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Popular US TV Host Regis Philbin Has Died Aged 88

Popular US TV Host Regis Philbin Has Died Aged 88

Iconic US TV host Regis Philbin has died at the age of 88.

Philbin, who was perhaps most famous for his role on Live! With Regis and Kelly died of natural causes, according to a statement his family released to People.

The statement reads: "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.

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"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 Philbin with his wife Betty Joy. Credit: PA
Regis Philbin with his wife Betty Joy. Credit: PA

Philbin had been battling health conditions for a while, and was forced to under go a triple heart bypass surgery in 2007.

He was recognised by Guinness World Records in 2004 for his combined 16,000 hours spent in front of the TV cameras.

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Regis began his career on The Tonight Show and also featured on The Joey Bishop Show in the 1950s, before landing his own show after moving to Los Angeles from New York.

Known for his charismatic presenting style, as well as his broad New York accent, Regis went on to become one of the most recognisable faces on US television.

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His long time co-presenter Kelly Ripa - one of several people to present alongside Philbin on the Live! With Regis and... show - told New York Times in 2011: "I think he is the world's greatest storyteller,"

Speaking of his ability to capture and enrapture an audience, she added: "That's his gift."

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Regis Philbin. Credit: PA
Regis Philbin. Credit: PA

Philbin also went on to present the early seasons of America's Got Talent and Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? but said that his career highlight was moving to prime-time TV from the morning slot.

He told the New York Times: "That was the highlight of my life,

"I realised there was a difference between a syndicated morning show and prime time.

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"'Regis saved the network!' I used to walk around saying that. I was a big man! I was a giant! It was a wonderful time in a broadcaster's life to get a show like that. Wow, it was dynamite."

Because of his unique voice, Regis made cameos in several popular films and TV programmes including Seinfeld, 30 Rock, How I Met Your Mother, and the Shrek movie franchise.

He is survived by his wife Betty Joy, as well as four daughters and his grandchildren.

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: TV and Film, Celebrity, US News, US Entertainment

Tom Wood

Tom Wood is a LADbible journalist and Twin Peaks enthusiast. Despite having a career in football cut short by a chronic lack of talent, he managed to obtain degrees from both the University of London and Salford. According to his French teacher, at the weekends he mostly likes to play football and go to the park with his brother. Contact Tom on [email protected]