For the last five decades, Kathie Lee Gifford has been a force to be reckoned with. While most might not know this interesting fact, she first worked as the voice artist for the game show Name That Tune, which was the perfect gig to catapult her into the limelight. She sang on the show from 1974 to 1978 where she propelled her career as an actress and got a role on Hee Haw Honeys.
For a few years, she struggled to find her place in the television world. But when she met Regis Philbin in the 1980s, he sent her a personal invitation to join her on his talk show The Morning Show. She was delighted to be by Regis and talk about what was going on in the world.
Viewers immediately recognized that Regis and Kathie made the perfect pair. They had abundant on-air chemistry, and the show quickly improved its viewing market share. People loved watching the duo on The Morning Show because they were fun, funny, and serious when they needed to be.
A few years after Kathie joined the show, the producers renamed the program Live! With Regis and Kathie Lee. After that, it quickly became a nationally syndicated program and aired from 1988 to 2000.
Because the program was such a wide success, Kathie Lee was able to get any job she wanted after the show ended. She decided to take the lucrative position alongside Hoda Kotb on NBC’s Today. During that opportunity, Kathie Lee and Hoda proved to the world that they had chemistry too, and millions of people watched them talk about the hot ticket items of the day. However, all good things must come to an end. After 11 years of success on the show, Kathie Lee announced last December that she was ending her tenure on the program.
During one of her last episodes, NBC aired a goodbye message from her former talk show partner in crime, Regis Philbin. He wanted to let Kathie Lee know that he loved the time he spent with her and that they were among the best fifteen years of his life.
“We stayed friends through the entire game, and it was a lot of fun,” Regis said in the recorded farewell video.
Because she was moving on from Today, Regis wanted to wish her luck on her next adventure saying, “Where you are right now, I know you’re going to be moving on to a great new career, making movies. And since I’ve seen the first one, I know you’re going to be a great success. I mean it.”
Those fifteen years together meant a lot of Regis Philbin. If he didn’t have Kathie Lee Gifford in his life, he wouldn’t have experienced as much success as he had. It was a big deal to him, and she touched his heart throughout it all.
Now Gifford is pursuing her movie career as an actress, director, and producers. She stared in the 2018 film Then Came You. She also filmed a Hallmark Movie in 2018. She hopes to make movies about being a widow and losing loved ones, in the hopes of inspiring people who have experienced a loss like she has.
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