Hoda Kotb Praises Kathie Lee Gifford's Strength Following Husband Frank's Death

hoda kotb, Kathie Lee GiffordOur most heartfelt condolences go out to Kathie Lee Gifford: Former New York Giants running back and legendary sportscaster Frank Gifford passed away from natural causes in his Connecticut home Sunday at the age of 84 -- and even Gifford's cohost and pal Hoda Kotb is heartbroken


Kotb fought back tears this morning talking about Kathie Lee's remarkable strength in the face of such a tragic loss, and her emotional display serves as a testament to the power of friendship:

"She is remarkably strong, I'm in awe of her even today," said Hotb of her partner in morning TV crime.

“Kath said something to me yesterday,” she said.

“She said, ‘This is not a tragedy.’ I was holding her hand, and she said, ‘A 4-year-old girl having cancer is a tragedy. Frank lived to be almost 85.’ She said, ‘He lived an incredible life, has an incredible family, had an incredible legacy.’ She said, ‘His life is a triumph.’”

"Frank will be beloved by family and friends."

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Wow, I'm pretty much in awe of Kathie Lee's perspective, too. And awww, Hoda! You know somebody is truly a good friend when your pain is their pain, and it truly seems as if Kotb is taking Kathie Lee's loss pretty hard. Just look at the trio in happier times:

And Hoda's not the only friend who's showing her support right now -- Regis Philbin, Kathie Lee's longtime morning show cohost, released a statement Sunday night honoring the late Gifford.

"My wife [Joy Philbin] and I just had dinner last Saturday night with Frank and Kathie Lee at their lovely home in Connecticut," he told E! News. "He looked terrific. Handsome, smiling, laughing ... it was a great night. I've spent most of my life watching Frank. From the time he brought his Southern Cal team into Notre Dame stadium in 1949, I watched him through all those pro football years with the New York Giants and, of course, heard him with Don Meredith and Howard Cosell in calling football games that could never be duplicated again. That's how good they were. Kathie Lee and I were working together on our LIVE morning show when she started dating Frank. I always loved trying to get her to tell me about her new romance and it wasn't long before we were watching them take their vows in front of close friends in Southhampton."

"Frank had a great life and he and Kathie Lee raised two beautiful children," he said. "All of us will miss him terribly."

Even Frank and Kathie Lee's goddaughter, Kendall Jenner, took to Twitter to show some love:

So even though Kathie Lee is coping with one of the most heart-wrenching experiences any human being can go through right now, at least she has plenty of people who love her and will be there for her through this difficult time. And it's safe to say that Frank Gifford will be deeply missed!


Image via Ouzounova / Splash News

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