Cassidy Gifford is a young up-and-coming star who’s no stranger to the spotlight. But even though she shines as a unique talent, Cassidy is also someone who takes her own approach to her celebrity status. She is somewhat of a quiet mystery in the otherwise loud world of the rich and famous. Upon closer inspection, there are many not so known factors that have shaped this young woman to be the multifaceted talent she is today.
Born to fame
Cassidy Gifford is the youngest child of former NFL player Frank Gifford and beloved television host Kathie Lee Gifford. Both her parents have enjoyed unusual success throughout their careers, and that tends to rub off on children.
Early on Cassidy’s talents were noticeable and it didn’t take long for the modeling world to discover her unique beauty. Many children of the stars seem blessed with that extra little something that makes them stand out from the crowd. Cassidy is definitely one of them!
Just another model?
Modeling is the first choice for many celebrity daughters, but that direction wasn’t an obvious one for Cassidy. At 5 ft 3 in she is considerably shorter than what is required for runway models. But despite this she still has had quite the few modeling gigs throughout the years.
In 2012, at the ripe young age of 19, she walked the ramp at the New York Fashion Week together with no one other than supermodel Kendall Jenner. Cassidy and Kendall are actually godsisters so being able to work together and catch up behind the scenes of New York Fashion Week was an amazing experience for young Cassidy. But as impressive as that was, she had more goals to pursue.
The true passion
Despite modeling being a fun side project, Cassidy’s true passion lies in acting. Already since a very young age, she has been drawn to the idea of storytelling through the art of acting. Her acting debut came already when she was still a young tween, thanks to a small guest role on the family TV-show That’s so Raven.
The then 12 year-old Cassidy knew she had entered a world she had to explore further. Since then she has tried a variety of genres, from romantic comedy Like Cats & Dogs to thriller The Gallows. Even though none of her parents are actors, it’s easy to see Cassidy got some of her love of performing from her mom.
There are many ways in which Cassidy has taken a very different approach to showbiz compared to her mom. But she has still undoubtedly learned a lot from Kathie Lee. The bubbly and very outspoken TV-show host also tried her hands at acting early on in her career. Kathie Lee had a friend who worked at the iconic show Days of Our Lives and while visiting the set she managed to get hired as an actress.
But where Cassidy fell in love with the trade even more at her acting debut, Kathie Lee instead moved in a different direction. She went on to be a celebrated TV-show host, especially known for her 15 years as a co-host for The Morning Show.
A legend of a father
Many girls have a special connection with their father, and Cassidy is no different there. And considering her dad’s legacy, it’s no wonder she was extremely proud of her father. Already as a student at The University of South Carolina, Frank Gifford was a star football player and would go on to become a true legend.
In 1956 he was NFL’s Most Valuable Player and thanks to his unique talents managed to have a long football career, despite injuries and setbacks. Cassidy early on fell in love with sports thanks to her father, who introduced her to the world of football and taught her how to ski. He also taught her the importance of perseverance when the going gets rough. Those lessons would come in handy soon enough.
Growing up with two famous parents is bound to be dramatic at times. Even though Cassidy was close with both her parents, their family life wasn’t always as simple as it appeared publicly.
Kathie Lee would often gush about her husband and children, and even shared a little more than Cassidy and her siblings were comfortable with. But considering her mother’s epic love story with her father, it’s easy to understand why she could’t help but share her family joy. Things changed however, when a very personal challenge hit the Gifford family.
Kathie Lee and Frank met while they were both working in television, and despite him being 23 years her senior the connection was immediate between the two. Little did they know then, a cheating scandal would come between them after ten years of blissful marriage.
Frank was reportedly unfaithful with a flight attendant, and Kathie Lee was publicly humiliated by the scandal. Making matters even worse, the flight attendant was reportedly paid $75,000 by a famous newspaper to seduce Frank. Juggling this personal crisis while in the public eye was understandably rough for the entire family.
Kathie Lee has admitted publicly that she considered leaving Cassidy’s father during the worst cheating controversy. But eventually her ability to forgive and her love for Frank won.
Although acknowledging that the entire ordeal was a huge test to their marriage, Kathie Lee managed to forgive her husband. And a big reason for that was her kids. She wanted to show her children what love and commitment to family looks like. Kathie Lee and Frank moved past their problems and were married for an impressive 29 years, an unusual accomplishment among the famous.
Losing her father
It wasn’t only at a very young age that Cassidy dealt with family drama, at home and on the news. Another tragedy that would shape her hit when she was a young adult.
In 2015, her beloved father passed away. Only then did the family reveal to the public that he had suffered from a chronic disease, linked to injuries he sustained during his football career. Understandably his passing was a huge tragedy to the entire family, but especially for Cassidy.
Sharing her grief
Frank passed away only a week after Cassidy’s 22nd birthday. At such a young age, right at the beginning of her career, this was a truly challenging time for her. She considered her father her very best friend in the world.
The otherwise pretty private Cassidy has frequently shared heartfelt memories of her father on her Instagram. Right after his passing she shared a heartfelt post, thanking everyone for their outpouring of support and stating “Very few people are blessed enough to call their father a legend”.
Her father is clearly a big part of her life still, which is obvious for any of the 100.000 people who follow Cassidy online. Among the beautiful posts of social events and her close friends are frequent references to her father.
In Cassidy’s own quiet way she makes it clear she has not forgotten him and she continues to honor his legacy by living her best life. And by staying true to what she finds important in life, which is far from the glitz and glamor of fame.
What truly matters
Cassidy has learned many important values form her parents, something that has helped keep her grounded. She considers a sentence her mom told her to be one of the best life lessons ,”If you have a pulse, you have a purpose.”
Cassidy knows the kind of purpose her mom was talking about comes from the inside first and foremost, and does not have to be just one thing. The young actress has stated she enjoys poetry, creative writing, and spending time with her dear mom. It’s those precious things in life that truly matter to her.
On her own journey
Maybe it’s her ‘wise beyond her years’ approach or her humble, almost shy demeanor, but Cassidy is one of few celebrity kids who actually don’t care about fame. She has stated it doesn’t really interest her.
As someone who has grown up in the world of the famous, she seems to take it all with a grain of salt. What she does care about is continuing to act. As long as she gets to pursue acting in her career she’s happy, and she’s aware fame is a possible consequence but it’s not her goal.
Cassidy is very private about her love life, but the actress is reportedly in a happy relationship for quite some time now. On her Instagram you will sometimes catch a glimpse of her beau, football player Addison Pierce.
It doesn’t come as a very big surprise Cassidy has fallen for a football player, another testament to her father’s influence. The two are reportedly extremely happy, enjoying vacations and water sports together. As far as it seems, love is currently on Cassidy’s side.
There will always be those who think Cassidy only got her acting jobs because of her famous parents. She hasn’t been extremely active in the movie and TV industry, or walked that many red carpets, which might be why some jump to that conclusion.
But as it gets obvious the more you learn about Cassidy, she has a lot more to experience in life than just acting. Unlike many other young celebrities, Cassidy also values exploring other interests during her twenties.
One of the reasons Cassidy hasn’t appeared in more movies over the past few years is very simple. A great work ethic and perseverance aren’t the only traits she picked up from her parents. Valuing education is yet another.
Following in her father’s footsteps, she enrolled at the University of South Carolina to pursue a degree in creative writing. Getting a break from showbiz and just enjoying being a regular American college student is probably something more young stars could learn from.
Cassidy did not forget about her her acting career, despite her exploring other things too over the past few years. In 2017 she started picking up the pace again and starred in no less than three movies.
And now in 2019 she is set to star in a brand new TV drama called The Baxters. This ensemble family drama is based on the best selling novels by Karen Kingsbury and will offer Cassidy a completely new opportunity to grow as an actress.
Honoring her mom’s work
While Cassidy’s career is still in the early stages, she recently celebrated her mother ending the final chapter of hers. In April of this year Kathie Lee retired as a host on NBC’s Today Show, where she spent the last 11 years of her impressive career.
Both Cassidy and her brother Cody took part in the show’s goodbye celebration for their mother. Cassidy shared how her mother’s kindness guiding her in everything she does is what she has always looked up to, and aspires to herself.
Walking in mom’s footsteps?
Besides acting, Cassidy has on and off over the years been a special correspondent on Entertainment Tonight. Her striking resemblance to to her mother makes her likable to the audience almost automatically.
Millions were used to seeing Kathie Lee on their TV-screen everyday for decades, and many feel like they know Cassidy too thanks to Kathie Lee talking so much about her. Whether Cassidy ever decides to leave acting to work in television remains to be seen, but should she want to, that door is clearly open for her.
A surprise proposal
The Gifford family has even more reasons to celebrate in the near future. Cassidy’s big brother just surprised the entire family by getting engaged to his longtime girlfriend Erika Brown, which both Kathie Lee and Cassidy gushed over online.
Cassidy and Erika are reportedly already close like sisters, and the entire family is thrilled to see the family grow bigger again. The newly engaged couple has not yet officially set a date for the wedding, but allegedly the wedding planning is just getting started.
Is Cassidy next?
There have been some rumors Cassidy will be next to tie the knot. She herself has not confirmed or denied these rumors, and her mother is also keeping quiet.
Judging from her mature personality it is not Cassidy’s style to make rash decisions, or take away the spotlight from anyone else. So even if she has her own wedding plans for the near future, it’s doubtful she would mention this publicly so soon after her brother’s announcement.
A bright future
With so much going for her and so many passions to pursue, the only thing that is obvious is that Cassidy Gifford has a bright future ahead of her.
Whether in acting, modeling or TV she has already showed she is a versatile talent who can adapt to many different parts of the entrainment industry – while continuing to be unusually humble. All we can hope is that she continues to stay true to herself the way she has so far, a refreshing quality to see in a young star.
When you are famous it can be truly challenging to make real friends or even know who likes you for you. This is even more true if you, like Cassidy, also grew up with famous parents. She has always been the daughter of the star football player and the beloved TV-host.
Because of that she has not always been treated like the individual she is, but instead as an extension of her parents. And Cassidy’s parents are far from the only loved ones in her life whose fame affect how people view her.
Special sibling bonds
Since Frank Gifford was married once before, it isn’t a surprise he already had children when he met Kathie Lee. Being over twenty years older than her, his kids at the time were already grown. Cassidy’s oldest sibling Victoria Denise Gifford is 62 – even old enough to be her grandmother.
Having siblings at such a varying age has created some unique bonds – and some very legendary extended family. Cassidy’s oldest sister Victoria married into the iconic Kennedy clan, forever linking Cassidy to the powerful family before she was even born herself.
The Kennedy family is is arguably one of the most iconic families in American history. And Victoria marrying Michael LeMoyne Kennedy, son of Robert F. Kennedy, made Cassidy an extended family member.
Tragically Michael passed away in a skiing accident just a year after Cassidy was born, but she still has nieces and nephews who are continuing the Kennedy line. This means that not only Cassidy’s parents but her whole extended family holds celebrity status, for better and for worse.
Not only does Cassidy have Kennedy nephews, she also has a Kardashian godmother. Kathie Lee and Kris have been close friends for decades, so it was natural for them to also get invested in each other’s kids.
For Kathie Lee, Kris’s support was extra special as she suffered two miscarriages before getting pregnant with Cassidy. For a while it looked like the pregnancy with Cassidy might be at risk too, and at that time Kris was right by her side. Because of that, Cassidy has a very special connection with her godmother Kris.
Learning from the Kardashians
Even though Cassidy has been known to hang out less in celebrity circles than most children of the famous, that doesn’t mean she never enjoys spending time with her godsisters. Cassidy, Kendal, and Kylie grew up together and since they are so close in age, they had a lot of fun.
Cassidy has shared it’s even thanks to the two Jenner sisters she was allowed to get her ears pierced at age seven. Kendall and Kylie convinced their godmother Kathie Lee to agree, and apparently it worked like a charm.
Cassidy, Kendall, and Kylie’s bond have continued way past childhood memories. Possibly thanks to their mother’s strong bond, the three young women stay connected despite busy schedules. They have however taken quite different routes in life, at least as of now.
Kendall, unlike Cassidy, is pursuing modeling full-time, and Kylie is both a busy business woman and a fairly new mother. Cassidy has instead opted for a slightly more conventional lifestyle for a young woman in the spotlight.
As much as Kathie Lee and Kris’s friendship is admirable, being close with celebrities is not always a walk in the park. Even though the two women have supported each other through thick and thin, new challenges in their relationship have made things a little more complicated over the past few years.
Cassidy is not one to gossip, but the fact is she and her mother have not seen the Kardashian clan as much lately. The reason could come down to Kathie Lee slipping up regarding a certain debt.
Kris and her daughters have been big names on television for over ten years, but the Gifford family has known them much longer than that. A few years back Kathie Lee let it slip that Kris once borrowed money from her – and allegedly did not yet pay back.
According to Kathie Lee the Kardashian family was struggling financially at the time, and of course she wanted to help her goddaughters. After all, she would expect Kris to do the same for Cassidy.
Kris did not take Kathie Lee’s comment kindly, and was reportedly embarrassed people would know she had struggled financially. Her only public comment about the matter was that she found it “tacky” and wanted to have a word in private with Kathie Lee about it all.
Considering Kathie Lee and Kris have been best friends for decades, and care deeply for each other’s daughters, we must hope they have resolved their disagreement once and for all.
It’s easy to wonder if Cassidy even has any drama-free or non-famous connections in her life. But luckily for her, she does indeed. As someone who has always been humble and down-to earth, she has made sure to at times also distance herself from the limelight.
Thanks to her college days Cassidy has managed to find a core group of friends she knows are truly there for her. Having “regular” friends helps her keep things real, and get a break from all the Hollywood drama.