Television Host Regis Philbin Dies at 88


Iconic television host Regis Philbin has died. He was 88.

"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 told People.

"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," the family added.

Beginning in 1988, Philbin hosted “Live with Regis and Kathie Lee” for 15 years alongside Kathie Lee Gifford.  Starting in 2001, he was joined by Kelly Ripa as the show transitioned to “Live with Regis and Kelly.” He left the show in 2011.

From 1999 - 2002, Philbin served as the original host of "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire."

His list of credits also include stints hosting "Million Dollar Password" and "America's Got Talent."

Born in New York, Philbin was raised in the Bronx and later graduated from Notre Dame University in 1953. Prior to getting into the entertainment industry, Philbin served in the U.S. Navy.

He married his first wife, Catherine Faylen, in 1955. The couple had two children before divorcing in 1968. In 1970, he married Joy Senese, with whom he went on to have two more children.

Philbin has had a series of health issues throughout the years. In 1993, he underwent an angioplasty and in 2007 he had triple bypass surgery. Two years later, Philbin had hip replacement surgery.

Ripa took to Instagram to remember her longtime co-host.

"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," Ripa captioned a photo with Philbin and current co-host Ryan Seacrest.

Kathie Lee Gifford said she "adored him" and fondly recalled their working relationship and personal friendship over the years.

Jimmy Kimmel posted a tribute to Philbin on Twitter.

"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," wrote Kimmel.

Hoda Kotb shared her sadness by writing: "Heartbroken. We will miss you Regis."

President Donald Trump posted his thoughts by tweeting: "One of the greats in the history of television, Regis Philbin has passed on to even greater airwaves, at 88. He was a fantastic person, and my friend."

Trump then added: "He kept telling me to run for President. Holds the record for “most live television”, and he did it well. Regis, we love you...."

In 2014, his son Daniel Philbin passed away.

Philbin is survived by his wife Joy, three daughters, and grandchildren.

This story is developing...

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