Kathie Lee Gifford
Loved and pilloried with equal fervor by the general public and the media throughout the many phases of her career, Kathie Lee Gifford was a singer and nightclub entertainer who rose to prominence in the late 1980s as the co-host of "Live with Regis and Kathie Lee" (WABC/syndicated, 1983- ). Her upbeat personality and frequent references to her husband, NFL star-turned-broadcaster Frank Gifford, and their two children, Cassidy and Cody, earned her the admiration of countless daytime television viewers - but more than a few brickbats from pundits and comics who found her stories and attitude unbearably saccharine and self-indulgent. The bubble burst on Gifford's rise to icon status with back-to-back allegations about sweatshop labor being used to create her clothing line, and her husband's affair with an airline stewardess. She beat a hasty retreat from the daily airwaves, but through it all, maintained a sunny presence on television series and live performances before returning to regular hosting duties on "The Today Show" (NBC, 1952- ) in 2008.