For the past seven years, Leeann Tweeden has been seen in the role of show host and sports reporter on the Fox Sports Network. She has covered everything from mainstream and extreme sports to news and entertainment, and has won both a Sports Emmy and a Telly Award. Now fans of NBC’s Poker After Dark will be able to see Leeann interacting with the biggest stars in the world of poker as she will be the host of PAD’s 4th season.
Poker is not a new venture for Leeann. She was a co-host/exit interviewer on the Mansion Poker Dome Challenge on FSN in 2006, and was the host of the 2008 NBC National Heads-Up Poker Championship, which will begin airing on NBC on April 13.
Leeann was born and raised in the Washington, DC suburb of Manassas, Virginia. Her dad and brother raced cars and go-karts while growing up, and her uncle was a track announcer, so she was born into a racing family. Leeann graduated from high school in 3 years at the age of 16. Instead of going straight to college, Leeann wanted to follow her dreams of moving to Hollywood and giving modeling and showbiz a shot, and did so at the age of 18. Once there, she was soon cast as a spokes model on Ed McMahon’s famous talent show Star Search, launching her television career.
Leeann also spent years modeling in Los Angeles before she auditioned for and beat out 30,000 other women for the ESPN workout show Fitness Beach. The program was the number one rated fitness show of its time according to the New York Times. Over the years, Leeann has been the focus of numerous magazine covers and articles that range from health and fitness, to lifestyle, to popular men’s magazines like Maxim and FHM.
She’s also appeared on talk shows like Jimmy Kimmel Live and The Craig Kilborn Show and done radio appearances on Loveline and Adam Corolla. She even had her own racing column for a year in Stuff Magazine. She’s often been invited to be a contributor to news shows such as Scarborough Country and Hannity and Colmes.
In January 2002, Leeann became a cast member on FSN’s The Best Damn Sports Show Period. This occurred after originally coming on as a guest, thus solidifying her in the world of mainstream sports. She frequently appeared on the panel with host and comedian Tom Arnold, as well as ex-pro athletes such as Michael Irvin, John Kruk, and John Salley.
While appearing on this show, Leeann flew with the Navy’s Blue Angels and skydived with the Army’s Golden Knights. She learned what it was like to be a professional bull rider and rodeo clown. She spent time at various NFL training camps learning how to play different positions from the pros, and with MLB’s best at spring training learning to throw a curve ball and playing the ‘hot corner’. She’s covered the Daytona 500 numerous times, as well as many Superbowls, World Series, and the Kentucky Derby. She also had her weekly Best Damn Insider segment that covered the inside worlds of sports and entertainment.
In 2005, Leeann moved part-time to Charlotte, NC to host the NASCAR lifestyle show NASCAR Nation on SPEED. She was hired for this show due to her racing background and insight into the sport. While there, Leeann proudly filmed a public service announcement warning teens against the perils of drunk driving.
Leeann has used her celebrity status to help promote various causes including the USO, The Wounded Warriors Foundation, breast cancer research, The Special Olympics, and charities to help the children of fallen soldiers. She has done 13 USO Tours around the world, and has gone overseas to Iraq and Afghanistan to visit the troops on 11 different occasions. This includes almost every Thanksgiving and Christmas since the attacks on 9/11. She’s traveled numerous times with Robin Williams, The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Wayne Newton, John Elway and Gale Sayers. When she is in Washington, DC, she visits the wounded soldiers at Walter Reed and the Bethesda Naval Medical Center. This is something close to her heart as her father was an Air Force Vietnam Vet who served 2 tours of duty.
Leeann is currently working on her degree in Political Science at Santa Monica College before transferring to either USC or UCLA. She currently resides in Los Angeles but splits her time between there and Manhattan where her fiancé is a JetBlue pilot and a member of the Air National Guard.