Kelly Ripa leads tributes to Regis Philbin as legendary host dies ages 88

Kelly Ripa leads tributes to Regis Philbin as legendary host dies ages 88


Tributes are pouring in for Regis Philbin, as the legendary US TV host dies aged 88.

Regis was a stalwart of American television, most well-known for presenting Live! With Regis and Kathie-Lee (later Live! With Regis and Kelly) from 1988-2011.

In a messaged shared with People, Regis’ family confirmed: ‘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 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.’

Regis’ co-host Kelly Ripa lead the tributes with a heartfelt post, in a joint statement with Ryan Seacrest.

‘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,’ it reads.

‘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.’

US talk show host Jimmy Kimmel also paid tribute to the broadcasting icon, hailing a ‘TV legacy that will likely go un-matched.’

‘Regis was a good broadcaster, a good broadcaster, a good friend and a tremendous amount of fun,’ he wrote.

‘He leaves behind a beautiful family and a TV legacy that will likely go un-matched.’

Actor William Shatner added: ‘Saddened to hear about the passing of Regis Philbin. Condolences to his wife Joy,’

Hoda Kotb, who presents daytime talkshow Today said she was ‘Heartbroken’ at the sad news.

‘We will miss you, Regis,’ she added.

Regis was also known for presenting the American version of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? and the first season of America’s Got Talent.

He presented Live! first with Kathie Lee Gifford, before Kelly Ripa took over. Regis and Kelly presented together until 2011, Live! now airs with Kelly and Ryan Seacrest as main presenters.

Regis is survived by his widow Joy Senese, and his four children.

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