Kelly Ripa and Ryan Seacrest were back on the air this morning for Live With Kelly and Ryan, but the show took on a much more somber mood than usual after news broke over the weekend that Regis Philbin had died at the age of 88.
Philbin was the original host of the show and took it national with cohost Kathie Lee Gifford back in 1988. Ripa took over for Gifford in 2001, and then Philbin himself left in 2011. Seacrest joined in May 2017.
“Mark [Consuelos, Ripa’s husband] and I were lucky enough to have all of our children with us this past weekend on Saturday, so we were all together when we heard this horrible news,” she said at the opening of this morning’s episode. “As people get older, you always know that certain things are inevitable, and passing away is one of those things, but Regis is one of the people that we all believed would somehow figure out a way around the inevitable. It was not in the cards, I suppose.”
“I got a text in the morning on this day over the weekend, and I actually didn’t believe it,” she continued. “It was before the news came out, and I sent you a note and I said, ‘I hope this is just a rumor and not true.’ For a minute, I convinced myself it was just a rumor, and then of course we saw the news.”
She and Seacrest went on to share memories of Philbin from over the years and send their condolences to his wife, Joy, and his daughters. Longtime Live staffers Michael Gelman and Art Moore also talked about how special Philbin was as a television host and as a friend.
The show then put together a very moving montage of some of Philbin’s best moments from his years hosting Live. “It was a helluva ride. Here’s a look back at Regis’ legendary career. He was such a special person 😢💔,” the show's Instagram handle shared.
“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 wrote in a statement released over the weekend. “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.”
Originally Appeared on Glamour