Kathie Lee Gifford performing on stage
Kathie Lee Gifford's Dramatic Transformation Is Turning Heads
Lifestyle News
Born into a Jewish family, Kathie Lee Gifford converted to Christianity at the age of 11, influenced by her mother's inspiration from a Billy
Graham special.
This decision has significantly shaped her career and personal life, as Gifford believes in integrating her spiritual beliefs with her secular work in Hollywood.
Early Career
Inspired by her family's musical background, her passion for her Christian faith, and a chance meeting with singer Anita Bryant, Gifford pursued a gospel career.
She moved to Los Angeles, found a niche in gospel music, and married Paul Johnson, a gospel music producer. They found professional success together but split six years later.
Big Break
After appearing on other television shows, Gifford's major breakthrough came in 1988 when she began co-hosting "Live! With Regis and Kathie Lee" alongside Regis Philbin.
The show marked a significant milestone in her career, and Gifford cherished her professional partnership and friendship with Philbin. She left the series in
July 2000.
Marital Issue
Gifford married former NFL player and television analyst Frank Gifford in 1986. Their marriage faced challenges, notably when Frank was involved in an affair in 1997.
Despite this difficulty, the couple chose to stay together and addressed the issue publicly, openly discussing the pain and process of healing in various interviews.
Back To TV
Gifford returned to TV as a
co-host of the fourth hour of NBC's "Today Show," where she developed a strong fan base, mostly due to her chemistry with co-host Hoda Kotb.
Her affectionate references to Frank — a regular presence on the show — including calling him "Lamb Chop" and sharing details about their love life, resonated with
the audience.