Kathie Lee Gifford guest-starred on Days of Our Lives in 1976

By Michele Corriston
Updated October 27, 2015 02:15 PM

In honor of the 50th anniversary of Days of Our Lives, Kathie Lee Gifford unearthed a piece of her past she’d really rather forget.

As it turns out, the TV personality has a storied history with the soap opera. While trying to break into Hollywood, Gifford, 62, worked as an “atmosphere” extra on the show before being promoted to a “dismembered body voice,” actress with under five lines and, eventually, “the most minor character ever,” she revealed Tuesday on the Today show.

“Her name is Nurse Callahan,” co-host Hoda Kotb said to introduce a vintage clip of KLG in action. “We have not seen this video. This is gonna be fun.”

In the 1976 scene, 22-year-old Gifford plays a weary nurse trying to get a hospital patient to eat.

So what happened to the high-pitched voice captured on screen?

“Sailors, whiskey and cigarettes and late nights,” Gifford told Kotb, laughing. “That’s what happens.”

All in all, an embarrassed Gifford was a total trooper during her trip down memory lane.

“Thank you, Days of Our Lives, for putting up with me there,” she said.

Days of Our Lives airs weekdays on NBC.

Celebrate 50 years of love, lust and drama on

Days of Our Lives with PEOPLE’s special collector’s edition, out Friday!