|Birth Date||May 15, 1961|
|Hometown||Mexico City, Mexico|
|Known For||Journalist and broadcaster|
|Highest Score||24 (Rumba)|
|Lowest Score||22 (Tango)|
Early life and educationEdit
Fernández was born in Mexico City, Mexico, and was brought to east Los Angeles in the United States at the age of four. Her Catholic father was a flamenco dancer, while her Jewish mother was a student of Mexican folklore. She attended California State University, Sacramento, where she graduated in 1982 earning her B.A. in Journalism and Government.
Her television career began in 1983 at KRDO in Pueblo, Colorado and KEYT-TV. From 1985 until 1989, she worked as a television reporter and weekend anchor in Los Angeles (KTLA), Chicago (WBBM), and Miami (WCIX). In 1988 she garnered some controversy in Chicago when she went boating with John Cappas, a drug dealer being sought by authorities, then accompanied him to his arrest by federal agents.
She gained her first national news job in October 1991 for CBS News, when she moved to New York City and became a correspondent and back-up anchor for the morning, evening, and weekend news broadcasts. She later moved to NBC, where she anchored the weekend edition of the Today Show and the Sunday NBC Nightly News, and undertook various special reporting assignments in the U.S. and elsewhere. During this period of national news coverage, Fernández reported on the crisis from Cuban immigration, unrest in Haiti, the 1989 U.S. invasion of Panama, the trial of the conspirators from the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, and a scud missile attack while covering the Persian Gulf War. She was invited to make a rare interview of Fidel Castro, then president of Cuba.
From 1996 to 1999, Fernández was the co-host for Access Hollywood, an entertainment news program on NBC. She then co-hosted the This Week in History show on the History Channel. In October 2001, she returned to Los Angeles and joined KTLA television news. She left this position in August 2003 to pursue a variety of special projects, including making a movie and writing children's books. In 2004, her book titled Gigi and the Birthday Ring was published through the Laredo Publishing Company.
She is president of Skinny Hippo Productions, her own production company, and is co-president of F Squared Productions, where she is a developer of film and television projects.
Fernández has won five Emmy Awards for journalism. She is a member of the Smithsonian National Board for Latino Initiatives and has worked on the board of trustees of the Children's Hospital Los Angeles. In 2006, she was named the year's Outstanding Philanthropist by the Association of Fundraising Professionals.
While in Chicago, she met Ron Kershaw, who was previously involved with Jessica Savitch. The two were engaged, but Kershaw died of pancreatic cancer and liver cancer. A month later her father died of Alzheimer's disease. She is divorced from John Farrand, former CEO of Panavision, Inc., and did not asking for alimony as she made over $43,000 per month.
Fernández participated as a contestant on the second season of ABC's Dancing With The Stars in January 2006, but was the third contestant to be eliminated. She partnered with Jonathan Roberts and had an average of 23 points.
Dancing with the Stars 2Edit
|Week #||Dance/Song||Judges' score||Result|
|1||Waltz/ "I Never Loved a Man (The Way I Loved You)"||7||8||8||Safe|
|2||Rumba/ "Take My Breath Away"||8||8||8||Safe|
|3||Tango/ "Hernando's Hideaway"||7||8||7||Eliminated|