Frank Gifford’s passing in 2015 left Kathie Lee Gifford a widow after 29 years of marriage. But the couple’s love story was a long and winding one, spanning decades and enduring scandals, all under the sometimes harsh glare of the spotlight.
Following her 1982 divorce from first husband Paul Johnson, a gospel music composer, Kathie Lee was working as a correspondent on Good Morning America when she met former New York Giants halfback Frank Gifford. Gifford, who was then working as a sports broadcaster for ABC, filled in on the network’s morning show.
She recalled the first time she met her future husband as she and co-host Hoda Kotb discussed the topic of “love at first sight” during an episode of Today.
Asked if she had ever fallen in love at first sight, Kathie Lee admitted that she, quote, “sort of did.” She remembered preparing to do an Alpo dog food commercial with a Basset Hound when she walked down a hallway and caught a view of her future husband’s derriere. She was smitten, she said, after encountering, quote, “the greatest pair of buns” she had ever seen in her life.
Frank also reminisced about that first meeting in an interview with the Television Academy Foundation.
Frank also revealed that he actually decided to set her up with one of his best friends by inviting them both to lunch.
Watch the video for The Untold Truth Of Kathie Lee Gifford’s Marriage.
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Love at first sight | 0:00
Unexpected proposal | 1:28
Age Gap Love | 2:11
Late-life fatherhood | 3:23
Sweatshop scandal | 4:19
Caught cheating | 5:40
Divorce? | 6:45
Repairing the relationship | 7:42
‘We will miss him so much’ | 8:33
Widow, orphan, empty nester | 10:12
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