Kathie Lee Gifford is an American TV host, singer, songwriter, occasional actress, and author who was born in France.
She is best known for co-hosting the talk show Live! with Regis and Kathie Lee with Regis Philbin for 15 years, from 1985 to 2000.
She is also known for hosting the fourth hour of NBC’s Today show with Hoda Kotb for 11 years (2008–2019). She has been nominated for 11 Daytime Emmys and won her first one in 2010 as a member of the Today team.
Gifford’s first role on TV was as Tom Kennedy’s singer and sidekick on the syndication version of Name That Tunes from 1977 to 1978.
She also sometimes appeared on the first three hours of Today and was an NBC News contributor. In 1976, Kathie Lee married Paul Johnson, a Christian music composer, arranger, producer, and publisher.
After they split up in 1982, she married Frank Gifford, a sportscaster, and former NFL player, in 1986. He died in 2015. Kathie Lee has put out several studio albums and a number of books.
Kathryn Lee Gifford Epstein was born in Paris, France, on August 16, 1953. She is now 68 years old. Joan Cuttell, who was born on January 20, 1930, and died on September 12, 2017, was her mother.
Her father, Aaron Epstein, was a musician and a former Chief Petty Officer in the US Navy. He was born on March 19, 1924, and died on November 19, 2002.
Her father, Aaron Epstein, and his family were living in France when she was born. Gifford grew up in the Maryland town of Bowie and went to high school there.
Gifford’s grandfather was a Russian Jew from St. Petersburg, and her grandmother was part Native American. Her mother was French Canadian, German, and English.
She was related to the author Rudyard Kipling. At the age of 12, Gifford became a new Christian after seeing The Restless Ones, a movie made by Billy Graham.
She told Larry King in an interview, “I was brought up with many Jewish traditions and taught to be very thankful for my Jewish background.”
She sang in a folk group called “Pennsylvania Next Right” that often played at school events. After Gifford graduated from high school in 1971, she went to Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, Oklahoma, to study music and drama.
In the early 1970s, she was Anita Bryant’s live-in secretary and babysitter at her home in Miami for one summer. In the late 1970s, she made her first regular appearance on national TV as a singer on Tom Kennedy’s game show “Name That Tune.” She would sing small parts of songs that contestants had to guess.
Personal Life of Kathie Lee Gifford
Kathie Lee married composer, arranger, producer, and publisher Paul Johnson in 1976. They became well-known for their Christian music, and Christian magazines put pictures of them on the covers. But the marriage was hard from the start, and Johnson left in 1981. In 1982, they split up.
On October 18, 1986, Kathie Lee got married for the second time. This time, she got married to Frank Gifford, a football player, and TV sports commentator.
He was already married to Astrid Lindley and Maxine Avis Ewart. He was on his third wedding. He and Ewart had three children.
Kathie Lee was 23 years younger than Frank. They had two children together, Cody Newton Gifford (born March 22, 1990) and Cassidy Erin Gifford (born August 2, 1993).
Both of their birthdays are August 16. On August 9, 2015, Frank died of natural causes at their home in Greenwich, Connecticut. He had lived for 84 years. “
He Saw Jesus,” a very personal song about her husband that she wrote with songwriter Brett James and released in 2017, was about him.
Samaritan’s Purse, an international evangelical Christian charity that helps people in need, got all the money from the song.
Career and Life of Kathie Lee Gifford
In the 1970s, Kathie Lee became famous for singing on the game show Name that Tune. By 1978, she was getting roles on TV shows like “Hee Haw Honeys.”
Kathie Lee’s career took off when she replaced Anne Abernathy as co-host of The Morning Show on WABC-TV in 1985.
The show changed its name to Live! with Regis and Kathie Lee in 1988 and was shown all over the country. At this point, Kathie Lee was already married to the famous Frank Gifford, and viewers were often treated to stories from her family home.
Kathie Lee Gifford left Life! with Regis and Kathie Lee in 2000, after a long run that made her one of the most famous women in America.
Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb have been co-hosting the fourth hour of NBC’s Today show since 2008. After just one year, Kathie Lee Gifford helped Today’s ratings go up by 13%. In 2019, the year she left the show, she also won an Emmy.
Kathie Lee Gifford has been in more than just talk shows. She has been in movies and other TV shows. In 1994, she appeared on an episode of Seinfeld as herself.
In 1998, she did voice work for the TV show Hercules. In 2006, she was the star of a show called Annie at Madison Square Garden.
Over the years, she has been in a lot of other musical theatre shows. In 2010, both she and her daughter were on The Suite Life on Deck. Kathie Lee Gifford was also in Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No! for a short time.
Net Worth and Salary for Kathie Lee Gifford
With a net worth of $60 million, Kathie Lee Gifford is an American TV personality, actress, singer, and writer. Despite the fact that Kathie Lee Gifford possesses a variety of skills, her job as a talk show presenter has made her the most well-known.
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She has held hosting positions for NBC’s Today and Live! with Regis and Kathie Lee over the years, making her one of the most well-known faces on television.
Gifford has received numerous Emmy nominations over her career and won her first one in 2010. In 1986, she tied the knot with former NFL star Frank Gifford.