Popular television host, comedian, singer, songwriter, and actress, Kathie Lee Gifford is famous for her 15-year run talk show 'Live! With Regis and Kathie Lee', co-hosted with Regis Philbin (1985–2000). Kathie Lee Gifford's birth name was Kathryn Lee Epstein. She joined 'The Morning Show' in 1985 and gained popularity through the show. She currently co-hosts the show called 'Today show with Hoda Kotb. Her first television appearance was Tom Kennedy's singer/sidekick 'on Name That Tune'( 1974-1978).
Early life and Education
Born on 16th August 1953 in Paris, France, Kathie Lee Gifford is the daughter of Aaron Leon Epstein, an American naval officer, and weekend jazz saxophonist, and Joan (nee Cuttell), a former naval secretary turned radio singer.
Lee grew up in Bowie, Maryland, where her father worked as a newspaper distributor and insurance agent. Gifford joined Methodist Sunday school there. Although she had a Jewish upbringing after watching a Christian film entitled 'The Restless Ones,' she became a Christian.
Kathie Lee Gifford's career took off in the 1970s as a vocalist on the game show called 'Name That Tunes' with Tom Kennedy.
On 24th June 1985, she replaced Ann Abernathy as co-host of 'The Morning Show' on WABC-TV with Regis Philbin. The program was broadcasted nationally in 1988.
She made guest appearances in films and television series, and has many independently released albums on CD, including 2000's The Heart of a Woman, featuring the single "Love Never Fails."
In September 2005, Gifford became a special correspondent on 'The Insider,' a syndicated entertainment magazine television show.
In the late 1990s, Kathie began working in musical theater. She wrote and produced 'Under The Bridge,' based on the children's book 'The Family Under The Bridge' by Natalie Savage Carlson.
In 2007, she performed 'Saving Aimee,' a stage musical about evangelist Aimee McPherson, at the Signature Theatre in Arlington, Virginia. The show, now titled 'Scandalous: The Life and Trials of Aimee Semple McPherson', ran on Broadway from 15th November 2012, through 9th December 2012, with Carmello reprising her role as McPherson.
On 16th April 2007, Gifford was a guest presenter at the Washington D.C. for Helen Hayes Award Ceremony, honoring contributions and professional accomplishments in theater.
David Friedman and Gifford wrote a junior high school musical named 'Key Pin It Real' and performed in December 2008 in Kendallville, Indiana, at East Noble High School.
She was working on a musical adaptation of 'It's a Wonderful Life'with John McDaniel in 2011; McDaniel composed music while Gifford wrote lyrics.
On 31st March 2008, NBC stated that Gifford joined its morning show, 'Today,' as co-host of the fourth hour, alongside Hoda Kotb.
On an episode that aired 27th March 2010, she guest starred on 'The Suite Life on Deck,' along with her daughter, Cassidy Erin Gifford.
Moreover, Gifford is a celebrity ambassador for the non-profit organization Childhelp. She regularly makes appearances at fund raisers and events for the child abuse prevention and treatment organization.
To build and continued to financially support two shelters in New York City for babies born with HIV as well as for a congenital crack cocaine addiction, Kathie Lee Gifford and Frank Gifford funded the money.
She performed as herself in the 2015 television film 'Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No!'. She won her first Daytime Emmy in 2010 as part of the 'Today team.'
Kathie Lee Gifford was previously married to Paul Johnson, Christian, composer, arranger, producer, and publisher on 23 rd April 1976 and divorced on 26th May 1983.
She met Frank Gifford, sports commentator during an episode of ABC's Good Morning America. The couple married on 18th October 1986 until his death on 9th August 2015.
The couple has two children including Cody Newton Gifford born on 22nd March 1990 and Cassidy Erin Gifford born on 2nd August 1993.
There was a controversy in 1996 after Kathie Lee Gifford was accused of using child labor in sweatshops for making apparels for her Kathie Lee line. Then she worked with Federal lawmakers and authorities to protect children from such sweatshops.
Kathie Lee Gifford's net worth reaches approximately $20 million. She along with the kids is a recipient of $10 million worth property in Connecticut, Florida, and assets in cash.The prolific anchor carries a salary of $2 million.