Here's why Kathie Lee left Regis
She left in 2000 because her dad was dying. Gifford says she had an "epiphany" while guest-hosting David Letterman's show when he had heart surgery. She realized that she wanted to be with her dad and be with family without having cameras in her face and having to talk about it on the show all the time.
A lot of people think that she left because of a rift between either her and Regis or her and producer Michael Gelman, but she says that wasn't the reason. Her dad died of Alzheimer's in 2002.
One odd quote from her: when asked if she's ever regretted leaving the show, she says she felt it only once, after 9/11, because "it was really the first time in 30 years that I did not have a platform to be part of the healing process." Whatever that means.