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Kathie Lee Gifford Biography

Birth Name:
Kathryn Lee Epstein
Birth Place:
Paris, France
TV host, singer, songwriter, actor

Fast Facts

  • Represented Maryland in the 1970 Junior Miss Pageant, but was disqualified for befriending a member of the pageant's staff
  • Worked as a nanny to Anita Bryant's children for a year
  • Was hired to play Nurse Callahan on Days of Our Lives while visiting a friend on the set; the gig turned into a nine-month job
  • Filled in on the A
  • M
  • Los Angeles radio show for a few days in 1981 after its host, Regis Philbin, left to pursue other opportunities
  • Good Morning America's executive producer happened to hear her, and sought her out to do occasional reporting and fill-in work for the morning show
  • First met future husband Frank Gifford when they cohosted GMA together in the early 1980s, but it would be several years before they began dating
  • Shares the same birthday as husband Frank
  • Her other famous partner, Regis Philbin, pursued her as cohost for The Morning Show, a local WABC-TV talk program, after spotting her on GMA in 1985
  • Three years later it went national as Live With Regis & Kathie Lee
  • During its run, she was nominated for 11 Daytime Emmys
  • Campaigned to strengthen sweatshop laws after learning that her Wal-Mart clothing line was being manufactured by child laborers in Honduras
  • Founded (with Frank) the Cody House and Cassidy's Place charitable foundations, which are run by the Association to Benefit Children
  • Published an autobiography, I Can't Believe I Said That!, in 1992
  • Has written several musicals, including Saving Aimee and Under the Bridge; and appeared on Broadway in Putting It Together