The Hollywood Walk of Fame just got a little bit more fabulous.
On Wednesday, Kathie Lee Gifford received her very own star on the iconic Hollywood Boulevard, and we couldn't be more proud.
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"Y'all picked well," Hoda said in a video message during the virtual ceremony. "Kathie Lee Gifford is so deserving of this star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. She is in a class all by herself. Kathie Lee is an original. I know because I got to sit next to her for 11 years.
"And I think the funny thing about Kath is we all knew her, I got to know her intimately, but everybody knew her, and it's because she lived her life in front of us. ... And I think that's why Kath touched so many people and still does to this day."
Kathie Lee also scored herself some prime real estate with special significance: Her star is located just five stars away from her “Live With Regis and Kathie Lee” co-host, Regis Philbin, who passed away in July 2020.
Wednesday morning, Kathie Lee shared a photo of herself proudly holding up a miniature version of her star.
Hoda replied to the photo post on Twitter, saying, "You have always been a star! Happy it's official today @KathieLGifford."
Kathie Lee thanked her longtime fans after receiving her star. "I don't see you, but I sense you with me, because you've been with me all these decades in this incredible industry, and you have rewarded me in so many ways with your faith in me, your prayers for me, your love for me. I look back on it in awe and wonder that God blessed me so much to be able to make my living doing what I love to do, which is what my daddy taught me. But more than that, that you all stayed with me through everything, every trial, every tribulation, every joyful moment as well.
"... So I want to thank you, all of you, for this amazing award. It means a lot to me. It really does. I'd kind of given up on ever getting this, I got to be honest. But here it is!"
Kathie Lee also joked, "And now people can walk all over me anytime that you want. ... By the way, if Betty White's watching, I'd like to have all the, all the opportunities that you say no to in my closing years in this business. Much love to all of you, and also to hold a woman who's watching as well, and to Craig and to Dolly, who sent their tributes."
In her congratulatory message to Kathie Lee, Hoda highlighted how special her former co-host is. "She is in a class all by herself," she continued. "And here's what makes Kathie Lee different from everybody else. She does everything on her terms, her joy is non-negotiable. She does everything on her terms. She speaks her heart and her truth. She lives her faith. Nobody, and I mean nobody tells Kathie Lee what to do and that's why she's so wildly successful, because she's an American original.
"And now for the rest of eternity, Kathie Lee will live in that star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and when someone walks by, they're going to tell a story about Kath ... they're going to talk about her forever. Our kids will talk about her. My kids will, and our kids' kids. So Kath, I just want to say no one is more deserving of this star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame than you. You changed so many people's lives, but in particular, you changed mine. And I love you for it."
It's been almost two years since Kathie Lee learned that she would be receiving her own star. At the time, Hoda congratulated her friend on Instagram: "Yessssssss!!! My girl will soon get her star on the Hollywood walk of fame!!!! Congrats @kathielgifford."
This is the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce's 2,695th Walk of Fame star, and Hollywood Walk of Fame producer Ana Martinez expressed her excitement over the selection in an online statement: “The Hollywood Chamber of Commerce is thrilled to be honoring America’s Sweetheart Kathie Lee Gifford with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame."
Kathie Lee's star will be in good company as she joins a growing list of public figures who have received their own stars in recent years. In 2019, "Frozen" co-stars Idina Menzel and Kristen Bell marked their big moment with a joint ceremony.
The same year, Rita Wilson celebrated her Walk of Fame star with her husband, Tom Hanks, and longtime friend Julia Roberts. Jennifer Garner was also surrounded by loved ones on her special day, and brought her three children for the ceremony.