Regis Philbin Dead at 88: Celebrities React
Regis Philbin, the legendary TV host, has died at the age of 88.
People confirmed the beloved longtime television icon passed of natural causes on July 24. “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 shared in a statement.
“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 Philbin family added.
Philbin began his iconic career in 1988 as the host of Live! with Regis and Kathie Lee alongside Kathie Lee Gifford and later served as the original host of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? from 1999 to 2002.
Following his death, his former co-stars Gifford and Kelly Ripa paid tribute, as well as celebrities like Adam Sander Jimmy Kimmel and Bob Saget, on social media.
“There are no words to fully express the love I have for my precious friend, Regis. I simply adored him and every day with him was a gift,” Gifford wrote on Instagram. “There has never been anyone like him. And there never will be.”
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There are no words to fully express the love I have for my precious friend, Regis. I simply adored him and every day with him was a gift. We spent 15 years together bantering and bickering and laughing ourselves silly—a tradition and a friendship we shared up to this very day. I smile knowing somewhere in Heaven, at this very moment, he’s making someone laugh. It brings me great comfort knowing that he had a personal relationship with his Lord that brought him great peace. I send all the love in my heart to Joy, to his children, to the rest of his family and to the innumerable people he touched over his legendary life. There has never been anyone like him. And there never will be.
“We are beyond saddened to learn about the loss of Regis Philbin,” Ripa wrote in a joint statement with Ryan Seacrest. “He was the ultimate class act, bringing his laughter and joy into our homes every day on Live for more than 23 years.”
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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
“Regis Philbin spent more time on television than almost anyone. And we were all better for it. Sending love to his family and his fans,” Ellen DeGeneres added.
Regis Philbin spent more time on television than almost anyone. And we were all better for it. Sending love to his family and his fans.
— Ellen DeGeneres (@TheEllenShow) July 25, 2020
See more reactions, below:
Regis was a great broadcaster, a good friend and a tremendous amount of fun. He leaves behind a beautiful family and a TV legacy that will likely go unmatched. Regis, I hope our friend Rickles met you at the pearly gates with open arms and a slew of the insults you loved so much
— Jimmy Kimmel (@jimmykimmel) July 25, 2020
We throw this word around too much but Regis Philbin was a legend. He was a true gentleman I’m glad I got to know and a TV host I admired and was honored to follow. Much like Arnold Palmer everybody has a great “Regis” story, I’m grateful I have mine
— Chris Harrison (@chrisbharrison) July 25, 2020
Absolute legend to so many generations. Looked forward to hanging and laughing with the man whenever I was invited. Prayers are with his entire family. We all loved Regis and will miss him so much. pic.twitter.com/xMJ9TxgU3q
— Adam Sandler (@AdamSandler) July 25, 2020
It is hard to say goodbye to someone whose smile and laugh greeted us so often. Regis Philbin, thank you for bringing a sense of fun and normalcy to our lives. Rest among the heavenly hosts now. https://t.co/vZYfoApAJY
— George Takei (@GeorgeTakei) July 25, 2020
RIP REGIS!!! A real icon. Nothing will ever top Regis and @KathieLGifford as a morning show. Nothing!
— billy eichner (@billyeichner) July 25, 2020
Regis was a legendary figure in TV. There was no one like him. I used to love watching him. He was always up, always genuine, always real. God bless, Regis. #ripregis #RegisPhilbin https://t.co/mJyWwT9FJ4
— Maria Shriver (@mariashriver) July 25, 2020
Heartbroken. We will miss you regis pic.twitter.com/kB8oag8BFO
— Hoda Kotb (@hodakotb) July 25, 2020
Saddened to hear about the passing of Regis Philbin. Condolences to his wife Joy.
— William Shatner (@WilliamShatner) July 25, 2020
Well, I just loved Regis. Adored him. Such a sweetheart. A funny, funny sweetheart.
— Kathy Griffin (@kathygriffin) July 25, 2020
What a loss- The wonderful Regis Philbin. I met him in 1985 when I was on the “Rodney Dangerfield Young Comedians Special” and we loved each other ever since. Such a TV icon and above all, a good man. My sympathies to Joy and all of his children and friends.
— bob saget (@bobsaget) July 25, 2020
I’m absolutely heartbroken. Regis was an incredible man who could light up any room. He always made me feel special no matter if I saw him in the studio or ran into him on the street. Legend and Icon aren’t strong enough words to describe him. He will never be forgotten!! pic.twitter.com/DXqv0OCjX0
— Michael Strahan (@michaelstrahan) July 25, 2020