Breaking news everybody from the entertainment world legendary television host Regis Philbin has died. In a statement, his family says Philbin passed away last night of natural causes.
Philbin got his national start in 1967 on the Joey Bishop show, becoming the host alongside Kathy Lee Gifford.
The new york city native went on to hold a variety of hosting credits from who wants to be a millionaire to America’s got talent.
The 88 years old died one month away from his 89 birthday in August, surrounded by family and friends. Regis Philbin passed away from natural causes.
He died holding the Guinness World Record for the most hours on U.S television.
Regis Philbin, the genial host who shared his life with television viewers over morning coffee for decades and helped himself and some fans strike it rich with the game show Who Wants to Be a Millionaire. According to a statement from his family, Philbin died of natural causes Friday night, provided by spokesperson Lewis Kay.
“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,” the statement said. “We thank his fans and admirers for their incredible support over his 60-year career and ask for privacy as we mourn his loss.”
Celebrities routinely stopped by Philbin’s eponymous syndicated morning show, but its heart was in the first 15 minutes when he and co-host Kathie Lee Gifford — on Live! With Regis and Kathie Lee from 1985-2000 — or Kelly Ripa — on Live! With Regis and Kelly from 2001 until his 2011 retirement — bantered about the events of the day. Viewers laughed at Philbin’s mock anger over not getting the best seat at a restaurant the night before or being henpecked by his partner.
“Even I have a little trepidation,” he told The Associated Press in 2008 when asked how he does a show every day. “You wake up in the morning, and you say, ‘What did I do last night that I can talk about? What’s new in the paper? How are we going to fill that 20 minutes?”‘
Regis Philbin was known for his rough edges, funny anecdotes, self-deprecating humor, and a Bronx accent that was once described as sounding “like a racetrack announcer with a head cold.” American comedian and late-night host David Letterman, a longtime friend, called Philbin the funniest man on television.
Philbin — known to fans as “Reeg” — was a fixture on various local and national shows for a half-century with co-hosts including Kathie Lee Gifford and Kelly Ripa, winning millions of fans as well as honors as the top U.S. talk and game show host.
“I’m not gonna say it always works out brilliantly, but somehow we connect more often than we don’t,” he added. Ripa and her current partner, Ryan Seacrest, called Philbin “the ultimate class act, bringing his laughter and joy into our homes every day.”
Philbin logged 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 T.V. personality, a record previously held by Hugh Downs.
“Every day, you see the record shattered, pal!” Regis Philbin would tell viewers. “One more hour!”
He was the host of the prime-time game show, Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, briefly television’s most popular show at the turn of the century. ABC aired the family-friendly program as often as five times a week. It generated around $1 billion U.S. in revenue in its first two years and helped make Philbin himself a millionaire many times over. He signed a deal in 2000, making his salary for Who Wants to be a Millionaire $20 million a year — the most ever for a game show host.