"Today Show" host Kathie Lee Gifford has embarrassed herself live on air during Wednesday's show, when she began questioning actor Martin Short about his wife, without realizing that she was deceased.
- (Photo: Reuters/Robert Caplin)
"How many years are you in love with her now," asked Gifford of Nancy Dolman, who died in 2010.
Short quietly replied, "Thirty-six."
Still unaware of her mistake, Gifford said, "But you're still in love?"
"Madly in love," replied the actor, politely not correcting the host and allowing the interview to continue uninterrupted.
Short's wife died after a battle with ovarian cancer. The couple was married for more than 30 years and shared three children.
Following a commercial break, Gifford apologized live on air. She had been filled in during the break by the actor, and embarrassingly had to make the admission when the show returned.
She also later re-emphasized her apology on Twitter.
"I send my sincerest apologies to Martin Short and his family," she wrote on Twitter. "He handled the situation w/ enormous grace and kindness and I'm so grateful."
Short is best known for his roles in movies such as "Three Amigos," "Innerspace," and "Father of the Bride." He has also appeared on television programs such as "SCTV" and "Saturday Night Live," and "How I Met Your Mother."
The 62-year-old actor remains active in show business, and will appear on Canada's upcoming reality series, "Canada's Got Talent," as a judge.
Many fans of both Gifford and Short realized the "Today" host's mistake before Gifford acknowledged it after the show. On Twitter, users sounded off about the interview mishap.
"Did Kathy [sic] Lee just ask Martin Short how he keeps his marriage going," asked Rory via Twitter Wednesday. "She passed away two years ago… That was mortifying. I want to hug him"
Also many praised Short for how he handled the question about his deceased wife.
"If you interview someone famous, do the research," wrote Michael. "Otherwise this happens. (Credit to Martin Short. What a pro)"
"I love Martin Short," exclaimed Christian on Twitter. "How classy is he? Awkward TV as asked on live TV about his wife. Who died 2 yrs ago"
Jason wrote, "I feel really bad for the producer who Kathy Lee is going to lay all the blame on (re: Martin Short). Maybe stop drinking on air lady."