry for your family and close friends for your loss.
“At the moment, we no longer have information about a service for Leanza and we ask that you respect your family during this difficult time.
“Hold on tight to those you love today. Time is certainly precious.
“With much love, Team MAO.”
A Facebook page titled Leanza Cornett’s Circle of Love, dedicated to updating fans about her condition, wrote: “Dear Disney family, I’m here to inform you that Leanza passed away this afternoon. She was so loved. I don’t feel like writing. a lot now; my heart is broken. “
Leanza was crowned the winner of the competition in 1992, before she starred as Ariel in the theatrical show The Journey of the Little Mermaid.
After winning the title, she made a series of small screen appearances, including Saved by the Bell: The New Class, Grown Ups, The Tick, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation and Weeds.
In 1995, she married the former host of Home and Family Mark, with whom she shares her son Kai, 18, and Avery, 16.
They separated in 2013, Mark confirming the news of his death on Wednesday.
He wrote on Instagram: “It is with a heavy heart that I share with you the death of my ex-wife, mother Leanza, to our two extraordinary children Kai and Avery.
“We will always remember the wonderful moments shared during their short time here on earth. I find comfort in knowing that Kai and Avery will forever have the best guardian angel watching over them as they navigate the path of life.
“I ask that you keep them, as well as Leanza’s parents and their family in their prayers.”