Actress and Animal Advocate
By Isaiah Negron
With a notable international acting career that spans two decades and a highly anticipated memoir due out this year, blonde beauty Leesa Rowland has come a long way since her days growing up on her family's Texas cattle ranch. Leesa knew from a young age that she belonged on the big screen. After earning her degree in broadcast journalism at Texas Tech, she headed to Los Angeles to study at the Stella Adler Studio. She got her first break playing Victoria in Troma Entertainment's "Class of Nuke 'Em High," Parts 2 and 3. Her tour de force performances set the tone for her career. Leesa has played leading roles in a long list of cult horror films, leading critics to dub her "The Scream Queen." She currently co-stars in director Travis Campbell's "Slaughter Daughter," where she plays Phyllis Adjani, an eccentric mother who drives her daughter to insanity. The thriller premiered at the 7th Annual Freak Show Horror Film Festival in Orlando and took home the award for Best Feature Film.
Recently, Rowland finished filming "After Birth" in Los Angeles in addition to making a cameo in Troma's "Return to Nuke 'Em High," which premiered on STARZ last year. On top of all of this, Leesa and her friend and fellow actress Lisa Gaye have co-hosted a successful YouTube series called "Two City Girls" where they've chat about everything from the best vegan recipes to tips for living a green lifestyle. Currently, she is in postproduction on a documentary about the entertainment industry called "LaLa Land" that she produced with No Logik Films.
Leesa's biggest passion in life is animal advocacy, as she's been a vegan most of her life. "There's plenty to eat without eating animals and plenty to wear without wearing animals. It's the compassionate choice," said Rowland. Since 1989, she has served as the New York liaison for Last Chance for Animals, a national nonprofit organization dedicated to eliminating animal exploitation through education, investigation and legislation. She has also been a co- chair for LCA's Annual N.Y.C. Gala. The last benefit was held at Peter Max's studio. Rowland is planning to launch her own nonprofit Animal Ashram, which will be a no-kill, no-cage shelter in N.Y.C. "My inspiration was The N.Y.C. Animal Care and Control Kill List that I receive every morning. I want America to be a no-kill nation one day," said Leesa, who receives messages from all over the country asking for help in finding dogs and cats a home. She has helped find homes for over 200 animals. "I know that I can't save all of the animals, but I will do my best to save as many as I can, one at a time," said the actress.
Leesa's latest project is her new book "Discovering the It Factor Within You" where she uses her expertise to help others find their inner stars, taking readers on a journey through her past and path to self-discovery. Her tome is set to hit bookshelves later this year and a portion of each book sold will be donated to the non-profit Animal Ashram.
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