Kathie Lee Gifford doesn’t miss TV, life in big city: ‘My soul was dying’

Kathie Lee Gifford will always be a country girl at heart.

The former “Live! With Regis and Kathie Lee” host, 69, said she felt like her “soul was dying” when she was living in the New York area during her years working on the show.

Gifford currently lives in suburban Nashville, where she said “they let you worship the way you want to worship and vote the way you want to vote.”

“There’s a culture of kindness here in the South. It’s just extraordinary,” she told Fox News recently. “And I needed it. I needed it.” 

Gifford is also not too keen on returning to daytime television, adding that she doesn’t miss it.

“Not for one second,” she replied when asked if she would ever be on air again.

The chat-show emcee went on: “My soul was dying a slow death in the Northeast for the last 20 years or so, watching the culture change as much as it has and not just in New York, but LA, Seattle, beautiful San Francisco, some of these huge, beautiful cities. I don’t even recognize them anymore.”

Gifford co-hosted the nationally syndicated talk show with the late Regis Philbin from 1985 to 2000, filming in New York City.

Gifford hosted “Live!” with Regis Philbin from 1988 until 2000.
NBC Newswire/NBCUniversal via Getty

“There’s a lot of beautiful suburbs [in the Nashville area],” the mother of two said. “I wouldn’t want to live in the city. It’s just not my thing.”

Gifford had lived in Greenwich for more than a decade, raising her two children, Cody and Cassidy.

She had lodged there with her husband, NFL legend Frank Gifford, until his death in August 2015.

She also noted how she jet-sets off to cities when needed, but she likes to “live in the suburbs where church bells ring and people let you be who you are.”

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - AUGUST 30: Kathie Lee Gifford visits "FOX & Friends" at Fox News Channel Studios on August 30, 2022 in New York City. (Photo by Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images)
Gifford was married to Frank Gifford from 1986 until his death in 2015.
Getty Images

The “Today” show alum continued: “And they let you worship the way you want to worship and vote the way you want to vote. And they, you know, they just let you be.” 

In November 2019, Gifford told the Tennessean that she moved to the state “because I was dying of loneliness.” She moved there in 2018.

Following her husband’s death and her children moving out of the house, Gifford believe that her old home in Greenwich didn’t feel safe anymore and she felt alone.

“That huge, beautiful memory-filled home was like a morgue to me,” she said. “Here’s the bad news — I’m a widow, an orphan and an empty nester. The good news is, I have the freedom of a widow, an orphan and an empty nester.”

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