Regis Philbin Dies at 88: Kathie Lee Gifford, Kelly Ripa & More Pay Tribute to the Longtime TV Host

Kathie Lee Gifford Regis Philbin
© Buena Vista Television / Courtesy: Everett Collection

Legendary television host Regis Philbin has passed away.

The Live! and Who Wants to Be a Millionaire host died on Friday of natural causes, a month before his 89th birthday, his family told People.

Remembering Regis Philbin With His TV Guide Magazine Covers Through the YearsSee Also

Remembering Regis Philbin With His TV Guide Magazine Covers Through the Years

After the longtime TV host's death at age 88, walk down memory lane with him, Kathie Lee Gifford, Kelly Ripa, Alex Trebek and more.

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

Philbin hosted Live! with Regis and Kathie Lee with Kathie Lee Gifford beginning in 1988, and after she left, it became Live! with Regis and Kelly in 2001. He hosted it with Kelly Ripa until 2011. (Ryan Seacrest now hosts the morning show with Ripa.)

Regis Philbin Single Parents

ABC/Richard Cartwright

Philbin’s previous TV credits also include guest spots (as himself) on How I Met Your Mother, Ugly Betty, 30 Rock, New Girl, Fresh off the Boat, and most recently Single Parents, daughter J.J. Philbin’s ABC comedy.

“It’s about time,” he told TV Insider of that appearance in April. “He’s always best when he’s playing himself,” J.J. added at the time.

Many in Hollywood, including Gifford, Ripa and Seacrest, have taken to social media to pay tribute to Philbin.


View this 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. 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.

A post shared by Kathie Lee Gifford (@kathielgifford) on


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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. – Kelly and Ryan

A post shared by Kelly Ripa (@kellyripa) on