Leigh Anne Tuohy

Leigh Anne Tuohy is a lifelong Memphis resident. She married Sean Tuohy in 1981 and started a family. They have 2 children of their own and adopted a young boy, Michael Oher who is went on to college fame at Ole Miss and recently signed on with the Baltimore Ravens.

Leigh Anne Tuohy says it was “extremely flattering” to learn that Sandra Bullock had been cast to portray her in a movie.

leigh anne tuohy Leigh Anne Tuohy

Leigh Anne Tuohy and family

Before Tuohy and the star of “Speed” and “Miss Congeniality” met for the first time last week, Tuohy said she had this reaction to Bullock’s plan to visit Memphis: “I can’t do limos, I can’t do nine assistants — that’s just not how we roll. If Sandra wants to come jump in the sandbox with us, bring her on.”

Sean and Leigh Anne Tuohy and their adopted son, Ole Miss lineman Michael Oher, are the focus of the movie “The Blind Side,” set to star Sandra Bullock.

The 5-foot-2 Tuohy and her 6-5, 309-pound adopted son, Michael Oher, a star Ole Miss lineman who is expected to be a top NFL draft choice, will be the focus of the movie “The Blind Side,” which begins shooting in late April under the partial guidance of Memphis-born executive producer Molly Smith.

“At its core, it’s a relationship story between Leigh Anne and Michael,” said Smith, 27, daughter of FedEx founder Frederick W. Smith. “It’s not totally a sports movie. It’s a family, feel-good, relationship movie.”

The film is based on Michael Lewis’ best-seller “The Blind Side: Evolution of a Game,” which chronicled the bond that grew between the Tuohys, a well-to-do white East Memphis family, and Oher, a struggling African-American student from the inner city.

Now 22, Oher bounced from school to school and foster home to foster home before finding stability at Briarcrest Christian School and moving in with Sean and Leigh Anne Tuohy, who eventually adopted him and now count Oher as one of “our three children,” along with daughter Collins, 22, and son Sean Jr., 15.

For the Memphis film community, the downside of “The Blind Side” is that the movie will be shot in Georgia rather than in the Memphis area.

“As much as I’d love to bring the project to Memphis,” said Smith, “there’s substantial financial advantage to shooting in Georgia.”

Originally slated to be a 20th Century Fox production, the movie is now being financed by Fred Smith’s Alcon Entertainment company. Gil Netter (“Marley & Me”) will produce, along with Alcon heads Broderick Johnson and Andrew A. Kosove, with Molly Smith as an executive producer.

‘The Blind Side’ Movie Trailer

Related Posts

  • Sean and Leigh Anne Tuohy Thrilled With Blindside
  • Michael Oher Drafted in the NFL
  • Sandra Bullock to Star in The Blindside
  • Collins Tuohy

  • 47 Responses to "Leigh Anne Tuohy"

    1. CGM says:

      U inspire me to be a better person & mother to my autistic children. I have 2 girls (2&3 yrs old) that I have pushed with love to make them functioning children who are happy. I had been having a downspell lately & after hearing your story gave me the lift I needed. We all need to help the children ALL children. Thanks

      • Julie McCord says:

        I have watched it over and over. I also have an autistic (severe) child. I realize my reply may have nothing to do with this story and so admire Leigh Ann and Sean (remember them at Ole Miss) but I so wish we could get the truths out about autism. It is not always a happy ending, but a worthwhile journey for sure. Leigh Ann and I have one thing in common, compassionate for the less fortunate. We get lots of stares as Im sure they did and still do. Many may look at Leigh Ann and Sean and say, why him? People look at us and say, We could not do what you do and we reply yes you can. Again so admire Leigh Ann and Sean. It was not what they did for him materialistically but spritually.

    2. Dsquare says:

      In 2006 we also took in a boy who was in need, a team mate of my grandson who I raised since an infant. It turned into my worst nightmare and I secretly think of the events everyday and can’t seem to get past this. My grandson is an Eagle Scout and this almost ruined his life. He has changed since this and I don’t know how to get him back. He had a football schlorship to college and dropped out after the 1st semester. I’m hoping your story will inspire me and him! The boy we took in is now in prison and I feel so betrayed. I also fear when he gets out. I am so happy for your Michael and your family, but I also can’t stop crying for what could have been with mine. I wish you all the best and continued success for Michael and all your children. I will follow his career and hope it will give me the strength I need to get over the bitterness I feel. Good Luck to you all!

    3. Karen Rison says:

      This is such an inspiring story! From what I have heard and seen, our family looks forward to seeing this over the Thanksgiving break. Dsquare (one of the other posters here) just know and believe that the boy you took in was loved and raised to know better. Children will make horrible decisions (been there with one of our own) for their lives and there is little we can do but forgive and love them and encourage them to do better. Here is thinking of you this day and hope your story will be just as good as the Tuohy’s story some day!

    4. Elaine Young says:

      Leigh Ann,
      I always knew you are a very special person. I know we lost touch a few years ago, but I want you to know how proud I am of you and your family.
      You have always been in my prayers and thoughts. You helped me through a very tough time in my life and I have always been thankful for your friendship. I pray for all good things for you and hope you receive this message. All my love to you and your family.
      Elaine Young

    5. aks says:

      God bless you Leigh Ann! What a fantastic story.

    6. Nichole says:

      I watched THE BLIND SIDE and I wanted to tell you how much you and your family inspired me! I am a Die Hard Ole Miss fan and was very very fond of Michael even before I knew this story, but when I watched this movie it changed my outlook on alot of things in my life!! What you did was amazing!! As soon as THE BLIND SIDE comes out i will be the first in line to purchase it!! Thank you so much for the story!!
      Hotty Toddy!

    7. janhiggy says:

      Leigh Ann,

      I just saw the movie tonight and what a movie it was. It brought tears to my eyes and touched my soul. You are a wonderful person and I will you and your family well.

      You could have turned a blind eye, but you didn’t. Thanks for being there for that young man and having such an impact on his life.

    8. nina kuzina says:

      This is the most touching moving I have ever seen in my life. It is the true meaning of ‘unconditional love’. The Tuohy family is an inspiration to us all. You are about about ‘humanity’. God truly has a special place for people like you and your family…nina kuzina

    9. Richiey says:

      Mrs. Tuohy,

      Bless your heart and your family.

      I too was a child who was bounced around, an aunt and uncle stood in the gap for me and I am so grateful. Today I’m a college graduate, and home owner and a contributing member of society. As the chairwoman of my church’s youth ministry I look for ways to give back to God all that he’s given to me.

      Your story has blessed my heart.

      Thank you,

      Richiey Hayes

    10. thomas says:


    11. claytonautos says:

      This was such an inspiring story, I’m adopted and it just proves again it’s not what your born into but what you come out as…..Always focus on the positive negative gets you nowhere in life…..

    12. NateDirickson says:

      I love movies. Watch most of them. We just watched “The Blind Side.” Had this been a Hollywood story it would be meaningless because the characters are so unexpected. They are beyond the people we know and … yes … the people we are … the person I am. But this isn’t a story. This is real. In this production we see what we could be. As irrational as this is, someone … some family in Memphis really is capable of this kind of love. I have now seen this movie a dozen times since I left the theater. I have to thank those that produced this and brought it to us. But most of all I am grateful to Leigh Ann and Sean for sharing their lives with us. It was an unexptected education and a truly spectacular Christmas gift. Thank you.

      Hurry with the DVD. I cannot keep watching this while I am driving or waiting in lines.

    13. terry g says:

      I watched this movie over thanksgiving break and was blown away. I am an African-American male who works in a private school similar to the one portrayed in the movie. The Christian school I teach and coach at at times forget that it is just that, a Christian school. I wish we had people willing to step up and help out someone who is not as fortunate. I run a scholarship for minority and low income students to attend our school which is funded by my family so I know about the sacrifices the Tuohy’s made for Micheal Oher. All parties involved in this wonderful movie have touched a lot of people these past two weeks. Sean and Leigh Ann along with Collins and SJ you guys showed us what love is all about. I just like to say thank you because it opened my eyes up to some things I need to do.

    14. Merry12322 says:

      CGM, please contact me if you need support and or help with your two autistic children. To the Tuohy Family: I think you are all amazing and defintely an inspiration, most of all Michael.

    15. Leigh Anne, I met you in September in DC at the Angels in Adoption Awards and the offer still holds for you to come see our Foster Care center and how an entire community gives of themselves to help children like Michael, in foster care. I think you will Love it. With help from volunteers and sponsors, we serve almost 4000 foster children each year and give them free clothing, toys and safe infant equipment to make sure they have things like other children while in foster care. It’s difficult but not impossible, we rely on caring people to donate funds, items and time. It works! People really so care, they are kind, generous and loving, they just need knowledge of how to go about it. We suggest to them 3 ways they can help. Please contact me; you have my card. We need to talk. There is still lots to do to help our kids in crisis and the knowledge is coming out.YEAH!!! Check out our February benefit, we’d love for you to come. Again, Great Job!

    16. iamacamera says:

      We took in a throw away child in 1985. It’s sad that so many children are just thrown away. There were times when I’d have killed him if I could have but perseverance paid off. He now lives in the Phoenix area and is prospering beyond my wildest imaginings with three beautiful children, living the American dream. This movie had so much meaning to us because we have been in the trenches with a child like Michael. We remarked all the way through the movie that it was so similar to our experience. I know that these situations don’t always work out like we’d like them to and my heart aches for Dsquare. But love always wins! Things have a way of working out. It may not be today or even tomorrow but they do.

    17. ach says:

      I thank God for this film. My husband and I were finally approved yesterday for adoption/foster-adopt in the state of Texas. Yesterday, we also were asked to consider taking 2 African-American children yesterday, and we said yes. Of course, as sad as it is, East Texas is still a racist area, and so many peole with good intentions have told us how bad this would be for us and the children and the affects this could have on our 2 biological children.
      My husband and I are not stupid and realize that this won’t be easy, but I think God has placed this opportunity in our way for a reason. Never the less, we have been unsure and somewhat scared of the unknown all day.
      My husband suggested we go to the movies to get away from our thoughts. Our girls (ages 10&12) had never seen a PG-13 movie before, but we had heard that Blindside was really good. Therefore, we bought our tickets (still worried about the rating). My jaw dropped when I realized the story line. It was more than an answer to prayers. It was an affirmation of our decision so clearly being told in a magnificient film. It was speaking to all of us so clearly! My girls realized (without having to get into too many details that they couldn’t even comprehend that people would think of doing) where their new siblings are coming from, and it gave us so much to talk about afterwards. I can’t say thanks enough! Thanks for your determination, your example, and the message and hope that this film brought to our family.
      I know that you have already traveled the road that we are now embarking on. Although we will probably not have the next pro athlete, we will have 2 children that knows security and love. I can’t imagine how much they will bless us too. Let the adventure begin!!!
      With Gratitude,

    18. r layne says:

      Dear Mrs. and Mr. Tuohy,
      Thank you for having big hearts. I have watched the movie and now I am a big fan of your son. I was not very big on football, but now, I will enjoy cheering on your son and the Ravens. I found this story uplifting. You and your family are angels.

    19. Lisa Martin says:

      Leigh Ann my husband and I just moved to Greeneville, Tn from South Fl. We started our ministry in S. Fl and moved it here to Greeneville. My husband is a Pastor and we have a burden for kids in foster care. My husband speaks at churches sharing God’s word about caring for the orphans. We have seven kids three adopted. The thing that hit me the most in the movie was when you where out to lunch with your rich friends and the things they said, I have had the same thing happent to me. I sure they all call themselves Christians too! I would love to somehow get together with you and your husband for dinner and we can all talk about how we as Christians can have an impact on the foster care system. There are 1,300,000 kids in foster care in the US and thousands waiting to be adopted. I hope to hear from you!
      God Bless,
      Lisa Martin 423-525-6702

    20. admin says:

      Lisa, consider this in your ministry.

      All of us think about abused kids and I know kids are sometimes abused and need to be taken as a last resort.

      Problem is CPS has built up an industry, funded by the federal government on a per kid basis to remove children from their homes and adopt them out. As much as $60,000 per kid is offered in good faith for every kid adopted out. this means more money for the few in the CPS that have no morals, want bigger expense accounts and more positions availiable for their friends and family.

      I have written extensively about it on this website. Here is a link that better explains how this works.


      Consider this in your ministry. The total federal government money provided for educating parents to keep their children in the home is $0.00.

      For a link to all the posts on this subject you can click the “catagories” dropdown menu at the top right corner of the page and select “child protective services. Dozens of us are working on this problem and getting no where with the federal government.

      The fact is that children are 4.5 times more likely to be abused in the care of CPS than in the care of their natural parents.

      No offense to all you good foster parents out there, I commend each one of you.

    21. Dell Stewart says:

      What an extraordinarily wonderful family!!! The success of this phenomenal thing-spontaneously bringing this unconventional stranger into your private lives to show some love and then decided to continue to love and nurture-materialized only because each family member opened their heart and supported each other!!! Mr. and Mrs. Tuohy as you know, your biological children bring tears of joy to mines and millions of eyes to see such fine young ones that possess such high morals and regard for human life. I thank you all for not giving into pure pressure. Michael Oher, this could not have happened to a more worthy person. This being said based only on the fact you have always been a naturally decent human being and you as a young child fought inwardly to hold on to it!!! If that part in the movie about how your biological mother, who is a victim of her environment, would tell you to close your eyes to protect your innocence is true, thank Jehovah God for her, because that was the foundation for your survival. Michael,remain humble and never forget all who helped you from a young child until today. Mr. & Mrs. Tuohy, I know Jehovah God looks upon you and you three children with a favorable heart.

    22. webmonkeydc says:

      Great article! For more on how practicing what we preach can change a life, check out this post: http://richardtgarner.blogspot.com/2009/12/renewing-stars-faith.html

    23. Incumbent says:


    24. tconley76 says:

      Dear Mrs. Tuohy:
      My name is Timothy Conley and I am a graduate student at the USC School of Social Work and the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism pursuing a double master’s degree. I had the pleasure now that the semester has ended here to watch the movie “The Blindside” this past weekend. I just wanted to say thank you for being who you are and saving Michael’s life. This movie in some ways is very close to home for me.
      I am an ex “left-tackle” (football player), I played a few years professionally and at the collegiate level in several places. Without the unconditional support and love of a great mother like yourself, I would have never had the opportunity to continue on as an athlete, coach, teacher, and with my current educational & professional goals.

      Timothy Lee Conley
      Front Office Coordinator
      USC Office of Religious Life
      USC MCM 2010 – MSW 2012

    25. Sherrey Meyer says:

      Leigh Ann, Sean, Collins and SJ, and Michael, you are a stand-out family! Growing up in Nashville until age 35, I know the great divide between African Americans and the white community. What all of you did was courageous, brave and heartwarming — not to mention Christian! As I watched the movie today with my husband, I couldn’t help but reflect on what grace and power there is in sharing the unconditional love of our Heavenly Father. You have done this with your three children, with each other, and the Memphis community. I’m a pretty die hard Peyton Manning fan, but you now I think I’m going to be watching some Ravens games and cheering on Michael!

      Sherrey Meyer, a mom, grandma and great-grandma
      Portland, OR

    26. mamaruth says:

      I don’t think I have ever been so moved by a film before. I have been a caregiver for 20 years now, several situations and conditions. The latest is taking in my 7 year old granddaughter who has Asperger’s because she and her mother can’t bond. I cried, laughed, and cried some more. When I’ve been asked why I do it, my reply is always, “It’s doing what a Christian should do.” I don’t understand how Christians can NOT do something.

      I love Kathy Bates, but I’m not sure about her being cast in this role. I kept waiting for her to say, “Fooseball is the debil’s game.”

      So what do you think Michael will do to give back?

    27. hilbilynohio says:

      I went to watch the movie Blindside. Wonderful movie. What a wonderful family, Leigh Ann, Sean and both children. For people with money, you did a wonderful thing, taking in Michael and eventually adopting him. Not very often do you hear of such a family, especially with such different backgrounds as your family and Michaels. Just want to say what a wonderful family I think you are. You restore my faith in the good people of this country, that you have the means to do good and you did.

    28. Australians says:

      Australians are just seeing the movie and we LOVE it ! Our college (university) scholarships don’t work like in the USA, but we are all blown away by this fabulous warm, compassionate, open-to-learning, family with such Big Hearts. Truly a warm, funny and at times tearful movie-experince. I am one of the lucky ones to have had a loving childhood, good education, opportunities etc., and it was a great reminder to me how far behind the starting line of life, so many have to begin from ! There are so many barriers and we are so quick to condemn. Mrs Tuohy and family, thanks so much for your inspiration in Australia too! Please write. God bless all who try to help chi;ldren of any background achieve their God-given potential in life, relationships, career, sport, community life, etc.. Love from Don & Ann Brown (now a teeny bit over 50 with 2 girls beginning careers in public health.) andbrown@three.com.au

    29. corkey12 says:

      I am a grandmother with custody of my two grandsons. They have been through a lot since they were born. The younger one spent almost 2 years in a hospital just after being born. We watched The Blind Side this past weekend. The movie made them feel good. They had a chance to really see that all things are possible. They don’t feel so ashamed about their situation anymore. I am glad for such a story. I hope adults and children gain some hope from it, and to realize there are really nice people in this world.

    30. whd53 says:

      There is a special place in Heaven for the Tuohy family. What an inspirational family you all are. The world needs more loving and caring people like you.

    31. Bernadette says:

      Thank You for helping him. There are more just like him out there.

    32. purplegirll15 says:

      I seen the movie and I loved it. You are a INSPERATION to women all around the world. My GOD BLESS YOU AND YOUR FAMILY. Tell your son, Micheal that the Green Bay Packers are ready for him and the Ravens. They are not many people in this world who are loving an caring as you. Stay as sweet as you are.

    33. Shanita says:

      Dearest Leigh Anne. I’m a white South African living in Cape Town. I have just seen ‘The Blind Side’ and let me tell you, you are my personal heroine. You and your family (all 5, of course,) are absolutely a beacon of hope and light in this dark world. In my life I have a family… but then, in a way I don’t. In the past I have lost faith in people as a whole. Your family certainly shows me that there ARE wonderful, loving people in this world who very much make it a better world to live in. I wish you and all your family all the best for the future. You certainly deserve it. With the warmest love and greetings.

    34. dopeylove says:

      I just finished watching THE BLIND SIDE for the 3rd time, and I enjoyed it again. A great story and very moving. I admire the Touhys very much,

    35. free says:

      This movie was awful. It was so pat and racie/class bias. It’s the sort of film that appeals to whites views on race and closet feelings of superiority. America is a country that has millions of abused WHITE children. They outnumber black kids (though black and mixed race-with white mothers- kids are disproportinately represented). Why are white so eager to save black kids? It aint kindness.
      What this woman did was not that difficult considering her income and free time. I know far more black women helping and adopting throw away black kids. These black women don;t have rich husbands. They are working class to middle class and often pay most or all of the bills! This is the oldest story, but America doesn’t like that.
      I’ve read about Leigh Ann. She is the worst sort of paternalistic white person and can’t do an interview without making a racial comment. She seem obsessed with seeking out “bad black mother” scenes and telling folks abotu how she got in that black woman’s face and told her off…..all for the sake of the child- OF COURSE.
      I thought we got past the Different Strokes, Webster , white savior era, but it seems we have merged it with The Wire and sold it again.
      Don’t use black kids to make yourselves feel superior or important or involved in serious, social issues! Whites have saved colored kids before (Native American, Aboriginal, asian) it always ends badly because your true motives are not loving.
      [PS- Secritariat is out. It’s the same movie as The Blind Side. Blond, fiesty, super white woman overcomes discrimination to save a black boy/horse? Its no accident that these 2 stories are sold the same way. This reflects American society]

      • Tracy says:


      • E says:

        What this remark proves to me is that good people will come under the most hateful scorn. This rant is irrational.

        And most astounding is that “Free” projects an entire motivation, orientation, and value system upon the people of this family and is convinced of the correctness of this position.


    36. admin says:

      I might agree with you free if this story was hatched in the mind of Hollywood, but its a true story as attested to by the Tuohy family and Michael Oher.

    37. Sprog8 says:

      Thank you I made contact with my birth mother after 52 years one of the first questions ask by her was what my early life was like I could not put it into words until I had seen the film The Blind Side
      Apart from the drugs my early life mirrored Michael’s. The feeling of being lost not trusting. As luck would have it I to had people enter into my life and changed the path I was taking.
      To the Touhy family I thank you. I do not see black or white I see a family

    38. Kathi says:

      The movie The Blind Side is a very enjoyable movie. It only proves that no matter where you start from you can become great.

    39. My brother suggested I might like this website. He was entirely right. This post actually made my day. You cann’t imagine simply how much time I had spent for this info! Thanks!

    40. Jerome Williams says:

      To whom it may concern,

      My name is Jerome Williams, I would lke to present a personal award to the Tuohy family. I’m a military man, and I would like to present my highest award to the Touhy Family on the basis that they represented the very heart of the American tradition… this is not a Hoax or anything…. I am very sincere about this… the award I speak of is my own… for serving in the longest deployment since the vietnam war. I am not asking for anything in return… But if any family deserves this honor, its the Tuohy Family. They sacrificed as much as I did to provide for a person in need, and to me, that provides the true American Spirit.. And in return, I would like to return the favor and bestow my greatest award upon the Tuohy Family.. Again, do not want anything…other than bestowing my greatest honor to a family that has done nothing but given back… Thank you for your time..

      Jerome Williams

      United States Navy

    41. ROY HERZOG says:


    42. Eddie H, Elizondo says:

      Hi Leigh Anne. I purchased the Blind Side two days ago. I have seen it three times. I have a few heros and people that I admire and respect. John Wayne, he encouraged me to become a Green Beret, Tom Landry, Maureen O Hara, Love her, Cary Grant, What a guy. And of course my Dad, my true hero and the man who taught me respect, humilty, and honor. I will always remember him as he made the most impact on my life. And now I have to add to my list the Touhy family. God Bless you all. Your kindness to Michael and how you all had such a positive impact in his life is inspiring. I don’t have much but feel very grateful for what I have because I know there are many more out there who have so much less that what I have. You are truly an inspiration to me. Once again, God Bless You All. Ed.


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