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  • Gifford Lee Kathie

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Kathie Lee Gifford (1953)

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Kathie Lee Gifford is an American television host, singer, songwriter and actress, best known for her 15-year run (1985–2000) on the talk show Live with Regis and Kathie Lee, which she co-hosted with Regis Philbin. She has received 11 Daytime Emmy nominations and won her first Daytime Emmy in 2010 as part of The Today Show team.

Before her long stint in talk shows, Gifford's first television exposure was that of Tom Kennedy's singer/sidekick on Name That Tune, from 1974-78. On April 7, 2008, Gifford began co-hosting the fourth hour of NBC's Today Show, alongside Hoda Kotb.

  Biography  

 early life
Kathie Lee Gifford, born Kathryn Lee Epstein in Paris, France, is the daughter of Joan (née Cuttell; born January 20, 1930), a singer, and Aaron Epstein (March 19, 1924 – November 19, 2002), a musician and former U.S. Navy officer. Aaron Epstein was stationed with his family in France at the time of Gifford's birth. Gifford grew up in Bowie, Maryland, and attended Bowie High School. During high school, Gifford was a singer in a folk group, "Pennsylvania Next Right," which performed frequently at school assemblies. During her senior year at high school she dated and went to prom with Michael Bray, who would later become an anti-abortion activist who was convicted for acts of terrorism. After high school graduation, Gifford attended Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, Oklahoma, studying drama and music.

Gifford's paternal grandfather was of Russian Jewish descent and her paternal grandmother was of Native American ancestry. Her mother, a relative of writer Rudyard Kipling, was of French Canadian, English and German descent and was raised in a Methodist family. After seeing the Billy Graham-produced film, The Restless Ones at age 12, Gifford became a born-again Christian. She told interviewer Larry King, "I was raised with many Jewish traditions and raised to be very grateful for my Jewish heritage." Her brother, Rev. David Paul Epstein, is an evangelical Baptist preacher and pastor of Calvary Baptist Church in New York City.

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Whole or part of the information contained in this card come from the Wikipedia article "Kathie Lee Gifford", licensed under CC-BY-SA full list of contributors here.