Leanza Cornett, Miss America 1993 and Big Stone Gap native, dead at 49

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(WJHL) — Miss America 1993 and Big Stone Gap native Leanza Cornett has died.

The Miss America Organization confirmed Cornett’s death in a social media post Wednesday night.

Cornett died Wednesday after suffering a brain injury earlier this month.

Born in Big Stone Gap, Cornett and her family moved to Florida when she was 13 years old.

“I’ve always called Big Stone Gap my home and I’ve always called Southwest Virginia my home,” she said in a 2017 interview on Daytime Tri-Cities.

She was the first actress to play a live-action version of the character Ariel in the Little Mermaid stage show at the Walt Disney World Resort.

Cornett leaves behind two teenage sons along with her parents who still live in Big Stone Gap. She was 49-years-old.

This is a developing story. Look for updates on WJHL.com and the WJHL News app.

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