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Kathie Lee Gifford reflects ahead of final 'Today' episode

By
Annie Martin
Kathie Lee Gifford took a trip down memory lane with Hoda Kotb ahead of her exit from Today. File Photo by Laura Cavanaugh/UPI
Kathie Lee Gifford took a trip down memory lane with Hoda Kotb ahead of her exit from "Today." File Photo by Laura Cavanaugh/UPI | License Photo

April 4 (UPI) -- Kathie Lee Gifford is looking back as she says goodbye to Today.

The 65-year-old television personality took a trip down memory lane with co-hosts Hoda Kotb, Savannah Guthrie, Al Roker, Craig Melvin and Carson Daly on Thursday ahead of her final episode of the show.

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"You've been by my side for 11 years as my co-host, my dear friend. You made every single morning so much brighter, not just for me but for everybody here at this table," Kotb said while introducing a retrospective video.

Gifford said she feels at peace with her decision to leave Today after 11 years as co-host.

"It could be an anxiety-ridden time but it isn't," the star said. "I knew it was the right decision, and the way that everyone's dealt with it -- so graciously. Usually you have to die before people say such nice things about you."

Gifford and Kotb recreated their very first episode by wearing the same yellow and red coats in the Today plaza. Today renamed the plaza the Kathie Lee Gifford Plaza in honor of Gifford.

"I am so grateful to everybody that's watched us throughout the years. So grateful for our crew and all the people that work here. I've been in this business 180 years and I've never worked with a greater group of human beings in my life," Gifford said.

Gifford confirmed plans to pursue a film career following her exit from the show. She said Tuesday on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon she's having the time of her life as a screenwriter and director.

"I thought about it -- I don't want to be the one using my senior discount to go see a movie. I want to make the movie that the seniors are using their discount to come and see," the star said.

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Gifford's finale episode of Today airs Friday.

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