Veteran television host Regis Philbin, whose career on the small screen spanned more than 60 years, sadly passed away on July 24 at the age of 88. He was often referred to as “the hardest working man in show business” and still holds the Guinness World Record for the most hours appearing on US television! Millions of Americans would recognize him from his phenomenal 28 year stint as co-host of The Morning Show, a role he first assumed in the early 80s.
The New York native, who was the recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Daytime Emmys, and has his own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, first co-hosted the show with Kathie Lee Gifford, 66. It was renamed Live! with Regis and Kathie Lee until her departure in 2000. After a lengthy year-long search for his new co-host, All My Children star Kelly Ripa, 49, filled the spot.
That was very early in Kelly Ripa’s career — at the time she was only known for her work on TV soaps! The dynamic duo co-hosted Live! until he left in 2011 after a whopping 28 years. Regis was clearly a mentor to Kelly, and she took to Instagram to commemorate her former co-host upon learning of his death. “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,” she posted in a statement shared to social media on Saturday, July 25. “We were beyond lucky to have him as a mentor in our careers and aspire everyday to fill his shoes on the show,” she also wrote.
The pair worked together for over a decade, and shared countless memories on live TV. The duo hosted their show outside of the studio on occasion, and headed to Florida on multiple times to go live into millions of living rooms around the nation, while working from the beach. They did plenty of weird and wacky things, like host a “Grilling With The Stars” segment with former boyband member Drew Lachey. Scroll through the gallery above to see more highlights from Regis’ long career in television.