The famous talk show host also received a Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2003 for his exceptional work in the industry. He died of natural causes.
Once again the world has been shoved into the depths of sadness as it mourns the loss of another beloved star. Television host Regis Philbin passed away at the age of 88. As confirmed by the family, the legend died of natural causes on July 24.
"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," said the family in a statement given to People. They continued, "We thank his fans and admirers for their incredible support over his 60-year career and ask for privacy as we mourn his loss."
Kathie Lee Gifford paid tribute to Philbin, her former co-host and long-time friend with a heartwarming post on Instagram. "There are no words to fully express the love I have for my precious friend, Regis. I simply adored him and every day with him was a gift," she penned.
She continued, "We spent 15 years together bantering and bickering and laughing ourselves silly—a tradition and a friendship we shared up to this very day. I smile knowing somewhere in Heaven, at this very moment, he's making someone laugh."
"It brings me great comfort knowing that he had a personal relationship with his Lord that brought him great peace. I send all the love in my heart to Joy, to his children, to the rest of his family and to the innumerable people he touched over his legendary life. There has never been anyone like him. And there never will be," she concluded, as reported by People. She shared her sentiments on Twitter as well.
REGIS. There will never be another.— Kathie Lee Gifford (@KathieLGifford) July 25, 2020
Philbin and Gifford hosted Live! with Regis and Kathie Lee from 1988 to 2000. Their comical chemistry, playful banters and natural connection on the show made them a popular iconic pair. Even after Gifford left the show after 15 years, their friendship remained the same. Philbin appeared on Today with a special message for Gifford on her last day at the studio last year and said, “Kathie Lee, you want to know the best part of my life, my TV life, was in the 15 years I spent with you, from 1985 to 2000. We stayed friends throughout the entire game and it was a lot of fun.”
Though the pair was loved by everyone, Philbin as an individual had a flourishing career with numerous popular shows under his name. He began his TV career in 1961 called The Regis Philbin Show in San Diego. He landed The Morning Show as the host in 1983. Three years later it was renamed to Live! with Regis and Kathie Lee alongside Gifford. She was later replaced by Kelly Ripa and the show was renamed again to Live! with Regis and Kelly, reported The Mirror. He left in 2011 after 23 years on-air.
He graced the US version of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? from 1999 to 2002 as its original host. He also hosted America's Got Talent and Million Dollar Password. His journey as one of the best hosts the world had seen won him four Daytime Emmy Awards, including one for the Lifetime Achievement Award.
Tributes poured in for the television legend from all quarters.
RIP to Regis Philbin. One of the best TV hosts ever. This is my favorite moment in game show history pic.twitter.com/9WA1OyejVh— Steve Perrault (@Steve_Perrault) July 25, 2020
Saddened to hear about the passing of Regis Philbin. Condolences to his wife Joy. 😞— William Shatner (@WilliamShatner) July 25, 2020
While the acclaimed host had a marvelous professional life, he suffered from several health issues on the personal front. In 1993 he underwent an angioplasty and later a triple bypass surgery in March 2007 due to plaque in his arteries. He is survived by his wife Joy Philbin with whom he was married for 50 years and daughters J.J, Joanna Philbin, and Amy Philbin whom he shared with Catherine Faylen, his first wife.