For the past four years, Leeann Tweeden has been seen as the host of NBC’s “The National Heads-Up Poker Championship” and their popular late night show, “Poker After Dark,” six days a week. Before moving to NBC, the award-winning sportscaster could be seen on the Fox Sports Network and has covered everything from mainstream and extreme sports to news and entertainment. Poker is not a new venture for Leeann, as she was a co-host on the Mansion Poker Dome Challenge on FSN in 2006.
In 2011, Leeann could be seen hosting “Angels Weekly” for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim baseball team and Fox Sports West. She was also a contributor to the “Angels Live” pre and post-game shows.
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, FHM and the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue. Leeann has the highest ever-selling American version of FHM in history.
She’s 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,” “Hannity” and “Red Eye.”
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 Warrior Project, breast cancer research, The Special Olympics, and charities to help the children of fallen service members. She has done 16 USO Tours around the world, and has gone overseas to Iraq and Afghanistan to visit the troops on 14 different occasions. This includes almost every Thanksgiving or Christmas since the attacks on 9/11. She’s traveled numerous times with Robin Williams, Kid Rock, Gary Sinise, Wayne Newton, John Elway, Matt Lauer Bradley Cooper and The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff among others.
She is a frequent visitor to Walter Reed, Brooke Army Medical Center and the Center for the Intrepid to visit with our wounded warriors. This is something close to her heart as her father was an Air Force chief mechanic who served in Vietnam. Recently, the VFW awarded Leeann their 2011 Hall of Fame Award for her 'outstanding contribution to America's Armed Forces in the form of entertainment.'
In 2011, Leeann and local California businessman William Snell started their own non-profit organization called Heroes & Patriots, to help wounded warriors and military families in need. Go to www.heroesandpatriots.net for more information.
2011 also saw Leeann add fashion designer to her resume'. In collaboration with Elegant Moments, Leeann came out with her own line of fun, affordable & sexy lingerie. She has already been featured on "Good Day LA" and Playboy Sirius radio.
Leeann is currently working on her degree in Political Science at Santa Monica College before transferring to UCLA. She currently resides in Los Angeles with her husband who is a JetBlue pilot and a member of the California Air National Guard.