Kathie Lee Gifford Net Worth 2022 – Salary, Income, Earnings

Kathie Lee Gifford Net Worth

Kathie Lee Gifford has an estimated net worth of $60 million. Kathie Lee Gifford won over TV audiences with her on-screen chemistry with co-anchor Regis Philbin on ‘The Morning Show.’ She also co-anchored the fourth hour of the ‘Today’ show with Hoda Kotb for more than a decade. She earns most of her income from her music and television shows. 

Kathie Lee Gifford pursued a career as a Christian singer for several years. When a producer heard her host an A.M. radio show, she was invited to Good Morning America. In 1985, she joined Regis Philbin on The Morning Show, and the pair became an instant hit due to their banter and chemistry. For over a decade, she co-hosted the fourth hour of Today with Hoda Kotb.

To calculate the net worth of Kathie Lee Gifford, subtract all her liabilities from her total assets. Investments, savings, cash deposits, and any equity she has in a house, car, or other similar asset are included in the total assets. All debts, such as personal loans and mortgages, are included in total liabilities.

Here’s the breakdown of her net worth:

Name: Kathie Lee Gifford
Net Worth: $60 Million
Monthly Income: $300 Thousand
Annual Salary: $5 Million
Source of Wealth: Talk show host, Presenter, Singer, Actor, Television producer, Songwriter

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Early Life

Kathryn Lee Epstein was born in Paris, France on August 16, 1953. Aaron Leon Epstein, her father, was an American naval officer and weekend jazz saxophonist, and Joan (nee Cuttell), her mother, was a former naval secretary turned radio singer.

Kathie Lee and her two siblings, David and Michelle, spent their childhood in France and other European countries where their father was stationed. In 1957, the Epstein family returned to the United States and settled in Bowie, Maryland, where Aaron Epstein worked as a newspaper distributor and insurance agent. He and his wife eventually bought a resort hotel.

Kathie Lee grew up in a culturally Jewish environment because one of her grandparents was Jewish. She did, however, attend Methodist Sunday school in Bowie and became a born-again Christian at the age of 12 after watching The Restless Ones, a Christian film that depicted the tragic consequences of a young girl doing drugs and having sex.

Christian Singer

Gifford won her state Junior Miss pageant at the age of 17 and traveled to Mobile, Alabama, to compete in the national competition. There she met Anita Bryant, a well-known Christian singer and pageant co-host. Bryant saw Gifford’s potential as a Christian entertainer right away and invited her to live and work with her and her husband, Bob Green, in Key Biscayne, Florida. Gifford agreed and spent a disappointing year babysitting, doing secretarial work, and singing in Southern Baptist churches. She realized the couple’s loveless marriage was just a front for their careers, and their family life was in shambles. Gifford chose to leave rather than participate in the hypocrisy.

Bryant, on the other hand, had already secured Gifford a full scholarship to the evangelical Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, Oklahoma, as well as a spot in Roberts’ World Action Singers. Gifford began singing on Oral Roberts’ television show, which was broadcast from Burbank, California, in 1972, and she traveled throughout the Bible Belt attending revival meetings. Gifford dropped out of university during her junior year after becoming aware of the manipulation going on behind Roberts’ charismatic veneer.

Gifford used the remainder of her scholarship money to rent an apartment in Tulsa, where she was experiencing her own spiritual awakening. She spent a few weeks there scribbling down her spiritual thoughts, which she eventually published in 1976 as The Quiet Riot. Gifford married Paul Johnson, the leader of her Bible study group and the owner of a Christian music publishing company, in April of that year. She later admitted that the marriage was nothing more than a “contract with the state of California.” Despite the fact that the marriage lasted only six years, it was professionally fruitful. Between 1976 and 1978, Gifford released three gospel albums, and the couple appeared frequently on religious television shows such as The 700 Club.

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‘Live With Regis & Kathie Lee’

Gifford began working on her own, more secular career at the same time. She was hired to play Nurse Callahan for nine months after visiting a friend on the set of the NBC soap opera Days of Our Lives. She also created several TV pilots and commercial jingles. Gifford was the featured singer on Name That Tune from 1977 to 1978, replacing song lyrics with “la- la’s.” This exposure led to a slew of career opportunities, including a role in the TV sitcom Hee Haw Honeys and opening slots in Reno and Lake Tahoe casinos for comics such as Bill Cosby, Shecky Green, and Rich Little.

Regis Philbin left the radio show A.M. Los Angeles in 1981, and Gifford filled in for two days. Susan Winston, a Good Morning America (GMA) executive producer, happened to be listening and was immediately drawn to Gifford’s talent and freshness. She asked Gifford to do some reporting and to fill in for Joan Lunden on GMA in New York on occasion. Gifford moved to New York City after divorcing her first husband in 1982 and began appearing on the nationally televised show.

Meanwhile, Philbin, now co-host of The Morning Show on WABC-TV in New York, was looking for a new co-host. Philbin was impressed by Gifford’s vitality and energy while watching her on GMA and eventually invited her to join him on his show. Gifford decided to take a break from the stiffly scripted news program and was inspired by the new wave of “reality” shows such as Geraldo! and Sally Jessy Raphael.

In June 1985, she took her seat next to Philbin, and the two instantly ignited a chemistry that would become legendary on daytime television. Gifford called Philbin a “jerk” in the first week, igniting a playful cat-and-mouse battle that proved the vinegar-tongued Philbin had finally met his match.

Two months after their first show aired, The Morning Show knocked Phil Donahue out of first place in the tri-state area, and Live With Regis & Kathie Lee became nationally syndicated in 1988, thanks to an agreement between WABC and Buena Vista Television. The live 15-minute “host chat” that began each show drew national attention and made Gifford and Philbin overnight celebrities. Gifford quickly rose to prominence as America’s television sweetheart.

Controversies and Personal Life

Gifford married ABC’s Monday Night Football sports broadcaster and former NFL star Frank Gifford on October 18, 1986, whom she met on the set of GMA. Cody Newton, born in 1990, and Cassidy Erin, born in 1993, were the Giffords’ children.

According to the National Labor Committee, child laborers in Honduras were producing Kathie Lee’s clothing line for Walmart in 1996. She denied knowing anything about Walmart’s production methods and immediately went on a mission to advocate for tougher laws against sweatshop labor. She defended herself further by assuring the public that all profits from her clothing line were donated to Cassidy’s Place, a home she established for AIDS and crack babies. Despite her efforts, Gifford became the punchline for months, her pristine innocence tainted by the media’s focus on her misfortunes.

After ten years of marriage, Gifford was dealt another devastating blow when The Globe tabloid published photos of her husband with Trans World Airlines flight attendant Suzen Johnson in a New York City hotel room in 1997. (It was later revealed that the flight attendant had received $75,000 from The Globe to seduce Frank.) Gifford endured personal trauma and public humiliation while remaining with her husband. Her reputation had been built in part on her image as the woman who had it all: a successful career and a loving family.

She was well-known for her frequent references to Frank and their children. While her fans admired her candor and intimacy, her detractors found her personal musings to be irritatingly self-righteous. With this scandal, Gifford learned the perils of disclosing her personal life to the public. The image of the perfect family had been scrutinized in public, and she had gone silent and guarded on the subject of her family.

Gifford announced on February 29, 2000, that she would leave Live With Regis & Kathie Lee, the nation’s fourth-highest-rated syndicated talk show, when her contract expired in July. Gifford reportedly wanted to spend more time with her family and focus on her musical career after 11 years on the show. Her last appearance on Live was on July 28, 2000. Years later, Gifford revealed that one of the reasons she left Live was because her father was terminally ill. On November 19, 2002, Aaron Epstein passed away.

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Other Projects and Albums

After her rise to fame, Gifford was a spokesperson for the Home Furnishings Council, Carnival Cruise Lines, Ultra Slim-Fast and Revlon. She also produced her own fitness video, Kathie Lee’s Feel Fit and Fabulous Workout, wrote an autobiography, I Can’t Believe I Said That! (1992), directed charities, and sang at various venues around the country.

After leaving Live, Gifford released a series of albums, including a set of pop songs titled The Heart of a Woman (2000), Born for You (2000), and a collection of children’s songs titled Party Animals (2002).

Return to TV on ‘Today’

Gifford joined Hoda Kotb on morning television as a co-anchor of the Today show in April 2008. The two made an excellent team, sharing glasses of wine while discussing current events.

Meanwhile, Gifford suffered a more personal loss when her husband died in August 2015. Frank had appeared on both Live and Today as a co-host with Kathie Lee on occasion.

In December 2018, months after celebrating her 10-year anniversary as Today co-host, Gifford announced her departure the following year.

Further Reading

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