Kathie Lee Gifford Asks Martin Short About Wife, Unaware She’s Dead

By ABC News

May 31, 2012 7:01am

Kathie Lee Gifford had a very awkward moment with Martin Short on the Today show Wednesday, when she complimented him on his marriage, not realizing that his wife died a year and a half ago.

Gifford remarked that Short and his late spouse, Nancy Dolman, “have one of the greatest marriages of anybody in show business.” She then asked him, “How many years are you in love with her now?”

Short didn’t correct Gifford, answering, “We…married 36 years.” Gifford replied, “But you’re still like in love?” Short said, “Madly in love, madly in love.” When Gifford asked him, “Why?” Short joked, “Cute. I’m cute.”

Following a commercial break, Gifford informed viewers that Short told her that his wife died of ovarian cancer in 2010. She apologized both on the show and on Twitter. She tweeted, “I send my sincerest apologies to @MartinShort and his family. He handled situation w/enormous grace and kindness and I’m so grateful.” Incidentally, @MartinShort is not the actor’s Twitter handle.

Short graciously accepted the apology on Thursday. “I think that it’s live television and people make mistakes and there’s no ill will intended,” Short told E! News. “And I think it’s nice to aspire to be that way.”

The actor was on the Today show to promote his upcoming film, Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted.

This isn’t the first time Gifford has committed this kind of gaffe.  Back when she was one-half of Live! with Regis & Kathie Lee, she once asked guest James Taylor how his older brother was, apparently unaware that Alex Taylor had died over a year earlier.

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