Sadly, Nancy Dolman died in 2010, after a battle with ovarian cancer.
Meanwhile, Martin Short, 62, was on "The Today Show" being interviewed about his role in the upcoming "Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted." Short voices Stefano, one of the four new characters in the third entry in the animated "Madagascar" film series.
As part of the interview, Gifford brought up the great love between Short and his late spouse. Gifford said that “You and Nancy have one of the greatest marriages of anybody in show business. How many years now, for you guys?," oblivious to the facts.
In what was, quite possibly, an enormous feat of self-control, Short showed no emotion. Instead, he did not correct Kathy Lee Gifford, but instead simply said, “We, um, married 36 years.” Short may have been including their courtship, as the couple was married for 30 years. They had three children, Katherine Elizabeth (b. 1983), Oliver Patrick (b. 1986), Henry (b. 1989).
In response, Gifford asked, “But you’re still, like, in love?” Short replied “Madly in love, madly in love.” When Gifford asked him, “Why?” Short joked, “Cute. I’m cute.” Hoda Kotb, sitting with Gifford, didn't correct Gifford etiher, but instead added, "That is true." Gifford then added what was possibly the worst statement of all: "And you make each other laugh."
After a commercial, Gifford and Kotb, sitting alone, informed viewers that Short had told her during the break that his wife had died of ovarian cancer in 2010. Gifford apologized profusely, saying, "Martin just told me, as he was leaving, he said, 'Kathy, you probably don't know,' but his beautiful, precious wife Nancy did pass away a year and a half ago, of ovarian cancer, and I feel so badly. He said, 'Kathy,' he said, 'at her funeral Mike Nichols said just keep the conversation going. And the way he was speaking of her ..."
Kotb interjected, "He said he had one of the great marriages, and at the end, he told you, 'I still do.'"
Gifford added, "So my apologies to him and his family for not realizing that."
Gifford also apologized on Twitter, Tweeting, “I send my sincerest apologies to @MartinShort and his family. He handled situation w/enormous grace and kindness and I’m so grateful.” Unfortunately, that is not a Twitter handle associated with Martin Short.
This isn’t the first time Gifford has made this type of mistake. Earlier, when she co-starred with Regis Philbin on "Live! with Regis & Kathie Lee," she once asked singer James Taylor how his older brother was. However, James Taylor's brother, Alex Taylor died more than a year prior to that interview.
You can watch the on-air FUBAR in the video embedded, below.