Regis Philbin has died. According to a statement issued by his family, the 88-year-old passed away from natural causes on Friday – a month shy of his 89th birthday.
“[Regis’] 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 family 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.”
Philbin, a native New Yorker, began his career as a writer after serving in the Navy and getting a sociology degree from the University of Notre Dame. He and Kathie Lee Gifford started “Live! with Regis and Kathie Lee” in 1986. Kelly Ripa came on-board in 2001 and the show became “Live! with Regis and Kelly.” He was also the original host of “Who Wants to be a Millionaire?” from 1999 to 2002.” Other hosting credits include “Million Dollar Password,” the first season of “America’s Got Talent,” and a recurring co-host on “Rachael Ray.”
Regis is survived by his wife of 50 years, Joy Philbin; their daughters JJ and Joanna, and his daughter Amy, whom he shared with his first wife, Catherine Faylen. He was preceded in death by his son, Daniel, in 2014.