Mercedes LeAnza, Lead Creative Producer at Amazon Studios, Dies at 40

Mercedes Angelica LeAnza, a film and television producer who had been serving as a lead creative producer at Amazon Studios and Prime Video, died on April 10 of bile duct cancer. She was 40.

Born on Nov. 12, 1981 in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago to Sandra Voris LeAnza, LeAnza relocated to California with her mother and brother, Kyle, after her parents’ divorce. After living in Los Angeles, the family moved to San Mateo, where LeAnza completed high school. LeAnza attended Loyola Marymount University, where she graduated with honors in theater arts and communications in 2005.

After graduation, LeAnza co-founded Stella Bella Productions, which went on to produce films such as “Jelly,” “The Accidental Death of Joey by Sue” and “Ash Global.” LeAnza also served as a producer and line producer for both scripted and commercial projects across all stages of production. She worked as a producer for Launch Media of Santa Monica and produced independent films, such as the comedy “Homeroom.” She was also a member of SAG-AFTRA and the Producers Guild of America.

LeAnza’s first credit as a lead creative producer for Amazon came in 2020 with the drama series “Hunters,” starring Al Pacino. Her other credits at Amazon include “Making the Cut,” “Solos,” “Upload” and “Harlem.”

LeAnza is survived by her devoted husband, Sonny Michael Olivera; her mother, Sandra LeAnza; her brother, Kyle, and sister-in-law, Elizabeth LeAnza; her estranged father, Glen LeAnza; and her uncle and aunt, Chris and Julie LeAnza, and their three sons, Kai, CJ and Jax.

A memorial for friends and co-workers is planned for May 15 in Los Angeles. In memory of LeAnza, the family requests donations be madeto charities or the Cholangiocarcinoma Foundation through http://www.cholangiocarcinoma.org.

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