Legendary host Regis Philbin dead at 88 after 60-year career including Live! and Who Wants To Be a Millionaire


Longtime television host Regis Philbin has died at the age of 88.

The New York City native, who was most widely known as the host of Live! with Regis and Kathie Lee (and later Live! with Regis and Kelly), passed away on Friday from natural causes, according to People.

Regis’ family shared in a statement: “We are deeply saddened to share that our beloved Regis Philbin passed away last night of natural causes, one month shy of his 89th birthday.

“His family and friends are forever grateful for the time we got to spend with him – for his warmth, his legendary sense of humor, and his singular ability to make every day into something worth talking about.

“We thank his fans and admirers for their incredible support over his 60-year career and ask for privacy as we mourn his loss.”

After years of moving from from local talk show to local talk show, Regis’ ABC program with Kathie Lee Gifford became nationally syndicated as Live! with Regis and Kathie Lee in late 1988.

The daytime show garnered high ratings and found much success, with the two co-hosting for over a decade together.

In 2000, it was temporarily renamed Live! with Regis after Kathie Lee left and the search for a new co-host began.

The following year, the program was renamed once again, this time to Live! with Regis and Kelly, when All My Children’s Kelly Ripa joined as host.

Tributes for the Who Wants to Be a Millionaire host came pouring in on Saturday after news of his passing broke.

Kelly and Ryan Seacrest, whom she now hosts the program with, posted a sweet photo of both of them with Regis on Instagram, writing in a shared statement: “We are beyond saddened to learn about the loss of Regis Philbin.

“He was the ultimate class act, bringing his laughter and joy into our homes everyday on Live for more than 23 years.

“We were beyond lucky to have him as a mentor in our careers and aspire everyday to fill his shoes on the show.

“We send our deepest love and condolences to his family and hope they can find some comfort in knowing he left the world a better place.”

Fellow TV host Jimmy Kimmel, whose show Regis was a guest on multiple times, wrote: “Regis was a great broadcaster, a good friend and a tremendous amount of fun.

“He leaves behind a beautiful family and a TV legacy that will likely go unmatched.

“Regis, I hope our friend Rickles met you at the pearly gates with open arms and a slew of the insults you loved so much.”

Regis is survived by daughters J.J. Philbin and Joanna Philbin — whom he shared with wife of 50 years Joy Philbin — and his daughter Amy Philbin — whom he shared with first wife Catherine Faylen.


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