Sad news to report….
Iconic TV legend Regis Philbin has passed away at 88!
Legendary talk show host and three-time Daytime Emmy winner Regis Philbin has died at the age of 88.
Philbin’s family said in a statement to PEOPLE that the TV icon died on Friday.
“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,” the statement said. “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.”
In 1988, Philbin began his iconic career as the host of Live! with Regis and Kathie Lee alongside Kathie Lee Gifford. After 15 years, Gifford left the ABC show but the pair remained close after her departure.
In 2001, the franchise became Live! with Regis and Kelly, co-starring Kelly Ripa before he left in 2011 after 23 years on-air. (He was replaced by former football player Michael Strahan, who later departed for Good Morning America and was replaced by Ryan Seacrest in 2017.)
Philbin also served as the original host of the widely popular game show Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? from 1999 to 2002. In addition, the New York City native’s hosting credits include Million Dollar Password, the first season of America’s Got Talent, as well as a reoccurring co-host seat on Rachael Ray.
Philbin’s accolades include Daytime Emmy Awards for outstanding talk show host for Live! in 2001 and 2011 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 in 2008.
Throughout his career, Philbin had various health issues. He underwent an angioplasty in 1993, followed by triple bypass surgery due to plaque in his arteries in March 2007. In December 2009, the television personality had his hip replaced.
Philbin, who was married twice, is survived by daughters J.J. Philbin and Joanna Philbin, whom he shared with his wife of 50 years, Joy Philbin. He was also father to daughter Amy Philbin, whom he shared with his first wife Catherine Faylen. Philbin and Faylen had another child, son Daniel Philbin, who died in 2014.
Philbin will be missed by his family and legions of fans around the world!