Ouch: Kathie Lee Gifford Asks After Martin Short’s Late Wife

Short, for his part, handled things like a pro.

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That’s the perennial drawback to live TV: When you make a mistake, it’s very hard to undo.

Today show host Kathie Lee Gifford was chatting with Martin Short about his turn in the Madagascar threequel yesterday when the conversation meandered into the unfortunate. After some small talk about his son’s recent graduation from Notre Dame, Gifford segued to talking about the actor’s marriage, although she didn’t know that Short’s wife had died of ovarian cancer in 2010.

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“And you and Nancy have one of the greatest marriages of anybody in show business, how many years now for you guys?” she asked. Short, for his part, just answered the questions in stride. “We [have been] married 36 years,” Short replied. “But you’re still, like, in love,” Gifford continued. “Madly in love,” he responded.

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The conversation did return to light-hearted Madagascar talk, but after a commercial break Gifford said that Short informed her that his wife had died and she apologized on-camera. As to Gifford’s comment about having one of the “great” marriages in Hollywood, Short also told her “I still do.”