Regis Philbin has died at the age of 88 on July 24, his family confirmed. The sad news comes one month before his 89th birthday.
Regis Philbin has sadly died. “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 confirmed to People magazine on July 25. “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 statement also read.
In 2007, Regis underwent a triple bypass surgery. Then, in 2009, he had hip-replacement surgery. And, in May 2010, he underwent surgery to have a blood clot removed from his calf. Each time, Regis returned to work as soon as he was able to; even returning to work just one day after his blood clot surgery.
Regis Francis Xavier Philbin, born August 25, 1931, was a TV personality, actor, singer and multifaceted host. Adding to his many accomplishments, Regis attended the University of Notre Dame and later served in the Navy. Regis eventually got his start in television when he served as a page on The Tonight Show; he would later go on to host The Regis Philbin Show [1961-1965] out of San Diego, CA. Regis racked up a slew of other hosting gigs through the years; but, he was most known for Live! with Regis and Kathie Lee — later Live! With Regis and Kelly alongside Kelly Ripa –which was formerly The Morning Show. The program syndicated into Live! in 1988. Regis hosted Live! until his last show on Nov. 18, 2011. He later said that he left because he was getting older. He was also known for his time as the host of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, in which he won a Daytime Emmy for in 2001.
In April 2003, he received his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. In 2006, he went on to host the first season of America’s Got Talent. Finally, despite his retirement, he joined NBC’s Today as a contributor in 2015 where he reunited with Kathie Lee Gifford.
In total, Regis has six Daytime Emmys, out of 24 nominations and a Lifetime Achievement Award. He has also appeared in numerous movies and television shows as himself, such as Cheaper by the Dozen, Miss Congeniality, Seinfeld, and 30 Rock.
Regis has been married twice and has four children. He first wed Catherine “Kay” Faylen, who he was married from 1955-1968. They had two children together, Amy and Daniel. In 1970, Regis wed interior decorator, Joy Sensese. The pair later had two children together, Joanna and Jennifer. Regis is survived by his wife, Joy, four children, Amy, Daniel, Joanna, and Jennifer, as well as his two grandchildren [Jennifer’s children], William Xavier [who is named after him] and Ivy Elizabeth.
Our thoughts are with Regis’ loved ones during this incredibly difficult time.