Regis Philbin, the iconic TV host, actor, media personality passed away this weekend, according to a statement from his family.
“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.”
A source told TMZ that Regis died early this morning after suffering a heart attack at his home.
He’d been battling heart disease for a while now, having an angioplasty done in the ’90s, and a triple bypass surgery in 2007.
Regis got his start in Hollywood back in the ’50s while working on The Tonight Show where he served as a page. He went on to work in local news and even had his own show before getting more network exposure in the ’60s on The Joey Bishop Show.
In the late ’80s, he perhaps got his biggest break by landing a co-hosting gig with Kathie Lee Gifford, which most know as Live! with Regis and Kathie Lee — a nationally-syndicated morning talk show that has continued to this day, with other hosts filling in over the years … perhaps most notably, Kelly Ripa, who replaced Kathie Lee when she left.
Regis co-hosted the show until 2011, when Michael Strahan replaced him. But, even during all those years in between, the man stayed busy — as game show fans might already know.
Regis has worked on countless TV series and shows over the years as a special guest, guest host, co-host or just cameos in general, including recurring appearances on Today, Rachael Ray, The Talk, The Meredith Vieira Show, The Tonight Show, Entertainment Tonight, The View, The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson,La te Show with David Letterman, Jimmy Kimmel Live!, Good Morning America, Wheel of Fortune, Late Night with Conan O’Brien, Jeopardy!, The Rosie O’Donnell Show, and on and on….
He is survived by his wife, Joy.
Regis Philbin was 88.
Here was his meta appearance with co-host Kathy Lee playing himself on Seinfeld.
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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