How Kelly Ripa and Kathie Lee Gifford really stand for each other

Kathie Lee Gifford shocked audiences in 2000 when she announced she was resigning from the daytime show Live With Regis and Kathie Lee. The show’s first iteration – originally titled “The Morning Show” – began national syndication under its new name in 1988, with Regis Philbin and Gifford at the helm. After more than a decade with the show, Gifford left the popular talk show to pursue other creative interests. “It’s been a great 15 years in so many ways. It opened so many doors,” Gifford said (via Newsweek). “I’m bored of everything except host chat. I never tire of being with Regis. We’ve been through so much together… He knows I adore him.”

In February 2001, the network announced that soap opera star Kelly Ripa would replace Gifford on “Live.” Following her appointment, the All My Children star gushed about her predecessor in an interview with Entertainment Weekly. “I don’t think she can be replaced,” Ripa said. “She’s a singer and dancer, and she’s beautiful.”

And while publications like the Washington Post once dubbed Ripa a “Kathie Lee Gifford lookalike,” there haven’t been any bad feelings between the pair — until now.

Kathie Lee Gifford is no longer a fan of Kelly Ripa

Kathie Lee Gifford and Kelly Ripa have spoken highly of each other over the years. In 2001, Gifford revealed her feelings towards her daytime TV substitute, sharing admiring remarks about the former soap opera star. “I was impressed with her. I think she has the right combination of glitz and sass,” Gifford told the New York Times. Ripa also shared touching feelings about Gifford. “She is very influential in my life. I’ve seen her do it all – a working mom. She was a huge influence on me,” Ripa told People in 2008 (via Us Weekly).

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These days, however, Gifford seems to view her “live” replacement differently. In her new book, Live Wire: Long-Winded Short Stories, Ripa opens up about her complicated relationship with her late co-host Regis Philbin, which she says has been full of “good days and bad.” “I don’t want to feel like I’m spanking anyone or being disrespectful,” she told People. “But I also want people to know that it wasn’t a cakewalk.”

Following Ripa’s claims, Giiford spoke about her own experience hosting alongside Philbin. In an Oct. 10 interview on Good Day New York, Gifford said she was saddened by Ripa’s comments and seemingly shadowed the former actor’s upcoming book. “I won’t read the book. I did not read it. I don’t even know if it’s out yet,” she said.

Kathie Lee Gifford and Regis Philbin were friends to the end

Regis Philbin died in 2020 at the age of 88. After his death, Kathie Lee Gifford spoke about their friendship, which she described as “a gift from God.” “It was a sweet gift from God that He blessed this friendship at the very end, too,” Gifford said during an appearance on The Talk. “No one has ever been like him, and there will never be another like him.” Gifford went on to reveal that the beloved television personality was depressed in the weeks leading up to his death due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the recent death of a close friend.

And while Kelly Ripa has since made less than positive comments about Philbin, she also expressed her gratitude to the channel following his death. During an episode of Live, Ripa addressed Philbin’s death, saying (via Instagram), “As people get older, you always know that certain things are inevitable, and dying is one of those things, but Regis is one of those people that.” we all believed that somehow we would find a way around the inevitable.”

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