The perky former co-host with Regis Philbin of Live with Regis and Kathie Lee was born in Paris (tres chic!) in 1953 and raised in Bowie, MD (less chic). Her parents were Joan Cuttell, a singer, and Aaron Epstein, a musician and former U.S. Navy officer. Gifford began singing in high school. She attended Oral Roberts University and studied drama and music.
Her career began in the 1970s when she was a vocalist on the show Name That Tune!. After divorcing her first husband in 1983, she married her second, sports commentator Frank Gifford (who is about 20 years her senior), in 1986. They have two children together. By that time she was a TV fixture and full-blown morning show personality, having replaced Ann Abernathy in 1985 as co-host of The Morning Show with Regis. In 1988 the show began to broadcast nationally as Live with Regis and Kathie Lee. She was a household face and name throughout the 1990s, when scandal broke in 1996 that her Kathie Lee Wal-Mart clothing line was utilizing sweatshop labor. To her credit, Gifford claimed she had no idea this was going on, and got the Feds on the case.
In 2008 Gifford returned to TV after an eight-year hiatus to boozily co-host the fourth hour of Today alongside Hoda Kotb.
She's since been hilarious lampooned by Kristen Wiig on SNL.
Fun fact: In high school she dated Micahel Bray, who would go on to bomb abortion clinics in acts of extreme "pro-lifeness." He was later convicted for acts of terrorism.
More fun facts: Gifford is a born-again Christian, despite having been raised Jewish and being half-Native American. Even better, her brother is an evangelical Baptist preacher. Oy vey!
[Image via Getty]