Kathie Lee Gifford on Following Her Dream to Create Inspirational TV

The actress and television hosts talks about the “God wink” moments that brought A Godwink Christmas: Meant for Love to life.

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- Posted on Nov 15, 2019

Courtesy of Hallmark

Kathie Lee Gifford returns to television with another “Hallmark Movies & Mysteries” film, this time with A Godwink Christmas: Meant for Love, a new holiday film based on a true story.

Gifford said it’s an incredible story. “It's not just one God wink in this one,” she said, referencing the term coined by author and the producer of the film, SQuire Rushnell. “It's chock full of Godwinks.”

The film chronicles a series of “Godwinks” that bring Alice (Cindy Busby) and Jack (Benjamin Hollinsworth), two strangers, together for a wedding and eventually a romantic relationship.

Gifford plays Olga, Alice’s mother, a “feisty and fiery” character who encourages her daughter to open up to the possibility of love, she said.

The movie is the continuation from Gifford’s 2018 Hallmark hit, A Godwink Christmas, a project she described as a journey years in the making. It took three years for Gifford to convince Hallmark to take a chance on the project.

This was also years after she met Rushnell, while working at Good Morning America. Gifford said the two teamed up to create A Godwink Christmas and the rest is history, fulfilling her dream of bringing inspirational content to television.

“We believe as producers that there's no such thing as coincidence in this world,” Gifford told Guideposts.org. “In fact, there's no word for it in the Hebrew language, there is no word for coincidence because it doesn't exist.”

Rushnell coined the term “Godwink” to describe these moments of divine intervention.

“A Godwink is when [God’s] divinity intersects with our humanity,” Gifford said. “God reminds us, ‘I got you, I see you. I'm the architect of all of this.’”

Gifford has experienced these moments in her own life numerous times, she said, most notably in 1982 when she was walking down a hall and made a joke about eye surgery to a man putting in contacts.

“It turned out to be Frank Gifford,” Gifford said. “I was supposed to be in that hallway at 4:00 in the morning preparing to do a commercial with a stinky basset hound. Instead, I got the love of my life.”

Kathie and Frank were married for 29 years, until he passed away in 2015. Faith was the cornerstone of their marriage, and remains the cornerstone of Gifford’s career and source of her joy, as she described in her January 1996 Guideposts story. Gifford relished the opportunity to bring some of this faith to Hallmark.

A Godwink Christmas: Meant for Love can be seen on Hallmark Movies & Mysteries.

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