Regis Philbin, Legendary Television And Game Show Host, Dies Aged 88

Millicent Cooke

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Regis Philbin, the legendary television and game show host, has died aged 88.

His family confirmed the tragic news to PEOPLE in a statement, saying he passed away on Friday, 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,’ the statement read.

‘His family and friends are forever grateful for the time we got to spend with him – for his warmth, his legendary sense of humour, 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.’

Philbin hosted Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, Million Dollar Password, and the first season of America’s Got Talent.

He began his career as a newsreader in San Diego in 1958 and holds the Guinness World Record for the most hours on US television. Philbin shot to fame in 1988 when he began co-presenting Live! with Regis and Kathie Lee, alongside Kathie Lee Gifford.

To many, he was known as ‘the hardest working man in show business’.

Tributes have been pouring in ever since the tragic announcement…

Star Trek actor William Shatner said: ‘Saddened to hear about the passing of Regis Philbin. Condolences to his wife Joy.’

President Donald Trump said: ‘One of the greats in the history of television, Regis Philbin has passed on to even greater airwaves, at 88. He was a fantastic person and my friend. He kept telling me to run for President. Holds the record for “most live television”, and he did it well. Regis, we love you…’

TV host Jimmy Kimmel commented: ‘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.’

Journalist Tom Hourigan said: ‘RIP Regis Philbin, who gave us one of the greatest moments in television history.’

Lion King actor Billy Eichner said: ‘RIP REGIS!!! A real icon. Nothing will ever top Regis and Kathie Lee Gifford as a morning show. Nothing!’

He will be remembered by millions of people all over the globe for making people laugh and bringing joy into their homes. Rest in peace, Regis Philbin.

If you have experienced a bereavement and would like to speak with someone in confidence contact Cruse Bereavement Care via their national helpline on 0808 808 1677.

Topics: Celebrity, Jimmy Kimmel, Now, TV

Millicent Cooke
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