Kathie Lee Calls It Quits

On February 29, 2000, Kathie Lee Gifford announced that she was quitting her fourteen-year stint as co-host of the popular morning talk show, Live with Regis and Kathie Lee. The show, which catapulted Kathie Lee to fame and fortune, is the centerpiece of her successful and varied career. Finding a replacement for the vivacious Kathie Lee will be no small task, since she and co-host Regis Philbin seem to be as natural a coupling as peas and carrots.

Kathie Lee, like Regis, is one of those celebrities that you either love or hate. Her life and all of its elements have been the fodder of the tabloid press, who seemed to delight in her difficulties. One of the reasons she gave for retiring from the morning gabfest is that she wanted to protect her children from the cruel and punishing treatment of the press. But, her critics argue, it is she who talks about them incessantly—often to the seeming annoyance of Regis and Michael Gelman, Live’s producer—thereby making the Gifford children fair game.

Is the press mean and unfair to Kathie Lee, or are they just reflecting our collective jealousy of this woman who seems to have it all—talent, good looks, popularity, fame, money and a loving family? Maybe we derive some secret, perverse pleasure out of hearing that our best-loved celebrities are merely human after all. Perhaps, it is somehow comforting for ordinary folk to know that the beautiful Kathie Lee had a husband that could be tempted to cheat on her too or, that she, a champion of children’s rights and welfare, profited unwittingly from the sweatshop labors of little children in third world countries. And, when she stands by her man and works out the problems in her marriage or becomes a one-woman crusade for fair labor practices for all the world’s children, we fall in love with her all over again.

Sun in Leo: Shining Personality

Kathie Lee, born on August 16, 1953, at 11:30 pm in Neuilly-Sur-Seine, France, has her Sun in Leo. Leos radiate so much warmth that others can’t help but want to bask in their presence, and Kathie Lee’s sunny smile has become a favorite of morning TV fans. Those with Sun in Leo enjoy the spotlight and are natural performers who crave the love and acceptance of an adoring audience. A noted philanthropist, Kathie Lee, along with her husband, sportscaster Frank Gifford (also a Leo born on August 16), established Cody House and Cassidy’s Place, which are facilities for HIV-positive and crack-addicted babies. This kind of generosity and devotion to children is typical of Leos.

Just as the Sun is the center of our solar system, Leos are often the center of their personal universes. Those around them will look to them for leadership and guidance. While it is clear that her children are the center of her life, it is also evident that she is the center of theirs. Symbolized by the lion, you can usually spot a Leo by their beautiful manes, and Kathie Lee is no exception. Her hair is often a topic of conversation during Live’s host chat segments. And, Kathie Lee’s desire to protect her children from the scrutiny of the press is not unlike that of a lioness protecting her cubs. Like her royal counterpart in the jungle, Kathie Lee is a fiercely proud woman who is devoted and loyal to her family.

Gemini Rising: Jack of All Trades

Kathie Lee’s ascendant is in the versatile sign of Gemini. Given this, instead of being surprised that she is quitting a lucrative job, you have to wonder what took her so long to leave the Live show. Those with Gemini rising are naturally witty and talkative, perfect for the talk show venue. Linked to Mercury, the planet of communication, they seem to be able to converse brilliantly on any topic. Just don’t take them too deep. It is not that they lack the intelligence to delve into subjects, just the ability to stick to it. They bore easily and so must be constantly stimulated with new subjects or be in jobs that are endlessly varied. They are the sort of individuals that can, or at least will try to, talk on the phone, knit, watch TV and eat dinner all at once.

Kathie Lee is an accomplished singer and songwriter with a number of albums under her belt. After all, her first big show-business break was as the featured singer on the Name That Tune quiz show. You can add nightclub entertainer to her resume, and don’t forget her lucrative and busy career as a commercial spokesperson for Carnival Cruise Line, Ultra SlimFast and Revlon. She is a savvy businesswoman with her own line of clothing for Wal-Mart. And, she is the author of an autobiography and a children’s book, as well as starring in her own fitness video. Together with son Cody, she recently appeared in a made for TV movie for Disney. As if all this wasn’t enough, this past year she conquered Broadway to surprising critical acclaim by substituting for Carol Burnett in Stephen Sondheim’s Putting It All Together. Kathie Lee has put her talents all together to fashion herself into a one-woman entertainment conglomerate.

A Connection to Pluto: Profound and Passionate

There is an intensity about Kathie Lee that is easily explained by the conjunction of Sun and Pluto in her chart, and the fact that she has the Moon in Scorpio, the sign associated with Pluto. If you go beyond the exterior fluff, you come to realize that she has a wellspring of emotional depth and caring. She seems to possess a burning desire to transform those feelings into her creative work as a performer and into her charitable work to help the world’s children. Transformation is the ultimate goal of the strong Plutonian type—how can I use what I have to change myself, to change a situation, to change the world? In Kathie Lee’s case, the world was witness to this process in action in the way that she handled the revelation that her clothing line for Wal-Mart was being produced by child laborers.

A New Beginning

The desire for a career change may be associated with the eclipse patterns of the last year or so, which activated the parts of Kathie Lee’s chart that have to do with career and family. Striking a balance is difficult for most women today, and Kathie Lee seems to be no exception. She cited a need to spend more time with her family as a key reason for leaving the Live show. With her husband and children all getting older, there is no time like the present to cherish every minute. And the grueling schedule that a live morning talk show demands does not leave much time for other endeavors. Her recent forays into Broadway and television acting must have whet her appetite for more career challenges. Though her fans are certain to miss seeing her on a daily basis, to be sure, they have not seen the end of Kathie Lee Gifford. In all likelihood, it is only the beginning.

Originally Published on StarIQ.com