• Mavis Elizabeth Nicholson is a philanthropist and feminist, married to Jay Leno
• Mavis has worked with numerous non-profit organizations, most notably stopping an oil pipeline from being built in Afghanistan
• Mavis and Jay Leno married in 1980 and have no children
• Mavis is a fan of comedy, travelling and animals
• Mavis has a net worth of over $350 million

Known for movies

Short Info

SpouseJay Leno
FactHer father was Nick Nicholson, a character actor on TV shows and movies. He played the hooded executioner in the film, In Cold Blood (1967).

Who is Jay Leno’s wife? Mavis Leno Wiki Biography

Mavis Elizabeth Nicholson was born in San Francisco, California USA, on 5 September 1946, so under the zodiac sign of Virgo and holding American nationality – Mavis is a philanthropist and a feminist, who mostly became popular after marrying Jay Leno, a famous American TV show host.

Early life and education

Not much is known about Mavis’ family, as she prefers not to have her parents involved in the media – since she hasn’t talked about having any siblings, she’s believed to be an only child. The only thing known about Mavis’ father is that he was a popular actor who rose to prominence after appearing in the “In Cold Blood” movie shot in 1967.

Mavis grew up being hurt by all the injustice she saw in the world, and she has been trying to make things right since she was a young girl. Not the most favorite person in high school, Mavis was always trying to be nice to everyone, and would try to protect those bullied. While she hasn’t talked about it herself, Mavis is said to have enrolled at college after matriculating from high school, and to have obtained her bachelor’s degree in sociology, however, this hasn’t been confirmed.

Mavis began working as soon as she was out of high school, but didn’t come to attention until years later.

Career of a philanthropist and a feminist

Although very popular in the field of feminism, Mavis prefers to keep her career away from the media’s attention, and unlike her husband Jay Leno, she’s working in the background, supporting numerous non-profit organizations.

In 1997, Mavis became the head of the Feminist Majority Foundation’s campaign, launched with the goal of stop the gender apartheid which was happening in the country of Afghanistan. She got her husband involved as well, and to contribute even further to the cause, they donated more than $100,000 all with a purpose of showing the public how the women living in Afghanistan are being treated.

Mavis Leno

Thanks to the work Mavis has put into the organization, they successfully stopped an oil pipeline being built in Afghanistan – if this had not been stopped, the Taliban (leaders of Afghanistan) would have become immensely rich as the oil pipeline would have benefited them to the tune of millions, if not even billions of dollars.

Mavis is considered to have been the main influence on Bill Clinton, the former US President, when he decided not to do business with the Taliban. and to help stop the building of their pipeline – Mavis holds the title of the lead feminist in the US, and maybe internationally, too. For everything she has so far managed to achieve, Mavis has been given the Glamour Woman of the Year Award.

While mostly focused on her career of a feminist and a philanthropist, Mavis is also trying her luck with producing movies, and has so far worked on “Tavis Smiley” film shot in 2004 and “Period. End of Sentence.” movie in 2018.

Marriage with Jay Leno

Mavis has been trying to keep her marriage away from the media’s attention throughout the years, and she seems to have largely succeeded. Mavis and Jay Leno first met at a comedy club in Los Angeles – Jay was performing that night, and Mavis came to watch with one of her female friends. Amused by his sense of humor, Mavis accepted his invitation for a drink after he was done performing, and the two began dating shortly afterwards.

The relationship lasted for several years before Jay got onto his knee and asked Mavis to marry him – the wedding was rather modest, as only their closest families and friends attended, on 30 November 1980, the same date on which Jay’s parents married. It took Jay around 24 years to buy Mavis a proper ring – he wasn’t in a good financial situation to afford a ring, but as soon as he was, he bought Mavis a diamond ring in 2004. Mavis and Jay have no children together, and although Mavis wanted to start a family at first, she later stated during an interview that her view of family has changed, and that she no longer wants to sacrifice her free time just to take care of children.

Mavis hasn’t talked about any other men she might have dated besides Jay, and as far as the public knows, he appears to be the only man she has ever been interested in.

Who is Jay Leno?

Jay Leno was born in New Rochelle, New York State USA, on 28 April 1950, so under the zodiac sign of Taurus and holding American nationality – he’s mostly popular for his career of a comedian and TV talk show host. Jay was born into a middle-class family, to parents of Italian descent – his mother Catherine was a housewife, while his father Angelo was selling insurance. Jay had a brother named Patrick who fought in the Vietnam War, and who died in 2002 at the age of 62.

Jay spent most of his childhood in Andover in Massachusetts, where he matriculated from Andover High School – he went on to attend Emerson College from which he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in speech therapy. His passion towards comedy was born around the time he enrolled at the Emerson College, and he launched a comedy club there in 1973,then his professional career of a stand-up comedian soon after he obtained his bachelor’s degree. He moved to Los Angeles, and was performing around town until he was invited to serve as the host of “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” on NBC in 1992.

Jay quickly rose to prominence thanks to his sense of humor, and was part of the show until 2009 when he started his own prime time “The Jay Leno Show” – however, due to controversies and rumors that threatened to destroy Jay’s career, the show stopped airing in January 2010, and Jay went back to hosting “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno”. The last episode of the show aired on 6 February 2014, when Jay began hosting his own “Jay Leno’s Garage” show, focused on his love for cars – Jay has his own collection of vintage cars of which he is very proud. That year, Jay was inducted into the Television Hall of Fame.

He can be found on Instagram under  “Jay Leno’s Garage”, and the account currently counts nearly a million people following him, while he has uploaded more than 1,500 pictures onto it.

Mavis’ hobbies and other interests

Mavis has been interested in numerous things throughout the years, and not only in philanthropy and feminism. Mavis has been a big fan of comedy since she was a young girl, and it was comedy that got her and her husband together – her favorite comedian of all times is Robin Williams, and she’s watched most of the movies he’s starred in, with her favorite being “Mrs Doubtfire”.

Mavis’ heart was broken when she found out that Robin committed suicide, the same man who seemed so happy whenever she would attend his stand-up performances. Mavis’ main passion is travelling, and she’s been all around the world because of her job – she’s worked with the underprivileged children in Asia and Africa, and has helped numerous women stand up for their rights. She cares about animals as much as she cares about people, and is fighting for endangered species and the prevention of their extinction.

Jay and Mavis Leno

Appearance and net worth

Mavis has medium long brown hair and brown eyes, while her height and weight are unknown. According to authoritative sources, her net worth is estimated to be more than $5 million, and is steadily rising thanks to her foundation, while Husband Jay’s wealth is reputedly over $350, as of mid-2024,

Presence on the internet

While Mavis’ husband Jay is very active on the internet, and has built quite a fanbase for himself, Mavis seems to not be interested in online fame, and isn’t active on either Instagram or Twitter. She does have a Facebook profile, but appears to be using it only to stay in touch with her friends and family.

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General Info

Full NameMavis Leno


SpouseJay Leno
ParentsNick Nicholson


AwardsGlamour Woman of the Year Award

Social profile links

Source: IMDb, Wikipedia

As a Freelance Writer at Biography Pedia, I oversee the full writing process, from in-depth research to the development of compelling narratives, ensuring accuracy and excellence in our output. Our goal is to produce insightful profiles that deeply explore the lives of prominent figures in business, entertainment, and other fields. Through meticulous research and engaging storytelling, we spotlight the significant journeys and achievements of individuals who captivate and inspire our readers.

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