To me, it feels like Kathie Lee Gifford is right where she wants to be in life.
But the 67-year-old former daytime talk show host has gone through a lot in recent years. Her husband Frank Gifford, died five years ago. The couple’s long and winding love story came to an end after 29 years of marriage.
Thankfully, Kathie has a very supportive family and her close ties with her children Cassidy and Cody helped her to heal. Recently, Kathie even admitted that she has started dating again, though she’s not “actively looking” for love …
Since Kathie Lee Gifford left her job on the NBC morning show, the TV personality has spent a lot of time with her family. The single mom is loving her new life and, since 2018, Kathie has been living outside Franklin, Tennessee.
“She’s always in gratitude mode,” an insider told Closer Weekly.
“She misses Frank desperately every day, but she’s healthy, her kids are thriving, and she truly loves her life.”
What makes me like Kathie that little bit extra is that she has kept her feet on the ground, despite her celebrity status.
She knows that family is most important thing and her close relationship with her adult children is something that all parents should strive for. Kathie often speaks about how proud she is over her son Cody Gifford and her daughter Cassidy Gifford.
It was truly a heartwarming moment when Kathie did her last episode on Today in 2019 and Cody and Cassidy showed up. The siblings had recorded a heartwarming message to their mother, via a homemade video.
“To you, mom is a TV legend. To us, she is a legendary mom,” Cody said.
“The biggest life lessons that I personally ever learned from my mom [is if] you have a pulse, you have a purpose,” Cassidy sweetly chimed in.
Kathie Lee and Frank Gifford
Kathie Lee and Frank Gifford began dating in the mid-1980s and got married in 1986. Frank, 23 years her senior, was an appreciated American football player and TV sports commentator.
The age difference wasn’t a problem – it was love at first sight when Katie and Frank met on the set of a morning news show. According to Kathie, she “sort of” fell in love with Frank when they first met.
”It was love at first sight when I saw Frank Gifford (and his buns)” she said.
Frank proposed in Atlantic City, New Jersey.
“Very seriously he goes, ‘Can I talk to you?’ I thought, ‘Oh my gosh, he’s going to break up with me,” she joked. “He took out this magnificent ring … I’m not going to say what he said … but it was just beautiful,” Kathie Lee revealed during an episode of Kathie Lee and Hoda.
The beautiful wedding took place on the beach in Bridgehampton, New York.
Kathie Lee, miscarriage
Together, the couple had two children. Cody arrived first, on March 22, 1990. Frank already had 3 children from a previous marriage.
But he and Kathie wanted more kids and forged plans for a much bigger family.
Two years after Cody was born, however, Kathie and Frank suffered a tragedy. Kathie had a miscarriage and was left completely devastated.
“Frank and I were planning our second baby to be to come … this fall … this spring … I just wanted to tell everybody myself,” Kathie shared in an episode of Live with Regis and Kathie Lee in August 1992.
“Until you experience [a miscarriage] yourself, you really don’t understand the heartbreak of it.”
So, you can probably understand how much joy Kathie and Frank felt when they were able to welcome their second child in 1993 – one year after the tragic miscarriage. Kathie’s daughter, Cassidy, was born on August 2, 1993.
Cody followed in his parents’ footsteps from early age. He accompanied his famous mom and dad on TV show sets and red carpet premieres.
So it wasn’t a surprise when Cody pursued a career in acting and television.
He is also said to have been a talented football player – perhaps not so strange considering who he had as a father. According to IMDB, Cody studied at Oxford University in Tennessee and the University of Southern California.
In 2000, Cody actually co-starred with his mom for the Disney Channel original movie Model Behavior, starring Justin Timberlake.
After graduating from college, Cody founded the Gifford Media Group, a company which produces and sells content to larger companies such as Warner Bros. and the Hallmark Channel.
Cody, who turned 30 this year, currently works as a screenwriter and media consultant.
Who is Cody Gifford’s wife, Erika?
Cody met the love of his life, Erika Brown, in college and they have been a couple ever since.
On Mother’s Day 2019, Kathie Lee announced Cody and Erika’s engagement.
”My son is engaged and I couldn’t be happier for him and @missamerikabrown!!!,” the proud mom wrote on Instagram.
Take one look at pictures on their social media accounts, and you’ll see that Kathie and Erika get along very well. On the 4th of July, the pair were seen hanging out and holding up some good-looking crabs.
In September of 2020, Cody married his longtime love Erika amid the coronavirus pandemic.
“God gave us a glorious day to celebrate this glorious couple,” Kathie Lee wrote on Instagram, posting a pic of the newlyweds in their gorgeous outfits on September 7. ”So grateful.”
Kathie and Frank’s second child, Cassidy Gifford, was born on August 2, 1993 in Greenwich, Connecticut.
Just like her parents and her big brother, Cassidy would pursue a career in Hollywood. But she first studied at the University of Southern California, just like Cody.
Cassidy was noticed early on for her beauty and has worked as a model, as well as an actress. Five years ago, she was on the list of “18 Beautiful Women America Won’t Be Able to Resist This Summer”, by Esquire Magazine.
As an actress, she’s known for her roles in God’s Not Dead (2014), Time Trap (2017) and The Gallows (2015).
As mentioned, 2020 has been huge year for the Gifford family, as Cody married Erika.
Cassidy Gifford wedding
But that was actually not the only time the wedding bells rang. In June 2020, Cassidy married the love of her life, Ben Wierda. The couple tied the knot in a private ceremony in Michigan.
“So thrilled to announce that my beautiful daughter, @cassidygiff, is engaged to a wonderful man, Ben @letsgetwierda,” Kathie Lee wrote alongside a photo of her daughter and her then-fiancé at the time. “I am beyond the moon and stars. Thank you, LORD! ”
Cassidy and Ben go way back – they have been friends since she was 11 and he was 14, Kathie Lee revealed last year. According to Ben’s profile on LinkedIn, he works as a project manager at Clarion Technologies, Inc.
Ben keeps a pretty low profile on social media, but Cassidy often posts pictures to share how much she loves her husband.
”It was always you,” she wrote in November 2019 and posted a sweet picture of Ben.
Cassidy isn’t just a lookalike of her mom, from time to time she also copies Kathie’s look. In April, during quarantine, she updated her Instagram story with a hilarious picture.
Cassidy posed with a black top, big sunglasses, and a big straw hat.
”Quarantine is turning me into my mother,” wrote Cassidy.
Many probably laughed at Cassidy’s picture and caption – but the fact is that she’s very similar to her mother – both in appearance and manner.
Cassidy seems to have inherited the best from her mother and father and she is certainly very proud of her parents!