Leanni Lei was born in the Philippines, but her family moved to the United States when she was quite young. She grew up in Irvine, California, where she was a cheerleader and member of the honor society in high school. Her father was in the military and her mother worked as a restaurant manager. During her last year in high school, her parents divorced, and she became rebellious, smoking marijuana, and being expelled from the cheerleader squad.
Lei went to college for a year and a half (including a semester at the University of California, Irvine), then quit to go into exotic dancing on the east coast to earn money. She moved to Connecticut in 1993. Lei became a pornographic actress partly due to her admiration for porn star Mimi Miyagi. Her first movie was filmed in October 1997 for Ed Powers, who was also Miyagi's first director. Lei returned to college, and continued living and going to college in Connecticut (majoring in finance with a minor in accounting), while appearing in pornography in California. After working for a year or so, she felt "burnt out" and quietly dropped out to rest and earn her college degree. She resumed working in movies in June 1999.
Despite her generally short career, Lei has been known for doing extreme scenes at the time of her career as a porn star, such as her performances with Max Hardcore. She has said that working with Max paid her way through college.
Lei won the Model of the Year award from Oriental Dolls magazine in September 1998.
girls of the asian persuasion - leanni lei - 15 min
leanni lei - dirty debutantes with ed and jake steed - 22 min
leanni lei lexington steele - 22 min
Piss: Leanni Lei - Planet Max 2
Piss: Leanni Lei - Max Extreme 9