Hoda Kotb is sending sweet birthday wishes to longtime friend Kathie Lee Gifford. The TODAY anchor marked her former co-host's 67th birthday with a loving tribute on social media, even honoring her late husband, Frank Gifford, who shared the same birthday as his wife before dying in 2015. Sharing a series of photos with her friend from over the years, including their 11 years as co-hosts on TODAY, Kotb wrote a heartfelt message to Gifford.
"[Kathie Lee Gifford] its your bday... and I know you are laughing (in fact I am sure cuz I just hung up with you) .. I miss you..," Kotb wrote in the caption. "I am sure frank is in heaven blowing out his candles too xo." Sharing the post on Twitter, Gifford replied, "Adore you, HODA MAMA!!"
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Gifford also shared a Bible verse with her followers, writing, "I will sing unto the LORD, for He has dealt bountifully with me. Psalm 13:6 LORD, I am so grateful for Your faithfulness in all things." Earlier this month, Gifford penned a similarly loving birthday tribute to Kotb, who celebrated 56 years on Aug. 9. Sharing a laughing photo of the pair, Gifford wrote, "Love and blessings to my 'sunshine in a bottle,' [Hoda Kotb]!!" she wrote.
Gifford and Kotb have long spoken about the bond they formed as co-hosts on TODAY before Gifford announced she was stepping down from the morning show. "God brought Hoda into my life for all kinds of different reasons," Gifford said during her emotional on-air farewell last year. "I was supposed to learn from her. She was supposed to learn from me. We were supposed to share life together."
"I never dreamed that I could get another best type of friend at my age — with already so many people taking up the pie," she added. "And I realized that the heart is not a pie that can be divvied up into just so many slices. The heart expands. It just gets bigger and makes more room for people in it. She just fills such a huge part of my heart now. And always will."
As for Kotb, she said during her farewell that Gifford "totally jumped into my life in a way that I had never experienced before." The anchor continued, "She stepped into it, and I was transfixed by her when we met. I don't know if you've ever had that chemistry where you connect with someone like that. I had it, and it was a feeling I'd never had before — that kind of intensity."