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July 26, 2000
Laurels for Kathie Lee to rest on
By ROGER ANDERSON Scripps Howard News Service
The buildup to the millennium was nothing compared to the furor surrounding the last days of Kathie Lee Gifford's tenure as cohost of "LIVE with Regis & Kathie Lee." Galas on every continent replete with fireworks, ballroom dancing and UFO landings will put the measly Y2K celebrations in the shade as Kathie Lee makes her last regular "LIVE” appearance Friday.
Yet amid the mixed jubilation and sorrow attending her retirement from the syndicated limelight, some of Kathie Lee's most significant milestones and accomplishments have been all but forgotten. Herewith a chronology.
1953: Kathie Lee is born.
1967: Kathie Lee performs in a folk combo called Pennsylvania Next Right.
1970: Kathie Lee wins Miss Maryland beauty contest.
1973: Kathie Lee does undercover diplomacy work for Henry Kissinger negotiating truce in Vietnam.
1974: Kathie Lee frozen in Swiss Alpine glacier.
1987: Kathie Lee rescued from glacier by a troop of mountain climbing garment workers.
1988: "LIVE with Regis & Kathie Lee” premieres in syndication.
1989: In a "LIVE" appearance, Shirley MacLaine reveals that in a previous life Kathie Lee was named Curie and discovered radium.
1990: Kathie Lee completes Schubert's "Unfinished" Symphony, scoring it for accordion and glass harmonica. Completed work receives its New York Philharmonic premiere on "LIVE," with Regis Philbin conducting.
1991: Kathie Lee reveals personal makeup secrets, including use of blowtorch on cheekbones to get that caffeine-overdose "blush" look.
1992: Kathie Lee turns down draft from Republican National Convention to head up presidential ticket.
1993: Kathie Lee portrays Susan B. Anthony in biopic directed by Francis Ford Coppola, narrowly missing out on Academy Award nomination when evil distributors route the film directly to video.
1994: Kathie Lee's husband, Frank Gifford, implicated in Nancy Kerrigan attack, later pleads nolo contendere and changes name to Gilhooley.
1995: Kathie Lee and Regis plan historical re-creation of Bonnie and Clyde's bankrobbing career; project nixed by "LIVE" insurance underwriters.
1996: On June 16, Kathie Lee reads James Joyce's "Ulysses" in its entirety on the air in commemoration of "Bloomsday."
1997: Kathie Lee stages "grudge" on-air mud-wrestling match with Diane Sawyer, Joan Lunden, Connie Chung and Barbara Walters, winning easily.
1998: Kathie Lee's work with SETI project results in Earth's first contact with space aliens, all of whom are dead ringers for "LIVE" producer Michael Gelman.
1999: Kathie Lee receives on-air treatment for bladder infection.
2000: World peace just around the corner. Kathie Lee given most of the credit.
Roger Anderson is arts and entertainment editor at Scripps Howard News
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