Beloved legendary TV host Regis Philbin dies at age 88

By Zach Harper

Regis Philbin, beloved by television audiences worldwide and called "the hardest working man in show business," has died at age 88.

The man who still holds the Guinness World Record for the most hours on American television passed away on July 24 of natural causes.

"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," his family said in a statement. "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's passing was immediately mourned by many in Hollywood, including today's most popular talk show hosts.

"Regis was a great broadcaster, a good friend and a tremendous amount of fun," Jimmy Kimmel tweeted on July 25. "He leaves behind a beautiful family and a TV legacy that will likely go unmatched. Regis, I hope our friend [Don] Rickles met you at the pearly gates with open arms and a slew of the insults you loved so much."

Regis with Joey Bishop in 1967. Photo: © Martin Mills/Getty Images

Regis first got his start on The Regis Philbin Show in 1961. It was just a local show in San Diego at the time, but from there he went on to a stint on The Joey Bishop Show and other talk shows before landing The Morning Show in 1983.

It was later renamed Live! with Regis and Kathie Lee, and Regis co-hosted the popular daytime program with Kathie Lee Gifford from 1988 to 2001, when his counterpart left the show. He continued to helm it with Kelly Ripa, departing the show himself in 2011.

Younger audiences and readers also likely know him best for hosting Who Wants to be a Millionaire? The show became a runaway hit when it from 1999 to 2002, making Regis known among millennials for his "is that your final answer?" tagline. He went on to have a stint on America's Got Talent in its first season and also became a frequent guest co-host on Rachael Ray's popular cooking show.

Regis with his daughters Jennifer and Joanna and wife second wife Joy in 1987. Photo: © Ron Galella, Ltd./Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images

In his later years, Regis had been battling heart issues. He had an angioplasty in the 1990s and a triple bypass in 2007.

Regis was married twice and had four children. He shared Amy and Daniel with Catherine Faylen, his first wife, and Joanna and Jennifer with Joanna, his second wife. Daniel passed away in 2014.

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