Longtime TV Host Regis Philbin Has Died at 88


The legendary Regis Philbin, known for hosting talk and game shows, has died at the age of 88.

According to his family, the former TV host passed from natural causes.

Regis Philbin Passed Away One Month Before 89th Birthday

“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 said in a statement.

“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,” the statement continued. “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 has had various health issues throughout his career. He underwent an angioplasty back in 1993, followed by triple bypass surgery due to plaque in his arteries in 2007. In 2009, the television personality had his hip replaced.

The longtime TV host is survived by his wife, Joy, his four daughters, and his grandchildren.

Related: Longtime Comedy Legend Carl Reiner Dies at 98

Before making it big in front of the cameras, the former host graduated from the University of Notre Dame in 1953, and later served in the United States Navy. He then went through a few behind-the-scenes jobs in television and radio before moving into broadcasting.

He began his career as a page on The Tonight Show, before being hired as a sidekick on The Joey Bishop Show in the 1950s.

Philbin’s first talk show was The Regis Philbin Show in 1961. It was there that he developed his signature “host chat” segment, where he engaged the audience in talks concerning his life and the day’s events. It was mostly out of necessity, since he didn’t have a writing staff due to financial constraints.

His Time Hosting Live! With Regis and Kathie Lee Made Him Into a Pop Culture Icon

He was most widely known for having been the co-host on the talk show Live! With Regis and Kathie Lee, which started in 1988. It later became Live! With Regis and Kelly, starting in 2001, with former football player Michael Strahan taking over after Philbin’s departure in 2011.

It was Philbin’s infamously recognizable voice and all those years on morning talk shows that turned him into the pop culture figure we knew him as.

Philbin was also the host of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, Million Dollar Password, and the first season of America’s Got Talent.

He also made cameos in movies and TV shows, like Seinfeld, Miss Congeniality 2, 30 Rock, and How I Met Your Mother.

Philbin’s accolades include Daytime Emmy Awards for outstanding talk show host, as well as outstanding game show host for Who Wants to Be a Millionaire. He also received a Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2003, and a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Daytime Emmy Awards.

All that time on TV earned Regis Philbin one more award, too: he holds the Guinness World Record for the most hours on U.S. television.