Frank Gifford tributes: Stars from Ellen DeGeneres to Tiki Barber remember NFL and TV legend

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"LIVE with Kelly and Michael": Frank Gifford

Frank Gifford, who died suddenly Sunday at the age of 84, was a star first on the football field and then in the world of TV and entertainment. Colleagues and fans from both worlds expressed their sadness at his death and celebrated his life in the hours after his death.

Gifford starred at USC as a collegian and then with the National Football League's New York Giants before going on to become a TV sports commentator on "Monday Night Football," sharing the booth with Howard Cosell, "Dandy Don" Meredith and others.

"Not only was Frank a member of the Giants family from the time he left USC, and will be forever, but because Frank, my father (Bob) and Pete Rozelle were so close in the '60s, I felt like he was a member of my family," said Steve Tisch, chairman of the New York Giants and a movie producer whose films included "Forrest Gump."

"I always loved seeing Frank on our sideline before our games," Tisch said. "He had the handshake of a 25-year old, and he looked you right in the eye with his big blue eyes. He was such a strong person in every way. He will be missed and will always be remembered as a Giants' Giant."

See Frank Gifford through the years:

Frank Gifford passes away at 84
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Frank Gifford tributes: Stars from Ellen DeGeneres to Tiki Barber remember NFL and TV legend
American professional football player Frank Gifford, running back for the New York Giants, stands outdoors dressed in his uniform with one hand on his hip and holds his helmet, 1950s or 1960s. (Photo by Robert Riger/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - DECEMBER 28: Runningback Frank Gifford #16, of the New York Giants, cuts back into a break in the line during the NFL Championship Game on December 28, 1958 against the Baltimore Colts at Yankee Stadium in New York City, New York. Steve Myhra of the Colts tied the score with a 20-yard field goal with 7 seconds left in the fourth quarter. Alan Ameche scored for the Colts in overtime as they defeated the Giants, 23-17, in front of 64,185 fans. This was the first overtime game in NFL history. (Photo by Kidwiler Collection/Diamond Images/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - DECEMBER 29: (L to R) Runningback Alex Webster, quarterback Charlie Conerly, runningback Mel Triplett and runningback Frank Gifford, of the New York Giants, pose together in the clubhouse prior to the NFL Championship Game on December 29, 1956 at Yankee Stadium in New York, New York. (Photo by: Kidwiler Collection/Diamond Images/Getty Images)
American professional football players Frank Gifford #16 (left) and Alex Webster #29 of the New York Giants at a practice game or training camp, late 1950s. (Photo by Robert Riger/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - DECEMBER 30: (L to R) Runningback Frank Gifford #16, of the New York Giants, gets a hug from quarterback Charlie Conerly #42 in the clubhouse after the NFL Championship Game on December 30, 1956 against the Chicago Bears at Yankee Stadium in New York, New York. One of the two touchdown passes Conerly threw was to Gifford. The Giants beat the Bears, 47-7. (Photo by: Kidwiler Collection/Diamond Images/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 29, 1959: Offensive lineman Jack Stroud #66 of the New York Giants leads the blocking for runningback Frank Gifford #16 (obscured behind Stroud) on a running play during a game on November 29, 1959 against the Washington Redskins at Yankee Stadium in New York, New York. The Giants quarterback is Charlie Conerly #42. 591129-126 (Photo by: Kidwiler Collection/Diamond Images/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - JANUARY 09: 1956 NFL Pro Bowl Football Game - East vs. West at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. East Team coached by Washington Redskins Joe Kuharich. West Team coach is Los Angeles Rams Sid Gillman. Pictured is East Team player, a young Frank Gifford of the New York Giants, #16, Halfback. NFL's regular season MVP in 1956. Broadcaster, commentator for NFL games on CBS Television and later ABC's Monday Night Football with Howard Cosell and Don Meredith. Married to Kathie Lee Gifford. (Photo by Al Paloczy/The Enthusiast Network/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - CIRCA 1960: Frank Gifford #16 of the New York Giants runs on to the field during an NFL football game at Yankee Stadium circa 1960 in the Bronx borough of New York City. Gifford played for the Giants from 1952-64. (Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images)
CIRCA 1962-64: Del Shofner #85 and Frank Gifford #16 of the New York Giants sit on the bench during a game, circa 1962-64. (Photo by Robert Riger/Getty Images)
JAN 30 1970, FEB 1 1970; Mc Collum-Law Hosts a Star; The McCollum-Law Corp., Denver regional distributor for Westinghouse Corp., was host Friday at the Hilton Hotel to Frank Gifford, all-time football great. Gifford, all America back from USC in 1951, told his audience of sports, business, civic and political leaders that 'times have changed.' He recalled he was No. 1 draft choice in the National Football League in 1951 and 'got $3,800 and a motor bike.' He said O.J. Simpson, last year's No. 1 draft choice 'got contracts worth about $750,000 and a big car.' Gifford, after a decade with the New York Giants, is a CBS-TV sportscaster and Westinghouse TV spokesman. From left, W.S.Law, Gifford and Robert McCollum.; Gifford, Frank 5p; W.s.'Bing' Law frank Gifford Robert S. McCollum; (Photo By Bill Peters/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
TAMPA, FL - JANUARY 27: ABC analyst and Hall of Famer Frank Gifford looks on before Super Bowl XXV with the New York Giants against the Buffalo Bills at Tampa, Florida on January 27, 1991 in Pasadena, California. The Cowboys won 20-19. (Photo by George Rose/Getty Images)
MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL - 10/11/71 ABC sportscasters Howard Cosell, Don Meredith and Frank Gifford at the N.Y. Giants vs. Dallas Cowboys game, won by the Cowboys 20-13. (Photo by ABC Photo Archives/ABC via Getty Images) HOWARD COSELL, DON MEREDITH, FRANK GIFFORD
EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - NOVEMBER 03: (NEW YORK DAILIES OUT) Hall of Famer Frank Gifford is introduced during a halftime ceremony of a game between the New York Giants and the Indianapolis Colts on November 3, 2014 at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The Colts defeated the Giants 40-24. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL - 11/3/14 - Michael Strahan was celebrated at Met Life Stadium as he received his Pro Football Hall of Fame ring. The 2014 inductee was joined by fellow Giants Hall of Famers Frank Gifford, Harry Carson and Lawrence Taylor in a ceremony at halftime of the Giants game against the Indianapolis Colts. (Photo by Ida Mae Astute/ABC via Getty Images) FRANK GIFFORD, MICHAEL STRAHAN
NBC NEWS EVENTS -- Hoda Kotb Book Launch Party -- Pictured: (l-r) Hoda Kotb, Kathie Lee Gifford and Frank Gifford celebrate the launch of Hoda's book +ÆHow I Survived War Zones, Bad Hair, Cancer and Kathie Lee' with a reception at the townhouse of Donny Deutsch on October 11 in New York City (Photo by Peter Kramer/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
TODAY -- Pictured: (l-r) Frank Gifford and Regis Philbin appear on NBC News' 'Today' show -- Photo by: Peter Kramer/NBC/NBC NewsWire
EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - OCTOBER 03: Former New York Giants player Frank Gifford looks on at halftime as he gets inducted in the New York Giants ring of fame in a game against the Chicago Bears on October 3, 2010 at the New Meadowlands Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey.The Giants defeated the Bears 17 to 3. (Photo by Rob Tringali/SportsChrome/Getty Images)

TV host Kathie Lee Gifford, who was married to Gifford in 1986 and had two children with him, expressed her gratitude in a tweet Sunday.

Deeply grateful to all 4 ur outpouring of grace. We r steadfast in our faith & finding comfort in knowing where Frank is. Phillippians 4:13.

– Kathie Lee Gifford (@KathieLGifford) August 9, 2015

This is how I will remember #frankgifford — always making us laugh. But today I am heartbroken — love u klg xoxo — Hoda Kotb (@hodakotb) August 9, 2015

Rest In Peace, Frank Gifford – one of our Giants greats

– Tiki Barber (@TikiBarber) August 9, 2015

RIP the great Frank Gifford! Pioneer on and off the football field and a sad day for me! Thoughts and prayers to the Gifford family!! — Michael Strahan (@michaelstrahan) August 9, 2015

Sending love to @KathieLGifford over the loss of her husband, Frank. You are in our thoughts today. – Ellen DeGeneres (@TheEllenShow) August 9, 2015

No! Frank Gifford! You will be missed. Rest with the angels, sir. — Alyssa Milano (@Alyssa_Milano) August 9, 2015

My heart and prayers go out to my friend @KathieLGifford and her children. RIP Frank Gifford.

– Lori Loughlin (@LoriLoughlin) August 9, 2015

"And I don't care what's on the line (football field), Howard, you have got to say what we both know in the booth." – Frank Gifford, 12/8/80 — Michael Moore (@MMFlint) August 9, 2015

I will always remember Frank Gifford's grace, self-deprecating wit and love of his family. So much to so many. – Al Roker (@alroker) August 9, 2015

Rest In Peace, Frank Gifford – one of our Giants greats

- Tiki Barber (@TikiBarber) August 9, 2015

Frank Gifford was an awesome gentleman. My prayers are with @KathieLGifford and their kids. — Maria Shriver (@mariashriver) August 9, 2015

Wonderful Frank Gifford has just passed away at age 84. He was my friend and a truly great guy! Warmest condolences to family. — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 9, 2015

RIP Frank Gifford and sending love to our friend @KathieLGifford.

– billy eichner (@billyeichner) August 9, 2015

Frank Gifford. #RIP – Questlove Gomez (@questlove) August 9, 2015

RIP #NFL & @Giants icon Frank Gifford, a star player & legendary announcer. I had many great intvs w/him. My condolences @KathieLGifford

– Larry King (@kingsthings) August 9, 2015

So sorry to hear of the passing of Frank Gifford one of the very good guys. Prayers for his family. To Frank godspeed — Nancy Sinatra (@NancySinatra) August 9, 2015

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