Regis Philbin became a ubiquitous presence on TV in the 1980s, he graduated from the University of Notre Dame in 1953, earning a degree in sociology and playing on the tennis team. Furthermore, He’s remained a lifelong supporter of the famed Fighting Irish football team. In his career, Regis Philbin holds the Guinness World Record for the most hours on television, yet his showbiz presence has been relatively low-key since leaving Live! with Regis and Kelly in 2011. In January 2011, Regis announced his surprising retirement from Live! with Regis and Kelly after a long 28 years.
During an episode of the show, Regis Philbin called the experience “the biggest thrill” of his life, and then he declared, “There is a time that you know, everything must come to an end for certain people on camera, especially certain old people.” That November, Philbin completed one of the longest-running hosting gigs in TV history, thus marking the true end of an era. In the final episode of the show, Regis spoke about why people have continued to love the show so much, “They watch it, they say, because it makes them feel better, and it can’t get better than that. It makes them happy, and I’ll never be able to top that.”
Regis Philbin and Kelly Ripa worked together for more than a decade on Live, but multiple reports have claimed that they have a strained relationship and have feuded behind the scenes. But all that alleged dirt was swept under the rug for the cameras as they shared an emotional exchange during Philbin’s final episode. In that Episode, Kelly said, “I’ve had the privilege of walking 43 steps with you from my dressing room to the studio floor five days a week for the past 11 years.”
However, when asked in 2017 if they had kept in touch, Philbin told Larry King that they hadn’t. He claimed that Ripa took his departure from the show personally. “She got very offended when I left. She thought I was leaving because of her. I was leaving because I was getting older, and that wasn’t right for me anymore.”
Then, Philbin shared that same opinion in an interview with The Insider, when he noted, “I left and I think she resented that. I mean, that’s how I feel about it, and I’m sorry because I wasn’t trying to dive from her, but I was a little tired.”
Regis Philbin, who was born on August 25, 1931, has been battling heart disease for nearly three decades, which led to triple bypass surgery in 2007. By keeping up with a healthy diet, an exercise regimen, and his cholesterol medication, he has made his health a top priority.
In 2018, Philbin spoke with AOL Entertainment about the “Take Cholesterol To Heart” campaign that he was a part of to raise awareness about heart disease treatments.
He had a son and daughter with his first wife Kay Faylan, and then he had two more daughters with his second and current wife, Joy Philbin, an interior decorator with whom he tied the knot in 1970.
He started his career as an NBC page at 30 Rockefeller Plaza. In 2017, he spoke with The Hollywood Reporter for a feature about former NBC pages who’d gone on to great success. He admitted that he was starstruck by all the celebrities he would encounter daily. He told, “It was a thrill because you never knew who would come in.”
Later, he landed a job writing for Los Angeles talk show host Tom Duggan. One day, Tom Duggan missed the Episode as a replacement Regis was called and asked to fill in, He later recalled that he was so nervous that he feared he would have a heart attack right in the middle of the show. Then, Rigs was hired by his former employers at NBC, where he spent a brief stint as an announcer for The Tonight Show.
Furthermore, he hosted his talk show in San Diego, California on Saturday nights and it was called That Regis Philbin Show, and he served as host, writer, producer, and talent booker. After a successful run hosting his show, which he eventually took to Los Angeles, Philbin caught a big break when he was hired to be the sidekick on a new talk show on ABC starring comedian Joey Bishop.
However, the show trailed behind Johnny Carson’s Tonight Show in the ratings, and Bishop was reportedly facing pressure from network executives to replace Philbin. In 1985, he partnered with Kathie Lee Gifford for the Morning Show, which was later renamed Live! with Regis and Kathie Lee. In addition to hosting Live! and Who Wants to be a Millionaire he also released albums and hosted the first season of America’s Got Talent.
Kathie Lee Gifford left Live! in 2000, and the following year, soap opera actress Kelly Ripa was tapped as her replacement on the retitled Live! with Regis and Kelly. Philbin and Ripa remained co-hosts for a decade until he left the show in 2011 at the age of 80.
In 2004, Philbin landed in the Guinness Book of World Records, as he had logged more time on TV than any other human being. According to the record, he’d amassed a whopping 15,188 hours on TV screens. After his retirement, Regis picked up several on-screen gigs. He’s guested on sitcoms such as New Girl and The Odd Couple, and he’s also landed occasional guest-hosting work on the likes of The Today Show and Fox Sports’ Crowd Goes Wild. Additionally, he’s been a special guest on several episodes of Rachael Ray.
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|DOB||August 25, 1931|
|Age||89 Years old as of 2020|
|Height||5 feet 8 Inch tall|
|Wife||Catherine "Kay" Faylen (Ex)|
|Kids||J. J. Philbin (Daughter)|
Joanna Philbin (Daughter)
Amy Philbin (Daughter)
Daniel Philbin (Son)
|Family||Father: Francis "Frank" Philbin|
Mother: Filomena "Florence"
Siblings: Frank M. Philbin (Brother)
|Net Worth||$155 Million USD as of 2020|