Former television host, Notre Dame alum Regis Philbin dies at 88
SOUTH BEND, Ind.-- Regis Philbin, cohost of “Live with Regis and Kathie Lee,” and later “Live with Regis and Kelly,” made a name for himself as a household staple throughout his career.
The “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire” host passed away at the age of 88 from natural causes, just one month shy of his 89th birthday, according to a statement from his family on Saturday.
The New York City native in his lifetime won six daytime Emmy’s and received the lifetime achievement award in 2008.
His fans, reminisce on the times they spent in front of their TV screens watching him.
“I really liked and watched both of his shows. I watched him on who wants to be a millionaire when I was like little and then I watched him on live with Regis and Kelly,” fan Heather Passi said.
Philbin retired from his 60-year career back in 2011, and still holds the world record for most hours on U.S television with more than 16,000 hours, according to the Guinness World Records.
His family, remembers him in a statement as warm, humorous and someone who can make every day into something worth talking about.
His fans, describe his television presence just the same.
“His sense of humor was just, like it was just so funny and like I just loved when he interacted with the audiences and how much he just like cared about like everyone,” Passi said.
Regis graduated from the University of Notre Dame in 1953 as a sociology major, and was involved with the University up until his death. The University's studio theatre was named after him as well.
Notre Dame’s President John Jenkins released a statement on Philbin’s passing who said in part quote, “Regis regaled millions on air through the years, oftentimes sharing a passionate love for his alma mater with viewers. He will be remembered at Notre Dame for his unfailing support for the University and its mission including the Philbin Studio Theater in our performing arts center. He likewise was generous with his time and talent in support of South Bend’s Center for the Homeless and worthy causes.”
Philbin’s fans said that his legacy will live on forever.
“I know that his legacy will live on forever and I know that his inspiration will still carry on,” Passi said.
Philbin was married twice and is survived by his wife Joy, their two daughters Joanna and J.J., his daughter from his first marriage Amy, and grandchildren.