Leeza Gibbons' life lessons
After coping with depression and major life changes, the popular TV personality hit the reset button—and she wants to show you how to do it, too.
By Linda Childers
Entertainment journalist, talk show host, entrepreneur, wife, mother, author, health care activist—Leeza Gibbons has constantly re-created herself throughout her 30-year career in television.
The most profound shift came after her mother, Gloria Jean, was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease in 1999. Always a high achiever, Gibbons had set her sights on journalism as a girl and reached her goal on a national scale. She was a media personality after a decade with the TV tabloid Entertainment Tonight and had debuted her own talk show, Leeza, in 1993. Now she faced something no amount of effort and ambition could control.
The decline of her once-vibrant mother, an enormously influential figure in her life, sent Gibbons into a tailspin of depression. And as Gibbons was trying to cope with the emotional pain and daily stress of her mother's condition while raising three children and managing her career, life threw more challenges at her.
Her talk show ended in 2000 and she started a new job as an anchor on Extra, then made the leap two years later into the unfamiliar waters of health care advocacy. Meanwhile, her marriage to actor and architect Stephen Meadows was unraveling—they split up in 2005 after 14 years as man and wife—and her oldest child left for college.
Gibbons says that all these events, "stacked on top of each other," forced her to rethink her life. Or as she puts it, she hit the reset button.
"It was the beginning of my personal reinvention," says Gibbons, who shares what she's learned in her latest book, Take 2: Your Guide to Creating Happy Endings and New Beginnings. "Sometimes life changes on the way to happily-ever-after. One day you wake up and think, 'This isn't where I was supposed to be.'" … [end of excerpt]
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