Commentator, legal analyst and former prosecutor Kimberly Guilfoyle is rightly proud of her Puerto Rican heritage and has mentioned it on Fox News Channel’ daily roundtable show “The Five,” on which she is a co-host.
That’s her mother’s side of the family, but on her father’s side, the blue-eyed brunette has deep roots in the west of Ireland, specifically County Clare, home to the famous Cliffs of Moher.
Her father, the late Anthony Guilfoyle, emigrated from the Clare town of Ennis to the United States in the 1950s. He eventually landed in San Francisco, where Guilfoyle was born. (Guilfoyle would become the city’s first lady while she was married to Gavin Newsom, now California’s lieutenant governor.)
Many fans of “The Five” learned about Guilfoyle’s Irish heritage when she recently gave a shout-out to the Banner County over the victory of Clare’s hurling team — an ancient Irish sport with ash sticks, leather balls and only helmets for protection — took the All-Ireland championship over Cork at Croke Park in Dublin. This marked the first ultimate victory for Clare since 1997.
Guilfoyle’s uncle, James Guilfoyle, owner of Dalcassian Printers in Ennis, said to the Clare People newspaper, “I was onto her about the match. She said to me, ‘If you want, I’ll mention Clare’s win on my program on Fox News.'”
“That was fantastic,” Guilfoyle tells Zap2it. “I was very, very proud. It was a big moment. As child, I watched the hurling matches at the Irish Cultural Center in San Francisco with my father. We used to love watching. I did a proper tribute, a shout-out for Clare, to honor my father.
“They take this very seriously [in Clare], as they should. It was pretty exciting. My father, were he alive today, would have been the first one celebrating. My uncle sent my little boy, Ronan — and Irish name — a jersey, so we’re celebrating all around.”
Guilfoyle spent summers in Ennis as a child and has traveled around the country, including studying law for a summer term at Trinity College in Dublin.
“It was an exciting time,” she says, “but nothing can fill your heart or take your breath away like the beauty of the countryside in Clare. It smells clean and country and fresh.”
While Guilfoyle hopes one day that FNC will send her on assignment to Ireland, right now she spends the bulk of her screen time occupying a chair next to liberal commentator and former political operative Bob Beckel on “The Five,” which airs at 5 p.m. ET (live in all time zones).
The outspoken, idiosyncratic Beckel is both loved and reviled by fans of “The Five” — sometimes at the same time — and he and Guilfoyle have developed an interesting rapport.
“There isn’t anywhere I go,” says Guilfoyle, “that people aren’t like, ‘You and Bob are too much!’ We’re like Ma and Pa Kettle, like an old married couple or something. It’s very fun. And like an old married couple, we have our little differences back and forth. At the end of the day, we laugh about it.
“I adore him. He’s got crazy liberal ideas, but he doesn’t mind getting a rise out of me and the viewers. But, at least, he says what he thinks and what he believes in, and for that, I admire him., and that goes for everyone else on ‘The Five.’ You’re going to get nothing but the real story there. We all tell it exactly how we see it, and Fox is really great about encouraging that, letting us tell how it is.”
At the end of each episode, there’s a segment called “One More Thing,” in which the hosts each offer up a quick tidbit of news. Often, Beckel teases the segment right before the commercial break, and he makes a point of shouting, “One more thing!” so loudly that it makes Guilfoyle jump and cover her ears.
“It makes me so nervous,” Guilfoyle says. “I’ve got the bruises on my knees, every time I bang the desk. ‘Oh, Bob, you’re killing me!’ I’ve always been like that, since I was a little girl. I startle very easily. There’s some times I really try to prepare myself, and he’ll say something else, and it throws me off, and I forget to brace myself.
“It is what it is. He started doing it. It’s like me dancing in the chair [to the bumper music]. It’s a habit. OK. He can’t stop it. He’s like the little boys who used to pull my pigtails. He can’t help himself.”
On “The Five,” Guilfoyle’s usual seat, which puts her beside but not behind the table on camera, affords viewers a good look at what she’s wearing and her footwear. The same is true when panelist Andrea Tantaros is in that seat. Both women are known for stylish dresses and sky-high heels.
Asked whether she or Tantaros has the best taste in shoes, Guilfoyle says, “Is it possible to be a dead-heat tie? We sometimes have the same shoes. She has great style and presence. We’re good friends, and she’s super-fun to work with.
“One of our biggest challenges is, ‘Wait, what color shoes are you wearing today?'”
While panelist Dana Perino‘s shoes are not visible from her seat behind the table, her clothing choice is. According to Guilfoyle, they check in with each other beforehand: “Dana and I coordinate colors so we don’t all show up one day in red dresses.”