Television icon Kathie Lee Gifford is currently in a relationship with her boyfriend Richard Spitz following the death of her husband Frank and her failed marriage to her ex, Paul Johnson.
Kathie Lee Gifford began her career in entertainment in the 1980s as a vocalist on the ABC game show Face The Music.
She shot to fame in 1986 as co-host of Live! With Regis and Kathie Lee, co-hosting alongside Regis Philbin. Between 1993 and 2000, the duo were nominated eight years in a row for Outstanding Talk Show Host during the Daytime Emmy Awards.
Gifford is also known for her 11-year run with Hoda Kotb, on the fourth hour of NBC’s Today show.
She has also made headlines for her love life. Having been married twice, she is currently in a serious relationship. Unfortunately, she lost her second husband, whom she welcomed her two children with, in 2015.
Here’s everything we know about the media personality‘s new partner, late husband, and ex-spouse.
Who is Kathie Lee Gifford married to?
Former Today co-host Kathie Lee Gifford has been married twice in her lifetime before finding love in her new boyfriend.
The name of her late husband is Frank Gifford and her ex-spouse is Paul Johnson.
At age 23, she tied the knot with her first husband, actor Paul Johnson. Their wedding took place took place in 1976 and stayed together for seven years.
The marriage was strained from the start and in 1981, Johnson moved out of their residence in Woodland Hills, CA. The couple divorced in 1982 and finalised their separation a year later.
Three years later, the Emmy Award-winning TV host exchanged vows with her second husband, footballer Frank Gifford. It was his third marriage after marriages with Maxine Avis Ewart and Astrid Lindley. With Ewart, he had three children; Victoria, Jeff, and Kyle.
Kathie met Frank on the set of a morning news show and Gifford admitted that she was smitten at first sight.
“I met Frank Gifford because it was 4 o’clock in the morning at Good Morning America, walking down one of the hallways and I looked over at somebody in the dressing room — the best set of buns I’ve ever seen in my life — just leaned over a sink putting in contact lenses,” she told People in 2020.
Kathie Lee was 23 years younger than Frank Gifford.
They had two children together, Cody Newton Gifford (born March 22, 1990) and Cassidy Erin Gifford (born August 2, 1993). They also shared the same birthday August 16.
Frank Gifford died on August 9, 2015, from natural causes at their Greenwich, Connecticut, home at the age of 84.
In 2017, Kathie Lee Gifford released the song “He Saw Jesus”, co-written with songwriter Brett James, which she dedicated to her late husband. All proceeds from the song went to the international evangelical Christian humanitarian aid charity Samaritan’s Purse.
Following the death of her ex-husband, Frank, Kathie Lee began dating her current partner, Richard Spitz.
Who is Kathie Lee Gifford’s boyfriend Richard Spitz?
After years of being a widow, Kathie Lee Gifford found love with her current boyfriend, Richard Spitz.
Kathie and Richard’s love reportedly gained traction on February 21, 2023. At the time, it was alleged they had been dating for the past several months.
An insider shared: “Kathie Lee and Richard have been enjoying each other’s company for some time.”
“They’re often spotted out and about in the Nashville area. She seems smitten and takes him everywhere.”
“It’s surprising she’s kept the relationship under wraps for this long.”
What does Richard Spitz do for a living? Aside from being TV personality Kathie Lee’s new partner, Richard Spitz is a successful man of his own. He is a businessman and the director of Strong Force Innovation Portfolios.
He obtained his master’s degree from NYU School of Law and is a graduate of California State University, Northridge.
Who was Frank Gifford?
Frank Gifford (real name: Francis Newton Gifford) was an American football player, actor, and television sports commentator.
After a 12-year playing career as a halfback and flanker for the New York Giants of the National Football League, he was a play-by-play announcer and commentator for 27 years on ABC’s Monday Night Football.
He was born on August 16, 1930, in Santa Monica, California, United States.
He was also recognised as the spouse of TV host Kathie Lee.
Frank and Kathie Lee were both born on August 16, albeit 23 years apart. “Somebody asked me if the age difference between us bothered me and I said, ‘Absolutely! I just hope I can keep up with him,’ ” Kathie Lee said. The former sports broadcaster used to visit his wife’s shows so that they could celebrate together.
The couple wed on October 18, 1986, in Bridgehampton, New York. He was 53, she was 30. It was her second marriage and his third. “We didn’t fall in love. We really grew in love,” Kathie Lee said in an interview with Entertainment Tonight just before they tied the knot.
What happened to Frank Gifford?
On August 9, 2015, Kathie Lee’s husband Frank died from natural causes at the age of 84.
Frank was an NFL Hall of Famer and had suffered from symptoms associated with Chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). It is a degenerative disease in the brain, likely caused by repetitive head injuries.
The Today Show alum’s family initially said Frank died solely of natural causes but later tests revealed that CTE may have been a contributing factor.
His family donated his brain to science in the hopes that they would be able to help others suffering from the disease.
Frank Gifford is survived by Kathie Lee, their two children, and his three older children from his marriage to Maxine Avis Ewart.
Who is Paul Johnson?
Paul Johnson is a composer, arranger, producer, and publisher.
He made a name as the spouse of media personality, Kathie Lee Gifford.
They gained fame in Christian music, appearing on the covers of Christian magazines.
Kathie and her first husband, Paul, were married for seven years before they separated; from 1976 to 1983.
Who are Kathie Lee Gifford’s children?
Award-winning actress Kathie Lee Gifford is a proud mother, a title that has given her a “sense of purpose” and arguably, her biggest achievements in her entire life.
She has two children; a son named Cody Gifford and a daughter called Cassidy Gifford.
She shares all of her kids with her late husband Frank Gifford from her second marriage.
She became a first-time mom when she welcomed Cody in March 1990 with her late husband, Frank. Daughter Cassidy followed soon after in August 1993.
“You can’t even imagine how your life is going to change until it is actually changing right before your eyes,” she told Today in 2016. “If you’re not completely ready to have your entire life totally upended, don’t have a child.”
Also, in 2022 during an interview with Tamron Hall, she opened up on her candor as a parent. “I would go, ‘I have mastitis and my nipples are killing me,” she told Tamron Hall in 2022 about her time hosting Live With Regis and Kathie Lee. “Nobody ever talked about motherhood like that. It was the first time … I got a little graphic about it.”
All of her kids tied the knot in 2020 during COVID-19 and have flourished careers and have even started their own families – making the Today star a grandmother.