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  • Writer's pictureThomas Bonifield

Kathie Lee Gifford Escaped Crippling Loneliness

Updated: Jan 28, 2020

The Christian screenwriter, actress and singer explains her move from New England to Nashville.

Kathie Lee Gifford (right) on the "Today" show with Hoda Kotb (far left) and Jenna Bush Hager. Image: "Today"/NBC.

Kathie Lee Gifford dropped by her old stomping grounds at NBC's Today show in Midtown Manhattan this morning for an on-air visit with former co-host Hoda Kotb and Jenna Bush Hager, the woman who took over for Gifford when she stepped away from the program last year.

Kathie Lee's departure ended an 11-year run on the show's fourth hour. The 66-year-old Believer not only left the program, but pulled up stakes from her home in Connecticut and moved to Nashville, where she's been writing, directing, acting and making music since then.

A question from Hager this morning prompted Gifford to explain the rationale for the relocation. Kathie Lee says she was in need of a fresh start after her husband Frank Gifford died and their two adult children moved away, revealing that her feelings of loneliness were profound and were being heightened by being in that Connecticut house, the same house she and her family had all shared together for so many years.

"Then it came to feel like a mortuary with me just there alone. And I said I need to make a new life for myself or this one’s gonna kill me. The loneliness was crippling. It was crippling."

Gifford added she wanted to find a place where there "is life in abundance" and settled on Nashville, where she has started making some new memories with new friends and fellow celebrities from the city's music scene. She's also gotten the creative juices flowing, having written and directed a music video with Christian singer Nicole C. Mullen and been in another Hallmark Christmas movie based on the Godwink books from Christian authors Squire Rushnell and Louise Duart.

And what's on tap for this year? Aside from more creative endeavors, Gifford is planning on attending three weddings, because her son, Cody, daughter, Cassidy and Today show friend, Hoda Kotb, are all planning to tie the knot in 2020! If you'd like to check out the entire segment from this morning with Kathie Lee, click this link to Today.


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