For the past four years, Leeann Tweeden has been seen as the host of NBC’s National Heads-Up
Poker Championship. She also hosts the popular late night show, Poker After Dark, six days a
week. Before moving to NBC, Leeann could be seen on the Fox Sports Network and has covered
everything from mainstream and extreme sports to news and entertainment. She has won both a
Sports Emmy and a Telly Award.
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. You could
say she was born into a racing family. Leeann graduated from high school in 3 years at the age of 16,
and instead of going straight to college, Leeann wanted to follow her dreams of moving to Hollywood.
She did so at the age of 18, and 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.
She’s appeared on talk shows like Jimmy Kimmel Live and The Craig Kilborn Show and done radio
appearances on Loveline, Adam Corolla and Howard Stern. She’s often been invited to be a
contributor to news shows such as Hannity, Scarborough Country, The Big Idea with Donny
Deutsch, Your World with Neil Cavuto and Red Eye. She is also frequently asked to write columns
for different publications, and even had her own racing column in Stuff Magazine.
In January 2002, Leeann became a cast member on FSN’s The Best Damn Sports Show Period. This
occurred after originally coming on the show 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. After
spending time at various NFL training camps, she learned how to play different positions from the
pro athletes. And with Major League Baseball’s best players at spring training, she learned how to
throw a curve ball and how to play the ‘hot corner’. She’s covered the Daytona 500 numerous times,
as well as many Superbowls, World Series, and the Kentucky Derby. Leeann 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. For the show, Leeann interviewed the likes of Will Ferrell, Jamie Foxx and Lisa Marie
Presley to name a few. She was hired due to her racing background and insight into the sport. While
in Charlotte, 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 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 and Jason Taylor among
others. When she is in Washington, DC, she visits the wounded warriors at the medical centers of
Walter Reed and Bethesda. This is something close to her heart as her father was an Air Force
veteran who served in Vietnam..
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.