CULT FILM STAR ACTRESS & PHILANTHROPIST LEESA ROWLAND
Most acclaimed actors have interesting backgrounds, but few are as unique and wide-ranging as cult film star and philanthropist Leesa Rowland. The daughter of an artist and college professor, Leesa grew up in Austin, Texas where she studied broadcast journalism and later became a classically trained actress at the world-renowned Steller Adler Studio in Los Angeles. Shortly after graduation, she quickly gained a following after being cast as Victoria in Troma Entertainment’s 1992 cult film classic, Class of Nuke ‘Em High Parts 2 and 3 and appearing in the sequel Return To Nuke ‘Em High, which aired on The Starz Network in 2013.
In 1994 she acted in Troma’s television USA Network series Troma’s Edge along with Lloyd Kaufman and Debbie Rochon. Then, in 2012, she co-starred in Travis Campbell’s Slaughter Daughter as Phyllis Adjani, an eccentric mother who drives her daughter to insanity. Not only did the film win the award for best feature at Orlando’s 7th Annual Freak Show Film Festival that same year, it led to a co-starring role in the critically acclaimed web series Two City Girls opposite fellow Troma actress Lisa Gaye, as well as appearances on the Oxygen reality series Jersey Couture in 2012.
Beyond her extensive career and credits as a film and television actress, Leesa is the author of the best-selling self-help/motivational book Discovering the It Factor within You: Developing Your Charismatic Personality, which was published in 2015. She is also well-known for her work as a philanthropist and animal rights activist. A vegan dedicated to healthy eating, she has been active with the national non-profit organization Last Chance for Animals since 1989 and is the president of the New York non-profit group Animal Ashram, which she founded in 2013.
As she continues to develop her work as a philanthropist and involvement with these and other charities while exploring new dramatic roles and writing an as-yet titled sequel to Discovering the It Factor, Leesa recently began adding something else exciting to her sizzle reel: comedienne. A lifelong sitcom fan, she has been taking comedy classes with Richard Kline—the actor best known as Larry on the late-1970s classic Three’s Company co-starring John Ritter, Suzanne Sommers and Don Knotts, which originally ran on ABC from 1977 to 1984—in Los Angeles. She has also been studying improv and sketch comedy in New York at the famed Upright Citizen’s Brigade whose alumni include Amy Poehler, Horatio Sands, Matt Besser, Matt Walsh and Ian McKay.
For more information, visit leesarowland.net.
Photo Courtesy of Lawlor Media GP