Stand-up comedian Felipe Esparza overcame a lot to now have two new stand-up specials on Netflix—one in English and the other in Spanish. And a lot of credit goes to his wife, Lesa O’Daniel, for helping him to turn his life around. O’Daniel supported him to overcome drug addiction, stuck by him as his stand-up career was rising, and now manages his overwhelming success. Ahead of Felipe Esparza’s Bad Decisions premiere, we turn the spotlight on his wife in Lesa O’Daniel’s wiki.
|About Lesa O'Daniel Esparza|
|Known As||Lesa Mae O’Daniel|
|Birth||February 16, 1972 Jacksonville, Florida|
|Spouse||Felipe Esparza December 2014 - Present,|
Joshua Wintringham 1993 - 2006
|Children||Felipe Esparza Jr., Tuesday Esparza, Phillip Esparza, Isaak Ludlow Wintringham|
|Siblings||David O’Daniel, Johnnie Jr. O’Daniel|
|Parents||Saundra Gail Richardson, Johnnie Ray O’Daniel|
|Address||Los Angeles, California|
|Alumni||Baruch College - The City University of New York, Wright State University, Colonel White High School|
|Works For||Felipe's World Inc.|
Lesa O’Daniel’s Family
Lesa Mae O’Daniel was born on February 16, 1972 at the Fort Eglin Air Force Base in Jacksonville, Florida. She is the eldest and only girl of three children born to Johnnie Ray O’Daniel and Saundra Gail Richardson.
After Johnnie left the Air Force, he struggled to support the family. They first moved to Ohio, where Lesa’s brothers, Johnnie Jr. and David, were born. The former veteran was a roofer and construction worker in Ohio.
Happy Siblings Day to my two younger brothers. We've been through a lot. Aren't you happy we're not kids anymore?? I am…
When the construction business in Ohio was declining, the family moved to Colorado. The family moved back and forth between Colorado and Ohio for few years.
Johnnie and Saundra’s marriage also suffered during this time, and they divorced. Lesa was estranged from her father and claims she never saw him in person after 1993.
Johnnie Ray O’Daniel moved to Kentucky where he owned a farm. He remarried and had a son and daughter.
Lesa’ father passed away in April 2017 at his home in Kentucky. He is survived by his five children, their spouses, and their children.
Lesa O’Daniel’s Education
Despite moving multiple times, Lesa O’Daniel kept her school grades up. She graduated from Colonel White High School in Dayton, Ohio in 1990, ranking 11th in her class.
She earned academic scholarships and financial aid to college, becoming one of the first in her family to graduate college. During college, she also performed with a band and toured in the Midwest before quitting to focus on her studies.
When she graduated from Wright State University in 1994 with a BS in psychology with a minor in mathematics, she was tired of the lack of opportunities in Dayton. So she moved to New York City in 1995.
O’Daniel and her then-husband worked two jobs to support themselves. She also attended grad school while working, graduating with an MBA from CUNY Baruch in 2001.
Lesa O’Daniel’s Career
Soon after acquiring her MBA, O’Daniel was working at Goldman Sachs as a graphic designer. 9/11 struck that year. She was 10 blocks away from towers and saw the attack happen.
She was terrified of that experience but didn’t want to leave NYC yet. However, many artists more experienced than her had lost their jobs after 9/11 and there was little opportunity for her.
O’Daniel and her husband wanted to start a family around that time and move to a bigger place. They relocated to Los Angeles in 2004, where their son was born.
O’Daniel worked in the IT firm of Goldman Sachs for two years before quitting to become a stay-at-home mom. After her divorce, she began waitressing to support herself and her son.
O’Daniel doesn’t describe the specifics, but she ended up working at The Laugh Factory where her entry into stand-up life began. When Felipe Esparza’s career was on the rise, she was running the IT department of a law firm and helping him manage his budding comedy career.
She left the law firm in 2014 and devoted herself to managing Esparza’s career with his talent agent and booking agent. As the CFO and manager of Felipe’s World Inc. since 2010, O’Daniel maintains his booking schedule and coordinates marketing efforts among a host of other responsibilities.
Lesa O’Daniel’s Relationships
Lesa O’Daniel Has a Son with Her College Sweetheart
Lesa O’Daniel met Joshua Wintringham when they were students at Wright State. They married on December 29, 1993 while still in college.
The newlyweds moved to New York and then to Los Angeles. Their son, Isaak Ludlow Wintringham, was born on May 3, 2004 in L.A.
Lesa quit her job to be a stay-at-home mom. Around that time, she and Wintringham realized they weren’t happy in their marriage.
So they divorced in 2006 and parted on good terms. Unlike her parents’ divorce, Lesa and Joshua remain friends as co-parents.
Lesa O’Daniel and Felipe Esparza Married in 2014
O’Daniel met stand-up comedian Felipe Esparza at The Laugh Factory. They had an on-and-off relationship during the first couple of years of dating.
They rekindled their romance in 2008, and have been together since. Back then, Esparza wasn’t in a good place.
The Mexican-born comedian battled drug addiction and depression for a long time. He was in and out of rehab, was going deeper into debt, and his stand-up career was going nowhere.
When he overcame addiction, his career trajectory was on the rise. Two years after they were official, he joined NBC’s Last Comic Standing in 2010.
With O’Daniel’s encouragement, Esparza pulled out his best material, which won him the show. The cash prize and the NBC deal got him out of debt and opened more career opportunities for him.
He was relying on O’Daniel for managing the business side of things. His career was soaring, allowing Lesa to quit her day job and focus on his career.
Shortly after she quit her job, they married on December 13, 2014. They have three children, Felipe Jr., Tuesday, and Phillip.