‘Design Star’s’ Leslie Ezelle a Walking Testimony to Resilience

Leslie Ezelle

Leslie Ezelle, tearing through the competition on HGTV’s addictive “Design Star” interior design competition show, has already won acclaim and fans — and is a walking testimony to the power of human resilience.

Ezelle, a beautiful blond 43-year-old former Dallas Cowboys cheerleader,  fought a two-year battle with breast cancer that included a string of serious infections following six weeks of radiation, and six surgeries.  At the same time, she and her family were struggling with financial problems in the wake of the stock market crash.  But then, just four months after her last surgery, she tried out for “Design Star” — on which she’s been impressing the heck out of judges and viewers alike.

“It’s so crazy now, looking back on it.  Cancer was not on my ‘To Do’ list.  I don’t do pink,” she says scoffingly.  However, “When you reach rock bottom, that’s that’s when you ask the soul-searching questions — ‘What do you want to be when you grow up?'”  She wanted her own design show.  “I really, really pushed myself.  I wanted to get busy living.  It was the best thing I could ever have done, and thank God I had the courage to do it, to put my craziness out there on national TV.”

Leslie and wife Libby (married in Massachusetts when the state legalized same sex unions) have a blended family of two daughters and two sons, and she admits, “It was a hard decision to be away from my kids so long to do ‘Design Star.’  But I want to tell them, ‘Go for it, go for your dreams’ having done it myself.   Now is the fun part.  We had a benefit for Susan G. Komen — they were really there for me,” she goes on, speaking of the extremely active breast cancer charity organization.  “We raised $25,000.  We had this little private viewing party.  You would have thought it was like Hollywood, baby!  The kids got all dressed up in little outfits and had their friends over.  Oh, my God.  I’m like Beyonce now.  But I turn back into Mommy when I make them mad.”

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This entry was posted in Hollywood Inspirational, The Hollywood Exclusive by Marilyn Beck and Stacy Jenel Smith and tagged , , on by .

About Stacy Jenel Smith

I grew up in the San Fernando Valley when it was a kids' Shangri La in the 60s and we had Fabulous Eddie's miniature golf and trampolines on Ventura Boulevard. My big brother frequented The Third Eye psychedelic shop back in the day, but he wound up turning out anyway. Dad was an NBC video man who worked on "Laugh-In," Dean Martin's show, and specials by everyone from Sinatra to Fred Astaire. Mom was a first class home maker and PTA and GCA volunteer. They're still doing great. Anxious to get going in life, I quit college and jumped into journalism when I was still a teenager, and was writing for the New York Times syndicate and People magazine before turning 20. But that was a long time, many adventures, lots of traveling around the world and thousands of interviews ago. I go back to the very last days of hot type and getting to talk to Henry Fonda and Bette Davis, and Sammy Davis at the old Brown Derby...What a ride. That's in no small part thanks to my amazing writing partner, Marilyn Beck, one of the grand old-school Hollywood columnist stars -- a true star -- who knows how to do it right. I'm lucky, for sure. Now is fun, too. I love going out to events with my 17-year-old daughter (Jonas Brothers!). Seeing everything fresh through her eyes renews my excitement about the game. In-between I went back and finished school -- University of Redlands -- married, divorced, and at long last found my true love. My favorite things outside of the show business realm are being with my family, my faith and spiritual growth, learning new things (from doing Qigong to uploading stuff on Facebook), and running. See you on the trail.

One thought on “‘Design Star’s’ Leslie Ezelle a Walking Testimony to Resilience

  1. derek

    I’m surprised Leslie struggled with breast cancer and that some say she is gay. Both issues don’t detract from the joy I get from watching her wander through Designstar – she is a definite looker. Derek.

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