Kathie Lee Gifford Remembers Husband Frank Gifford as the Love of Her Life, Talks About Moving on After His Death

She also discusses her time on the Today show and gets kudos from former co-host Regis Philbin

By Corinne Heller Feb 25, 2016 8:31 PMTags
Kathie Lee Gifford, Frank GiffordTheo Wargo/Getty Images

It's been six months since Kathie Lee Gifford lost her husband and love of her life, Frank Gifford, and the Today show co-host is pouring herself into her work.

In addition to co-hosting the Today show's fourth hour with Hoda Kotb, the 62-year-old is keeping busy developing a slew of new projects—personal businesses, including a new line of branded wines, and a movie based on one of her early musicals, according to DuJour magazine.

"When life stops being challenging, you might as well say, 'Sayonara, sister,' she told the outlet in an interview published in its Spring 2016 issue. "Because the joy of living is finding out something brand new every day." 

Frank, a sportscaster, NFL Hall of Famer and New York Giants star, died last August at age 84. In addition to Kathie Lee, he is survived by their son Cody, 25, and daughter Cassidy, 22, as well as three children from a previous marriage. After his death, Kathie Lee took a week off from the Today show.

"There's no question that Frank was the love of my life," she told DuJour. "In a world where people seem to get divorced because they have a hangnail, we were committed to our marriage and to one another. NBC was so gracious to me, and said to take all the time that I needed, but I felt that it was important to come back. I felt like I needed to."

Also after Frank's death, Kathie Lee shared on the Today show heartwarming memories of him, while he also received moving tributes from Hotb and Kathie Lee's former LIVE co-host, Regis Philbin.

Peter Kramer/NBC/NBC NewsWire

Kathie Lee, and Philbin, now 84, began co-hosting LIVE with Regis and Kathie Lee in 1988. She left the show in 2000 and Kelly Ripa, now 45, replaced her the following year. Kathie Lee began co-hosting Today's fourth hour with Kotb in 2008. She was initially reluctant to return to morning TV full-time.

"I was flattered and deeply grateful, but I was 55 at the time and I just thought, 'Wow, how times have changed. Somebody was interested in a post-menopausal woman—and a has-been at that,'" she told DuJour.

Philbin left LIVE, then known as LIVE with Regis & Kelly, in 2011. Michael Strahan, 44, joined the series as a new co-host a year later and the show's name was changed to what it is currently—LIVE with Kelly and Michael.

Philbin has in recent years made guest appearances on sitcoms and talk shows, including Today, where he reunited with Kathie Lee.

"I've worked with many people, but there was no one like Kathie Lee Gifford," he told DuJour. "I think it's her personality and the fact that she's not afraid to speak her mind. She's very honest with everybody about where she stands with everything—that's just the way it is, whether you like it or not."

Watch: Kathie Lee Gifford Talks Christmas Without Frank

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