Regis Philbin Dies at 88: Kathie Lee Gifford, Kelly Ripa & More Pay Tribute to the Longtime TV Host
Legendary television host Regis Philbin has passed away.
"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.)
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.
View this post on Instagram
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
Heartbroken. We will miss you regis 💔💔💔 pic.twitter.com/kB8oag8BFO
— Hoda Kotb (@hodakotb) July 25, 2020
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
— Jimmy Kimmel (@jimmykimmel) July 25, 2020
RIP REGIS!!! A real icon. Nothing will ever top Regis and @KathieLGifford as a morning show. Nothing!
— billy eichner (@billyeichner) July 25, 2020
This one hurts. A staple in our household growing up, his joy was infectious and his hosting skills among the greatest I’ve ever seen. Whether on “Live” or leading “Who Wants to be a Millionaire” he was always captivating & hilarious. #RIPRegis https://t.co/PoajN1yb3W
— Josh Gad (@joshgad) July 25, 2020
So sad to hear about the passing of Regis Philbin. A true icon, legend and someone who genuinely lived with love and laughter. R.I.P.
— David Boreanaz (@David_Boreanaz) July 25, 2020
Very sad to hear of the passing of #RegisPhilbin. I was privileged to be on his show a number of times and we often crossed paths out and about. What a vivacious, warm and kind gentleman who brought sparkle everywhere he went. #RIPRegisPhilbin
— Lou Diamond Phillips (@LouDPhillips) July 25, 2020
I truly believed that #RegisPhilbin would be a presence with us forever. He was a fun, funny, charming man. On the occasions I got to be with him, he was always a bright light, endlessly interesting and interested in everyone. Sympathy to his loved ones. #ripregisphilbin
— jason alexander (@IJasonAlexander) July 25, 2020
The end of an era. A great friend and mentor. I will never forget your generosity of spirit sweet Regis.
You changed my life and I will never forget the lessons you taught me. You showed me how to fly.
— lisa rinna (@lisarinna) July 25, 2020
Regis Philbin always made me laugh and I loved being on his show as he made everyone feel so welcome. We will miss him.
— Tony Bennett (@itstonybennett) July 25, 2020
Saddened to hear about the passing of Regis Philbin. Condolences to his wife Joy. 😞
— William Shatner (@WilliamShatner) July 25, 2020
RIP Regis pic.twitter.com/uG5Y2cknve
— adam pally (@adampally) July 25, 2020
We throw this word around too much but Regis Philbin was a legend. He was a true gentleman I’m glad I got to know and a TV host I admired and was honored to follow. Much like Arnold Palmer everybody has a great “Regis” story, I’m grateful I have mine
— Chris Harrison (@chrisbharrison) July 25, 2020
— GreG GrunberG (@greggrunberg) July 25, 2020
What a loss- The wonderful Regis Philbin. I met him in 1985 when I was on the “Rodney Dangerfield Young Comedians Special” and we loved each other ever since. Such a TV icon and above all, a good man. My sympathies to Joy and all of his children and friends.
— bob saget (@bobsaget) July 25, 2020
It is hard to say goodbye to someone whose smile and laugh greeted us so often. Regis Philbin, thank you for bringing a sense of fun and normalcy to our lives. Rest among the heavenly hosts now. https://t.co/vZYfoApAJY
— George Takei (@GeorgeTakei) July 25, 2020