In the realm of Survivor, Jeff Probst has been a familiar face since 2000, but beyond the screen, he’s a dedicated husband to Lisa Ann Russell and a stepdad to her two children.
The Love Story Begins: A Christmas Connection
Probst and Russell’s journey commenced at a mutual friend’s Christmas party. After the meeting, the couple officially started dating, and in December 2011, they celebrated their union with a small backyard wedding.
Over a decade later, the pair resides in Los Angeles with Russell’s two children, Michael and Ava, from her previous marriage to Mark-Paul Gosselaar.
Lisa Ann Russell’s Past: A Model and Actor
Russell’s entry into the entertainment industry began as a Revlon model before transitioning to acting in 1992. Notably, she appeared in Saved By The Bell: The College Years, where she met her first husband, Mark-Paul Gosselaar. They tied the knot in 1996 and welcomed two children, Michael and Ava.
After nearly 14 years of marriage, Russell and Gosselaar announced their separation in June 2010, maintaining joint custody of their kids.
A Christmas Party Spark: Probst and Russell’s Meeting
Jeff Probst revealed in a 2012 interview that he met Lisa Ann Russell at a Christmas party hosted by Mark Burnett, creator and producer of Survivor. The festive gathering was a mix of eclectic personalities, including notable figures like Barbra Streisand and Paris Hilton.
Spotting Russell in the crowd, Probst was captivated, and their connection flourished from there.
Official Ties: Probst and Russell’s Wedding
Probst and Russell made their relationship public in August 2010, appearing together at the Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Awards. The couple exchanged vows on December 5, 2011, in a private ceremony held in Probst’s Los Angeles backyard.
Before marrying Russell, Probst was previously wed to therapist Shelly Wright from 1996 to 2001. He also had a relationship with former Survivor contestant Julie Berry from 2004 to 2008.
Family Dynamics: Lisa Ann Russell’s Two Children
Russell and Gosselaar’s children, Michael and Ava, are an integral part of Probst and Russell’s family. Probst, in an interview, expressed gratitude for the love and acceptance he received from Russell’s children.
Despite having different names for Probst before their marriage, the kids now affectionately call him “dad.”
Home Sweet Home: Life in Los Angeles
The couple bought their Los Angeles home in 2011, a spacious property with a rich history, previously owned by Gene Autry. Probst acknowledged the house’s grandeur, attributing it to the opportunities Survivor afforded him.
Hawaiian Retreat: Extended Family Time
During the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, Probst, Russell, and their children found themselves in an extended Hawaiian vacation. What began as a spring break trip turned into a three-and-a-half-month stay, providing an unexpected and cherished family experience.
Shared Passions: Reality TV and More
Both Probst and Russell share a love for reality TV. They enjoy watching shows like HGTV’s House Hunter together. Russell even played a role in Probst’s talk show, The Jeff Probst Show, serving as a talent coordinator for some episodes.
While Russell has not appeared on Survivor, the couple keeps the spark alive with good-natured competition, as Probst humorously admitted he would vote her out in certain scenarios.
In essence, Lisa Ann Russell’s life intertwines with the worlds of entertainment, family, and shared passions with her husband, Jeff Probst, creating a unique and enriching tapestry of experiences.