Have You Met?

Lionel Bienvenu is becoming a familiar face in Denver. Most of us know him as the Channel 7 sports guy, but he also volunteers at charity functions, including modeling for the Cancer League fashion show in November. Although Lionel’s on-air personality is that of a serious sportscaster, off the air, he’s a hilarious southern cut-up.

Growing up in New Orleans, Lionel excelled at sports, but he says, “Most people probably remember me as the class clown.” He considered going into acting, but then it dawned on him he could be in front of the camera and indulge his passion for sports by becoming a sportscaster.

In 1997, after ten years as an anchor/reporter in New Orleans, Lionel and his wife Heidi moved to Los Angeles, where Lionel anchored “Fox Sports News."

While at Fox, Lionel’s career took off: he covered the Super Bowl, the Major League Baseball All-Star game and the "Subway Series" between the Mets and Yankees. He hosted "Fox Sports News Tonight" and "Baseball Today."

Last year, when Fox began to make cutbacks, Lionel and Heidi headed to Denver. Despite their initial shock of being land locked and missing their weekend getaways to Catalina Island, the two are loving Denver.

Favorite Clothing Stores: Kenneth Cole, J

Favorite Clothing Stores:  Kenneth Cole, J. Crew, Banana Republic

What gives a woman/man style: Good shoes and the way you carry yourself. 

Favorite Restaurant:  Gumbo’s, downtown.

What are your volunteer activities?  I volunteer for the Special Olympics and Cancer League. In Los Angeles, I was involved with the Revlon Walk for Breast Cancer. 


Who is the most interesting celebrity you ever met?  Merv Griffin, because my wife and I were invited to spend an afternoon on his 125-foot yacht in Los Angeles. He was a perfect, gracious host full of lots of funny, old Hollywood tales.     


Who is your hero and why? My father, because he raised four kids on a superintendent of the National Park Service salary. He worked really hard, never complained and was a great dad.  


If your life were a movie, who would play your part? Matt LeBlanc, (“Joey” on the TV show Friends) because he’s a goofball, just like me. 

Saturdays are likely to find you: at the gym in the morning, on the couch watching a game in the afternoon, and out on the town with my wife for a nice dinner.

Where can you be found at midnight on Saturday night? Usually at home or at the Purple Martini.

Do you have any pets? No, but I’d like to get a hairless cat, because they’re so ugly that they’re beautiful, plus no hair in the house. Then in the winter I could put a cute little sweater on him and it would be funny. But my wife won’t let me get one.

What words describes you best? Funny and adventurous.


What word would you like others to use to describe you? Trustworthy


What was your first job? Cleaning the bottom of ships at the Marine Company in New Orleans. It almost killed me because I was scraping barnacles off of dry-docked barges in 100-degree weather with 100 percent humidity. I think I made $4.50 an hour.  


What word or expression do you use too much? “Dude”


If there were one thing you would change about yourself, what would it be? It’s simple -- I wish I were more complicated.


What is your greatest indulgence? Spontaneous traveling


What is the best gift you ever gave?  I gave my wife a diamond tennis bracelet that I picked out myself and she loves it. 


What is a favorite childhood memory? Deep-sea fishing in Pensacola, Fla. with my family.

What or who is the greatest love of your life? My wife, Heidi.

When and where were you the happiest? Sitting on the front of my boat off Catalina Island with my wife, and a case of Corona, watching the sun set.

Which talent would you most like to have? Any talent, actually. But if had to pick one, I’d say being able to hit a 95-mph fastball.

What is your current state of mind? Optimistic but apprehensive

Your greatest achievement? Getting married and settling down.

Most treasured possession? My future hairless cat and my boat. 

What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery? Being unable to provide for your family.

What is the quality you most like in a man? Dependability

What is the quality you most like in a woman? Stability

Who are your favorite writers? Anne Rice, because we’re both from New Orleans and she writes about the city and familiar places and people. I also like James Michener, John Krakauer, Sebastian Junger and Mark Bowden.

What is the best advice you have ever received? “Never take yourself too seriously” and “It could always be worse” My old journalism teacher in college taught me those.

What is your motto? “Act as if” 

What is your favorite quote?  Lead, follow or get out of the way.