Kathie Lee Gifford Quits 'Today' Show After 11 Years To Pursue Film Career At 65

Kathie Lee Gifford Quits 'Today' Show After 11 Years To Pursue Film Career At 65

Kathy Lee Gifford is one of television's most recognized faces. She sat with Jimmy Fallon, and explained her decision to leave 'Today'.

Kathie Lee Gifford has been the co-anchor for the Today morning show for years. She is one of the most recognized faces and is why people tune into her morning show. The longtime co-anchor recently announced that she has finally decided to call it quits and move on to something else reports The Hollywood Reporter. She spoke about the reasons behind her decision on the The Tonight Show with host Jimmy FallonGifford mentioned that she gave her notice two years ago. The fans of the show are going to miss her a lot more than they could have imagined. However, she feels like the time has finally come and there is no better time for her to leave the show than now. 

While on the talk show with Jimmy Fallon, Gifford mentioned that her husband's death in 2015 played an important role in her decision to leave the NBC morning show. She said, "After my husband passed, you really realize that you're gonna run out of time. He didn't know that morning he was running out of time. And then my mom passed, as well." She continued, "I realized just recently that I'm in a state where I never dreamed I'd be. I'm a widow, I'm an orphan and I'm an empty nester and that just hit me like a ton of bricks. For the first time in my life, I have the time and the means to go and do anything I want to do."


She further mentioned that she had always dreamed of being a movie star. Right from a very young age, she wanted to be seen on the big screen. In fact, when she was a girl she even wrote a letter to Walt Disney that read, "I know you love Annette Funicello. I know you love Hayley Mills, but you really need to meet me."



Gifford said that Disney replied to her mail. When she received a letter from Disney she was over the moon but years later found out that it was a generic note. "That's always been that dream in me to do movies, so I wrote a movie last year. We're looking for the right distributor right now," she said about the project, which she wrote for her friend Craig Ferguson. "We shot it in Scotland. We want to do four more based on the same characters."  What's more, is that she made her debut as a director with her first short film. This is in addition to writing and acting.


"I'm just having the time of my life," she said. "I don't want to be the one using my senior discount to go see a movie. I want to make the movie that the seniors are using their discount to come and see." Gifford has spent over a decade as the co-host of the NBC morning show. However, all good things come to an end. Gifford signed off for good on Friday. 
Gifford also spoke about her chemistry with co-anchor Hoda Kotb. She said that while the two are now able to talk about anything, although their connection "took a while."



It was Jim Bell, the show's producer, that persuaded Gifford to meet Kotb for lunch before they began to work together.  She said, "We had a lovely five-hour lunch. They made us leave the Rainbow Room because they were getting ready for dinner." She admitted that the lunch went really well but she was still hesitant to return to television after the success of Live With Regis and Kathie Lee. "So I came for a year. I fell in love with my Egyptian goddess and then I stayed another year because I was starting to fall in love with the people over there. They're just so amazing," she said.


She further added, "And it's 11 years later. It's literally time. I have so many things that I'm working on." Gifford also revealed that when she first relocated to Nashville she co-wrote the music for the film Then You Came. She felt like she got a very well deserved break from New York. "I was there during the election. Nobody was even talking about it," she said about the city in Tennessee. "It's just become so mean-spirited, this part of our country. I don't understand why we can't talk to one another anymore respectfully and with decency and care."




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