Regis Philbin, best known as the original host of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire and Live! with Regis and Kelly, died Friday at the age of 88.
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 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.
Philbin was born in New York City in 1931 and grew up in The Bronx. He graduated from Cardinal Hayes High School before getting a degree in sociology from the University of Notre Dame in 1953.
He would later move west and in 1961 hosted a local show in San Diego, The Regis Philbin Show. Later, he would become nationally known, serving as a sidekick on The Joey Bishop Show. Later, he returned to host game shows and talk shows aired locally. Philbin began to host The Morning Show in 1983, which a few years later morphed into Live with Regis and Kathie Lee (1988-2000), followed up by Live! with Regis and Kelly (2001-2011). The show continued on without Philbin and is now on the air as Live with Kelly and Ryan.
In 1999, Philbin became the original host of the American version of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire.
Throughout his career, Philbin had been nominated 37 times for Daytime Emmy Awards, winning six. The National Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame and the Television Academy Hall of Fame inducted Philbin in 2006. In 2008, he won the Lifetime Achievement Award.