Kathie Lee Gifford was born on August 16, 1953. She is an American television host, singer, songwriter, occasional actress, and novelist who was born in France. She is best known for co-hosting the chat show “Live! with Regis and Kathie Lee” with Regis Philbin for 15 years (1985 — 2000). She is well-recognized for her 11-year stint on N.B.C.’s “Today” show’s fourth hour with Hoda Kotb. In the 1977 to 1978 season, Gifford had her first television role as Tom Kennedy’s singer/sidekick on the syndicated edition of “Name That Tune.” Let’s celebrate her birthday!
Kathryn Lee Gifford was born on August 16, 1953, in Paris, France to Joan and Aaron Epstein. Her father was stationed as a Navy officer in France and other European nations, where she grew up. They returned to the United States in 1957 and resided in Bowie, Maryland. She became a born-again Christian at the age of 12 after seeing the film “The Restless Ones.” She attended Bowie High School, where she performed at school assemblies and sang in a folk group called Pennsylvania Next Right. She studied acting and music at Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, Oklahoma, after graduating from high school in 1971. However, she dropped out of the university during her junior year.
She performed on Oral Roberts’ television show, which was broadcast live from Burbank, California, in 1972. She also went to revival gatherings all around the Bible Belt. In 1976, her spiritual book “The Quiet Riot” was published. Between 1976 and 1978, she made three gospel albums and appeared on Christian television shows like “The 700 Club” with her first husband, Paul Johnson, the leader of her “Bible” study group. She was chosen to play Nurse Callahan for nine months while visiting a friend on the set of the N.B.C. soap opera, “Days of Our Lives.” She appeared as a performer on the game show “Name That Tune” from 1977 to 1978. This exposure led to a role in the T.V. sitcom “Hee Haw Honeys,” as well as other opportunities. She took over as co-host of “The Morning Show” on WABC-TV with Regis Philbin in June 1985, replacing Ann Abernathy. In 1988, the show was renamed “Live! with Regis and Kathie Lee,” and she became well-known across the country. Their connection made them an instant hit. She did, however, leave the show in July 2000 to pursue her musical career.
In 1992, Gifford published her autobiography, “I Can’t Believe I Said That.” She worked in musical theater in the late 1990s, and also wrote and produced “Under The Bridge,” a play based on the children’s book “The Family Under The Bridge.” In 2000, she released several albums, including “The Heart of a Woman” and “Born for You.” Additionally, she appeared in several films and television shows as a guest star. She joined “The Insider,” an entertainment magazine television show, as a special correspondent in 2005. Gifford married Paul Johnson in 1976 and divorced in 1983. She met sports commentator Frank Gifford during an episode of “Good Morning America.” They were married from 1986 until 2015 when he passed away. They shared two children: Cody Newton Gifford and Cassidy Erin Gifford.
Gifford's career takes off as a vocalist on the game show “Name That Tune” with Tom Kennedy.
Her spiritual book “The Quiet Riot” is published.
Gifford replaces Ann Abernathy as co-host of "The Morning Show" and the program broadcasts nationally as "Live! with Regis and Kathie Lee," making Gifford popular across the country.
The N.B.C. announces that Gifford is to join its morning show, "Today" as co-host of the fourth hour titled "Today with Kathie Lee and Hoda" alongside Hoda Kotb.
Gifford wins a Daytime Emmy award for her contribution to the “Today” show.
Why We Love Kathie Lee Gifford
She is beautiful
There is no doubt that Gifford is a beautiful woman. Moreso, she was a beauty queen who won first place in the Junior Miss Maryland pageant
She is good at everything she does
The T.V. show host is great at everything she puts her mind to. From singing, to acting, and even penning timeless pieces, she has succeeded.
She is charitable
Gifford serves as a celebrity ambassador for the non-profit organization 'Childhelp.' She is a strong supporter of the child abuse prevention and treatment organization and routinely attends fundraisers and events.
5 Surprising Facts
Her first marriage was a business deal
Her marriage to Paul Johnson lasted six years in the entertainment industry.
She was a beauty queen
She won first place at the Junior Miss Maryland pageant.
A movie made her an ardent Christian
At the age of 12, Gifford became a born-again Christian after watching the Billy Graham-produced film "The Restless Ones."
She baby-sat for Anita Bryant
She worked as a live-in secretary/babysitter for Bryant at her Miami home.
She was involved in a scandal
Charles Kernaghan, a labor activist, blew the whistle on her clothing line, Kathie Lee, being made in sweatshops by 13- and 14-year-old Honduran girls.
Kathie Lee Gifford FAQs
Does Kathie Lee Gifford have siblings?
Yes, David Paul Epstein and Michie Mader are her siblings.
Is Kathie Lee a grandmother?
Her first grandchild was born in 2022.
Who is Kathie Lee Gifford in a relationship with?
Her current boyfriend is Randy Cronk (2022). They have been dating since 2019.
Kathie Lee Gifford’s birthday dates