Kathryn Lee Gifford is a famous American TV personality. She is a presenter, author, actress, songwriter and singer. Kathie is well known for her co-host talk show “Live! With Regis and Kathie Lee” with Regis Philbin that was aired for 15 years. She also hosted the Today show on NBC with Hoda Kotb for 11 years. During her career as a TV presenter Kathie was nominated 11 times at Grammy awards and won the first one in 2010, total of three in her career.
Kathie Lee Gifford net worth in 2020 is estimated over $65 million. Her earnings come from hosting two popular shows, writing songs, playing roles in movies and TV series as well as being involved in wine business.
She was married twice, first time in 1976 to the composer Paul Johnson and the second time in 1986 to the former NFL player Frank Gifford. Currently she is dating an insurance agent Randy Cronk. It is her first relationship after her husband passed away 5 years ago. She lives in Tennessee, where she moved from the family house in Connecticut. Kathie Lee was feeling lonely in the house where her husband died and after the children left, she needed a change. However she didn’t retire. She works on many projects, like producing movies with her son Cody.
Early life and education
Kathie was born on 16 August 1953 in Paris, France. Both her parents were involved in music. Her mother was a singer and her father a musician. He was also in the US Army and when his daughter was born the family was stationed in France. Kathie and her two siblings were raised in Bowie, Maryland USA. There she finished high school and was part of the school folk band “Pennsylvania Next Right” as a singer. After graduation in 1971 she continued at Oral Roberts University in Tulsa Oklahoma, where she studied drama and music. But, she didn’t finish. Her father worked in USA as an insurance agent and newspaper distributor. Her parents later became owners of a hotel resort.
She married for the first time in 1976 to Paul Johnson, a composer, producer and publisher. They were involved together in Christian music and had covers of Christian magazines. However the marriage lasted a few years until 1982.
Her second marriage was with Frank Gifford, 23 years older NFL player and sports commentator. Frank played American football for 12 years in the New York Giants and after his retirement as a player he worked as a sport commentator for Monday Night Football on ABC.
It was Frank’s third marriage and he already had three children from his first marriage. She was the same age as his oldest son. The couple had two children, a son in 1990 and a daughter in 1993, who are also in the movie industry. Kathie and Frank were born on the same day, 16 of August. In 1997 the Globe magazine published photos of Frank and a flight attendant Suzan Johnson who was paid to seduce him in a New York City hotel room. It shook their marriage and reputation, but the couple stayed together.
In 2015 the former NFL player died from natural causes shortly before his 85th birthday. Two years later she released a song dedicated to her husband “He saw Jesus”.
Children Cody and Cassidy Gifford
Her son Cody established Gifford Media Group. He is the older child of Kathie Lee and Frank Gifford. He has produced films, TV shows and new media content. He started his career as a script reader and then as a writer’s assistant. His parent’s decided to sue a tabloid which accused Kathie Lee of coddling and turning her son into brat. After two years in court they reached a settlement. That was one of the reasons to leave “Live! With Regis and Kathie Lee” show and raise her children out of the spotlight.
Cassidy Gifford is an American actress. She played in “God’s not dead” in 2014, “The Gallows” in 2015 and “Time Trap” in 2017.
Last year both Kathie Lee’s children announced the engagements to their partners.
Kathie started to co-host the morning show with Regis Philbin in 1985. The show was hosted by Ann Abernathy before Kathie came onboard. When the show started to broadcast nationally in 1988 it was named “Live! With Regis and Kathie Lee” and gained a popularity, so Kathie was famous all over the country. The hosting duo had 8 nominations for Outstanding Talk Show at Daily Grammy Awards. In 2000 Kathie left the show. One of the reasons was because of her father’s illness. He died in 2002.
Eight years later she co-hosted another show on NBC along with Hoda Kotb. It was the Today morning show. It was her return in media as a presenter. The show was very popular. By 2014 it had an astounding 2 million viewers. However, in 2018 she left the show but in the same year the hosting duo won a Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Informative Talk Show Host.
Movies and Music
Kathie left the last show to start a movie career. She wrote and played in the movie “Then came you” in 2018 with the actor Craig Ferguson. Kathie also filmed a Hallmark Christmas movie the same year.
She had many guest appearances in TV series and movies during her career. She released also several music albums.
Kathie worked in a musical theatre. She produced and wrote “Under the Bridge”. It was based upon a children book “The Family under the bridge” written by Natalie Savage Carlson. In 2007 she wrote the musical “Saving Aimee” with leading role played by the actress Carolee Carmello. It was premiered at Signature Theatre in Arlington, Virginia. The show also run on Broadway as “Scandalous:The life and trails of Aimee Semple McPherson”. It had three Tony Awards nomination for Best Performance by an actress in a leading role in a musical.
In 2010 Kathie collaborated with John McDaniel and wrote the lyrics for the musical adaptation of the movie “It’s a wonderful life”.
Kathie has written two biographical books: “Just When I Thought I’d Dropped My Last Egg:Life and Other Calamities” (see on Amazon) in 2010 and “The Rock, the Road and the Rabbi” in 2018 (on amazon). In 2010 and 2011 she wrote three children’s book: “The Gift that i can give”, and “The Legend of messy M’Cheany”. She even released a cookbook in 1993 “Cooking with Regis&Kathie Lee”.
Katie supports many non profit children’s organizations like Childhelp, the Association to benefit Children and the International Justice Mission. She appears on many events in order to fund raise and increase the awareness for child abuse prevention. Marymount University honored her with a degree for her humanitarian work.
From hobby to a business – the famous presenter in 2014 launched a wine line called The Gifft. It was a partnership with Scheid Family Wines in California. The name comes from her last name and the beliefs that love, laughter and friendship should be cherished as a gift. The idea was to produce quality wines with affordable price that the presenter would drink it with her friends.
Kathie Lee has had some really interesting achievements in her life. At the age of 17 won the Maryland Junior Miss pageant and represented the state. She was a spokesperson for Ultra Slim Fast diet shakes. The famous presenter appeared in commercials for Revlon, Home Furnishing and Carnival Cruise Lines. She made fitness video “Kathie Lee’s feel fit and fabulous workout”.
She is a longtime friend with Kris and Caitlyn Jenner and a Godmother of their daughters Kendall and Kylie. She was a good friend with Joan Rivers.
Kathie Lee named her dog Regie, after the former co-star Regis Philbin.
Kathie Lee Appearance
She is 5 feet 5 inches tall and weights 68kg. Also has blonde hair and brown eyes.
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