Gone but never forgotten. Kathie Lee Gifford paid tribute to her late husband, Frank Gifford, and honored her kids during a heartfelt speech at the 41st annual Gracie Awards in Beverly Hills on Tuesday, May 24.
At the ceremony, which honors women in media, Kathie Lee, 62, was awarded for her contributions to film and television. In her acceptance speech, the TV personality got emotional as she acknowledged her longtime love and their two children, son Cody, 26, and daughter Cassidy, 22.
“They are the greatest expression of the love that I shared for 29 years with the greatest man I’ve ever known, my husband Frank,” the tearful Today show host said, as she held her statuette up to the sky. “Thanks. This is for you, honey. You make me laugh. God bless you all.”
Prior to the show, Kathie Lee spoke with Us Weekly exclusively about finding joy in life after her hubby died of natural causes at age 84 in August 2015.
“My joy is nonnegotiable,” she told Us. “It doesn’t matter how much success you have in life, if you’re not a joyful person, if you’re not happy, it’s not worth the price you pay. That’s it in a nutshell.”
Back in August, Kathie Lee spoke at length about her relationship with Frank when she made a return to the Today show one week after he died.
“He passed away instantly that morning, all dressed in what he knew was my favorite outfit — white shirt, very tight black jeans — having his coffee, watching his TV, getting ready to go, ready for church, and excited about what we were gonna have for lunch,” she explained of the famed sportscaster and former New York Giants player. “I’m grateful the Lord took him that way. Because the only thing Frank was ever afraid of in his entire life was being a burden to those he loved.”
“I just want everyone to know this was a man at complete peace in his life,” she continued at the time. “He might have been the happiest, most contented person in the world at this point in his life. … Honestly, he’s the most grateful human being I’ve ever known in my life. And that colored everything he did.”
Kathie Lee and her husband married in 1986. The athlete also had three children from his first marriage, to Maxine Avis.
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