On Friday, Regis Philbin, the iconic morning and game show host, died at 88 years old of natural causes. He was just one month shy of his 89th birthday. His family reported the news yesterday. “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,” they said in their exclusive statement, obtained by 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 Philbin family said.
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Since this sad announcement, many of his fans and co-workers have posted heartfelt tributes to the television star. Among the several highlights of his career, Philbin was the legendary host of the popular ’90s game show, Who Wants To Be A Millionaire, and co-hosted the morning show, including Live! With Regis and Kathie Lee, which aired on ABC from 1988-2000. When the latter television personality went on to host the Today! show on NBC with Hoda Kotb, Kelly Ripa took Lee’s place and began hosting Live! With Regis and Kelly from 2001-2011. Paying tribute to his long-time co-host, Ripa shared a heartfelt Instagram remembering the television icon, on behalf of herself and current morning show co-host, Ryan Seacrest.
“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,” Ripa wrote.”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. – Kelly and Ryan.”
Philbin retired shortly after the latter show’s 10-year anniversary. Their last episode together aired on November 18, 2011. After the morning show alum’s departure, Ripa hosted the program solo through 2012 before she was joined by Michael Strahan. The show was renamed Live! With Kelly and Michael, which ran until 2016, followed by another brief solo stint through 2017.
Seacrest joined the show, Live! With Kelly and Ryan in May 2017 and continue to host the staple morning program together.
Launch Gallery: Remembering Regis Philbin
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