Kelly Bishop: Husband Lee Leonard Was the First Voice of ESPN

Kelly Bishop had a happy marriage with her late husband, Lee Leonard, best known for her roles as matriarch Emily Gilmore on the series Gilmore Girls and Marjorie Houseman in the film Dirty Dancing.

He was Kelly Bishop husband from 1981 until his death in 2018. From their long marriage, the couple had a daughter, Norma Sheryl Leonard.

Everything you need to know about her late husband is right here.

Kelly Bishop husband used to be a TV talk show host.

Leonard Bishop, born in April 1929, was a television personality who was instrumental in the launch of cable television networks ESPN and CNN.

He was also the first voice of ESPN, introducing the network to a small audience on its debut day in 1979.

Furthermore, ESPN executives approached him to co-anchor SportsCenter, which was then envisioned as the network’s flagship news and highlights program.

As a result, the network’s first broadcast was the program’s inaugural broadcast, and Leonard delivered the first words for the show. The network grew to become a television powerhouse.

Lee Leonard only worked at ESPN for six months.

Despite being ESPN’s first voice, Leonard left the company after about six months.

Why? Because the network was initially launched as an entertainment and sports programming network, but as time passed, it failed to live up to the entertainment portion of its name.

This also prevented him from covering show business in a variety of ways.

“I was tired of sports,” he told the author of Those Guys Have All the Fun, an oral history of ESPN, James Andrew Miller.

He went on to say, “So when it became clear that there would be no entertainment, brilliant me, I thought this thing would never work.
So my agent called and said, ‘There’s this crazy guy, Ted Turner, who’s doing a news network,’ and I agreed.”

In 1980, he moved to CNN and became the host of the entertainment show People Tonight. However, he was succeeded in 1982 by Mike Douglas, a long-running syndicated talk-show host.

Leonard later returned to CNN in the 1980s to host Showbiz Today for several years.

Having said that, one of his biggest regrets in life was leaving ESPN so quickly.

In a phone interview with the New York Times, Bishop stated that he enjoyed sports but also wanted to do talk shows and interviews. “So he was drawn in that direction to CNN,” she explained.

In addition, the actress stated, “He later admitted that he should have stayed with ESPN. He was constantly starting new projects.”
Later in his career, he hosted Jersey’s Talking on News 12 New Jersey and a public affairs program on the New Jersey-based cable network CN8.

Lee Leonard’s Personal Life

Kelly Bishop and Leonard only had one daughter over the course of their long marriage. However, the couple was content with what they had.

Bishop had a grandson while he was still alive, whom his daughter welcomed with her partner.

The late television personality was previously married to Rona Rosenberg and Salome Jens, in addition to the actress.

Bishop, on the other hand, was previously married to Peter Miller before meeting her current husband when he interviewed her on Midday Live.

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