Legendary television host Regis Philbin has passed away at the age of 88, his family confirmed on Saturday.
“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.
An American legend
The beloved media personality was best known for his two decades hosting morning television shows “Live with Regis and Kathie Lee,” which ran from 1988 through 2000 and “Live! with Regis and Kelly” which ran from 2001 to 2011.
Philbin also lent his hosting talents to “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire” for several years starting in 1999, followed by “Million Dollar Password” and “America’s Got Talent” more recently.
Philbin began his long career in showbusiness in 1955 as a page for NBC at Rockefeller Center in Manhattan. He worked his way up the ranks over the years, eventually launching his first talk show, The Regis Philbin Show, in 1964.
He appeared in a slew of TV shows, talk shows, and game shows over his many decades in the entertainment business, becoming a household name along the way.
Fox News reported that Philbin was one of the most prolific entertainers in Hollywood history, logging more than 15,000 hours on the air, “earning him recognition in the Guinness Book of World Records for the most broadcast hours logged by a TV personality.”
“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,” Philbin’s family stated. “We thank his fans and admirers for their incredible support over his 60-year career and ask for privacy as we mourn his loss.”
Tributes pour in
After news of Philbin’s death broke, tributes from friends and admirers immediately began pouring in.
President Trump tweeted “One of the greats in the history of television, Regis Philbin has passed on to even greater airwaves, at 88. He was a fantastic person, and my friend. He kept telling me to run for President.”
“Holds the record for ‘most live television’, and he did it well,” Trump continued. “Regis, we love you….And to Joy, his wonderful wife who he loved so much, my warmest condolences!!!”
Philbin is survived by his wife of 40 years, Joy, and their daughters J.J. and Joanna Philbin, as well as his daughter Amy Philbin with his first wife, Catherine Fayle.