The career of Kathie Lee Gifford has been both lengthy and fruitful. The native of France made a name for herself as a broadcaster on The Morning Show alongside her now-deceased co-anchor Regis Philbin. She also started working on various other media initiatives and published children’s books.
The public was interested in Gifford’s personal life in addition to her professional endeavors. She was married twice, the second time to Frank Gifford, who she was with until his death in 2015.
Gifford, 68, was previously wed to Paul Johnson, a composer and publisher of Christian music. When Kathie was 22, the pair were married, but their union failed. In actuality, Gifford sobbed on her wedding night.
What actually happened, then?
You now know everything there is to know about Kathie Lee Gifford’s two marriages and her current romantic partner.
In Paris, France, on August 16, 1953, Kathie Lee Gifford was born. Her mother was a former military secretary, and her father was a working US naval officer who played jazz saxophone on the weekends. She had switched careers and was now a vocalist on radio.
Kathie Lee Gifford – early life
Kathie and her siblings moved around a lot because their father was stationed in different European nations. They were born and raised in France, but in 1957 the family returned to America and settled in Bowie, Maryland.
Katie Lee Gifford has long been a devout Christian. The majority of Kathie’s upbringing was Jewish; one of her grandparents was Jewish. But she visited a Methodist church in Bowie, and when she was twelve, The Restless Ones, a Christian movie, converted her to Christianity.
“For most of my childhood, my family honored God in a general sense but didn’t know him personally. We were culturally Jewish on my father’s side and culturally Christian on my mother’s side. But our faith—and indeed everything about our lives—began to change one night when I was 12,” she mentioned.
“I came home to see my mother and sister in our living room, sobbing in front of the television. A couple years prior, President Kennedy had been assassinated, so I walked in thinking, ‘what cataclysmic event has happened this time.’ But I discovered that my mother and sister had been watching one of Billy Graham’s televised crusades. That night they both came to Christ.”
Kathie Lee Gifford has had the desire to act and sing since she was a small child. At the age of 17, Gifford won her state’s Junior Miss Pageant, and because she believed that God was with her “at every twist and turn,” she experienced her first taste of fame.
Discovered at a beauty contest
She traveled to Alabama to compete on behalf of Maryland in the national competition, and it was there that a chance encounter altered the trajectory of her life.
Gifford met Anita Bryant, a Christian singer who served as the pageant’s co-host, in Mobile, Alabama. She decided to extend an invitation for Kathie Lee to move in with Anita and her husband in Florida since she thought the singer had a lot of promise. Gifford accepted their invitation and babysat their child in addition to occasionally working as a singer in Southern Baptist churches and doing Anita’s administrative tasks.
“Anita invited me to live with her and her family in Miami,” Gifford explained. “She and her husband wanted to pour what they knew into someone, and they felt that in the 10 years they’d been looking that I was the one.”
However, she added that when being with Anita, her voice started to change.
“My voice started sounding like Anita’s,” Gifford added. “Her voice is immediately recognizable, and I’d hear myself sing, and I’d say, ‘That sounds just like her!’”
After a year, Anita made the decision to separate from her spouse after discovering that their union was merely a front for their respective careers. Her complete scholarship at the Evangelical Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, Oklahoma, had been secured at that point with Anita’s assistance. She was a member of Roberts’ Global Action Singers and sang gospel there as well.
Gifford performed her debut television song in Burbank, California, on Oral Roberts’ television program in 1972. She thereafter traveled to Southern US locations to take part in revival services.
Kathie Lee Gifford cried on her wedding night
But Kathie Lee Gifford didn’t like Oral Roberts’ school. She soon came to believe that he was manipulating her and others, and during her junior year of college she made the decision to leave.
Her focus, though, was on breaking into Hollywood rather than returning to her hometown. She met her first husband, Paul Johnson, a year later after desperately looking for employment as an extra and the vocalist on the television show I Believe in Miracle. He oversaw her bible study group.
Paul and Kathie Lee were wed in 1976. Gifford referred to herself as “the Last Hollywood Virgin” and was still virgin.ie Lee and Paul got married. Gifford was still a virgin, and she called herself “the Last Hollywood Virgin.”
But, at 22, when she got married, she was eager to change it, and the instant attraction the Paul was a crucial ingredient in that.
Gifford was convinced that Paul was “the ultimate Christian catch.” However, on their wedding night in Acapulco, Mexico, she learned that she had been wrong all the time.
“It was, like, YABBA-DABBA-DOO! I lost every inhibition I’d ever had. It was time for candles and romance, time to boogie and swing from the chandeliers. And yet we just couldn’t seem to get relaxed with each other,” Kathie Lee Gifford wrote in People Magazine in 1992.
The talented singer spent the entire wedding night crying her eyes out. Already at that point, she knew that it was a mistake. It took years before Paul and Kathie Lee divorced in 1983, seven years after marrying.
“Awful” marriage to Paul Johnson
“[The marriage] was a real disappointment to me, as I know it was for Paul. We all want to love and be loved, and when it doesn’t happen, it’s devastating.”
The fact that “we preserved ourselves for so long and expected it to be so good because we had done it [right]” was one of the toughest things to face, she continued.
The married pair never managed to have a satisfying sexual relationship since they were unable to make anything work at all.
“It was not passionate, and it was not successful, but it was polite,” she added.
Years later, in 2000, Kathie Lee Gifford further spoke about her first marriage to Paul Johnson, explaining that he was the one leaving her.
“I wouldn’t even call him a husband. Awful. Horrible,” she mentions “[I got married] because I thought I was in love, and he thought he was, too. It was a stage, it happened. It’s over. God bless him. I’m just so glad I don’t have to do it again.”
Kathie Lee Gifford continued on her life’s journey, and she did very well for herself.
Kathie Lee Gifford – marriage to Frank Gifford
She co-hosted The Morning Show with Regis Philbin, which later was renamed Live with Regis and Kathie Lee, from 1985 to 2000. Then, she decided to leave the show to host the fourth hour of NBC’s Today, which she left in 2018.
She stated that one of the main reasons for leaving was her beloved second husband Frank Gifford’s passing in 2015, which influenced her decision.
“After my husband passed, you really realize that you’re gonna run out of time,” Gifford said in a statement.
In 2020, Kathie Lee suffered another tough loss as her former colleague Regis Philbin passed away at age 88. Gifford took to Instagram to honor her former friend and colleague.
“There are no words to fully express the love I have for my precious friend, Regis. I simply adored him, and every day with him was a gift,” she wrote. “We spent 15 years together bantering and bickering and laughing ourselves silly—a tradition and a friendship we shared up to this very day.”
“There has never been anyone like him. And there never will be.”
Gifford left the spotlight four years after her husband, Frank, passed away in 2015. Unlike her first marriage, the union with Frank was a true love story, with the couple spending 29 years married.
Frank Gifford’s passing in 2015
While doing a segment on Good Morning America, Kathie Lee Gifford met Frank, and the two fell in love with each other. In 1986, the couple married. They welcomed two children, Cody in 1990, and Cassidy in 1993.
“Our almost 30-year marriage was a real love affair and a true marriage in every sense of the word, so God redeemed,” Gifford said.
In 1997, however, the couple went through a very rough patch as Frank – a former football player – cheated on Kathie Lee.
Even though she explained it as “absolutely devastating,” the television host said that despite the contemplated divorce, she decided to forgive him.
“We were able to turn it around. It was the right thing for my life to forgive my husband. And then work at forgetting,” Gifford explained.
In 2015, tragedy struck. Frank had battled with chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a degenerative brain disease that can result in athletes due to repeated blows to the head for years. Just weeks before his 85th birthday, he passed away,
“He was a very good, dear, gentle, generous man,” Kathie Lee said of Frank. “So many things about him that I valued as my friend, I continued to value in him as my husband and the father of my children. But the person you loved the most in your life is the person that can hurt you the most.”
Since 2018, Kathie has been living outside Franklin, Tennessee. Even though she isn’t a TV presenter anymore since her exit from NBC’s Today in 2020, Kathie still has plenty of things to do.
Spending time with friends and still working, Kathie feels better than ever.
“You know what? I feel so good, I feel strong, healthy, and renewed inside. I feel thirty years old truly,” Gifford said in late September.
In the span of three months, she had the fantastic opportunity to see both her children get married. Kathie Lee Gifford’s daughter Cassidy, 27, married partner Wierda, while her son Cody, 30, walked down the aisle with Erika.
And even though her late husband Frank Gifford wasn’t in attendance, Kathie says his spirit was definitely there.
Following the passing of her beloved husband Frank, Gifford wasn’t in the mood for dating. However, in November 2019, she revealed that she had gone out on several dates. Then, one night – when she was out with some friends at a club to hear a band play – one man caught her attention.
This is Kathie Lee Gifford’s boyfriend Randy Cronk
“I went to hear them, and this sweet guy asked me to dance, and so I said, ‘OK.,’ And then he just disappeared into the crowd,” Kathie Lee Gifford recalled. “Then, you know, a couple weeks later, same band — Tim Akers & the Smoking Section — so we danced again. And then we just went out a couple times. It was fun because I hadn’t been on a date in 33 years.”
We don’t know if Randy Cronk was the individual in question. But as of right now, Kathie Lee Gronk has discovered love once more in Randy.
In April of last year, while appearing on the Today Show, she spoke about her boyfriend being very “nice, and fun, and healthy.”
“I’ve just found somebody that is so much fun to be with,” Kathie Lee Gifford added. “He is the smartest person I’ve ever met, and he is funny too.”
Kathie Lee Gifford – no makeup photo, net worth
It appears that Cincinnati, Ohio native Randy Cronk works as an insurance agent. He serves as RMC Insurance Group LLC’s president and insurance broker. The website also states that Frank currently calls Spring Hill, Tennessee, his home.
For years, Kathie Lee Gifford has maintained a stunning appearance and has certainly aged gracefully. The now-68-year-old was seen in New York City looking fresh-faced and we can’t help but beaming at her!
According to current estimates, Kathie Lee’s net worth is about $60 million.
We are so happy that Kathie Lee Gifford has found true love once again. Please, share this article on Facebook with friends and family if you are delighted for her!