All the Times Morning Show Hosts Have Brought Us Into Their Lives

Al Roker recently shared his prostate cancer diagnosis with viewers and he's not the first Today show host to get personal on air.

By Tierney Bricker Dec 28, 2020 1:14 PMTags
Watch: Al Roker Thanks Fans After Prostate Cancer Diagnosis

There's nothing quite like the bond viewers form with their morning show hosts.

We let them in our living rooms (or, let's be honest, bedrooms) almost every morning. We usually enjoy a cup of coffee with them as they banter. We trust them to deliver the news—good and bad—and look forward to seeing their Halloween costumes each year. (Don't lie, you're still not over the Today show Peanuts looks from 2015.)

So when one of the anchors from Good Morning America or Today show share personal news, it feels like a friend letting you into their lives. Just last month, Al Roker revealed his cancer diagnosis with Today viewers and the outpouring of support from fans was immediate and overwhelming.

Of course, he's not the only morning show personality to bring people into his personal life, as Hoda Kotb has shared major milestones over the years and Good Morning America's Robin Roberts has openly detailed her two battles with cancer. 

Hoda Kotb's Sweetest Moments With Her Kids

In honor of Savannah Guthrie's birthday, here are the times morning show hosts created a unique and close connection with viewers and let fans into their lives...

Al Roker's Cancer Diagnosis

The beloved Today weatherman underwent surgery after revealing on air that he had been diagnosed with prostate cancer following a routine checkup in September.  "It's a good news-bad news kind of thing," he shared on Nov. 6. "Good news is we caught it early. Not great news is that it's a little aggressive, so I'm going to be taking some time off to take care of this."

Two weeks after having his prostate removed, Roker returned to Today and updated fans on his health. "I feel good. I really do," Roker told his co-hosts. "Let me tell ya. Look, after the first week you can get that catheter out. Suddenly, I'm feeling good."

He also revealed what's in store moving forward. "The first week of January I'm going to have blood work and hopefully my PSA has dropped considerably," Roker shared. "And for the next five years I'll get tested every six months."

Al Roker's Weight Loss Journey

Roker, who has been an integral part of Today since the ‘90s, was also open about the weight loss surgery he underwent in 2002—even speaking frankly about how his weight had taken a toll on his marriage with ABC News journalist Deborah Roberts.

"It's a vicious cycle because now you feel judged and you're upset, and if that's the case, what do you do?" he wrote in an article for Today in 2013. "You eat. And then your spouse is upset. Or you even lie about your food — you're closet eating."

Robin Roberts' Cancer Diagnosis

In 2007, the Good Morning America star broke the news that she had breast cancer when she was on air with then co-host Diane Sawyer.

She later penned a message for, explaining she went to her doctor after finding a lump during a self-examination. A biopsy determined she had an early form of the disease. "Hearing the doctor say those words out loud was surreal," Roberts wrote.

Robin Roberts' Bone-Marrow Disease

Five years after beating breast cancer, Roberts announced to viewers that she'd been diagnosed with MDS, or myelodysplastic syndrome, a rare blood and bone-marrow disease that required transplant surgery.

After taking a five-month leave of absence from GMA, she returned to work in February 2013. "Hi, it's Robin, and I've been waiting 174 days to say this: Good morning, America!" she said, going on to pay tribute to those who helped her along the way.

"Faith, family and friends have brought me to this moment," Roberts explained, "and I am so full of gratitude."

Her openness about battling the life-threatening condition earned her a Peabody Award in 2013.

Hoda Kotb's Adoptions

The beloved Today anchor surprised viewers when she called in during her time off to announce she had adopted a baby girl named Haley Joy Kotb in February 2017. "She's a Valentine's baby," the proud new parent said while phoning into the show. "She is the love of my life."

And in April 2019, Kotb officially became a mom of two, adopting her second daughter, Hope Catherine Kotb. "My God, my heart just grew," she told her elated Today team of the moment she first held baby no. 2. "I can't believe it's happening, y'all!"

Hoda Kotb's Engagement

Kotb decided to share the exciting news that she got engaged to her longtime love Joel Schiffman with her co-hosts live on air in November 2019.

"I have to tell you something that a friend of mine, a friend of ours asked me to let you guys in on a secret," she teased. "Well, I'll give you her initials. Her initials are Hoda Kotb and she's engaged!"

After the tears, screams and hugs from her surprised friends subsided, a shocked Savannah Guthrie clarified, "What are you talking about?" And Craig Melvin pointed to her gorgeous new ring and asked, "Was that on the whole time?" It turns out Kotb had secretly slipped it on while announcing the news.

Amy Robach's On-Air Cancer Diagnosis

When Robach underwent the first-ever live TV mammogram in 2013, she hoped it would help other women to understand the importance of these checks. What she didn't realize, though, is that this mammogram would actually save her own life as the ABC News journalist learned she had breast cancer.

Robach underwent a bilateral mastectomy and reconstructive surgery, and in April 2014, she finished her final chemotherapy treatment. "This is a huge milestone for me," she said in a segment for Good Morning America.

"I plan on living each day to the fullest, thankful and grateful," she continued, "and encouraging so many women who are out there, who are still in the thick of it, who have yet to fight this fight, that you can do it, you can get through this one step a time. I am there for you. I am there with you."

Savannah Guthrie's IVF Journey

After welcoming daughter Vale in 2014, the Today anchor recalled feeling like she had won a "lottery ticket" because she had her first child at 42 years old.

"So I never dreamed that I would have two," she told Health, going on to reveal she did IVF treatments for her second child, son Charley, in 2016.

"I would say Vale was a miracle, and Charley was a medical miracle," she detailed. "When making that decision about whether to go through IVF, my husband [Mike Feldman] and I talked about it a lot."

She continued, "Going through what we did, it makes you realize that everything has to go just right to have a healthy baby. I really feel for so many women who are struggling and wishing and wondering, 'When's it gonna be my turn?' I know. And I understand."

Katie Courics' Live Colonoscopy+

After her husband Jay Monahan died of colon cancer in 1998, Couric underwent a colonoscopy live on the Today show in an effort to encourage people to get screenings.

After the episode aired, the anchor's televised procedure reportedly lead to a 20 percent spike in colonoscopies in the years that followed.

"The Today show was a powerful bully pulpit for getting the screening message out, and televising my colonoscopy was a way to de-mystify the procedure," she explained to SheKnows in 2017. "It was something that hadn't really been done before, and I was thrilled with the reaction."

Dylan Dreyer's Miscarriage

As part of National Infertility Awareness Week, the Today meteorologist opened up to viewers about suffering a miscarriage

While Dreyer explained became pregnant with her first child, Calvin, "right away," she didn't have the same experience in her attempts to conceive again. She learned that her uterus was two-thirds scarred shut and after undergoing surgery, Dreyer got pregnant. "It's like that moment you wait for," she said, tearing up at the time. But a month later, she experienced "massive" bleeding and learned she had miscarried.

"I am so blessed with the family that I have," she said at the time, "but going through a miscarriage and not knowing what the future holds is emotional. And I just want people to know that I'm going through it, too."

In July of that year, Dreyer announced she was expecting a baby boy with husband Brian Fichera. The couple welcomed Oliver George Fichera in January 2020.

Ginger Zee’s Mental Health Issues

Good Morning America's longtime meteorologist first opened up about her struggle with an eating disorder while competing on Dancing With the Stars in 2016, explaining that anorexia was a way for her to cope with the fact that her parents divorced when she was 10, an attempt to "control something."

And in 2017, Zee detailed her mental health issues in her book, Natural Disaster: I Cover Them. I Am One., revealing she had previously attempted suicide twice and checked into a mental health hospital just 10 days before she started her career at ABC.

In honor of National Suicide Prevention Week in September 2020, Zee reflected on her past suicide attempt in a candid Instagram post.

 "I often wonder if there is anything I could go back and say to myself the morning I tried to take my own life," she shared. "I don't know if I would have been ready to hear it - I don't know if this message will help — but I feel it is my duty to talk about it — because I was lucky.

Kathie Lee Gifford's Loss

Following the death of her husband, Frank Gifford, in August 2015, Kathie Lee returned to Today a weeklong absence and opened up about losing her spouse of 19 years.

"The Lord giveth, and the Lord taketh away. That's something that my family and I went through last week," she said. "I wanna thank everybody for your love and your texts and your tweets. The outpouring has been extraordinary. It's a heck of a way to find out how loved you are. Believe me, my family and I got strength and comfort for it."

(E! and NBC are both part of the NBCUniversal family.)

This story was originally published on Sat, Dec. 5, 2020 at 3 a.m. PT.