Stars including Hoda Kotb and Jimmy Kimmel paid tribute to Regis Philbin, who died on Friday, July 24, at the age of 88.
Kotb, who anchored the fourth hour of Today with Kathie Lee Gifford for more than decade until 2019, tweeted a message on Saturday, July 25, shortly after news broke of the TV legend’s passing.
“Heartbroken. We will miss you regis,” Kotb captioned a photo of Philbin and Gifford, his former Live! With Regis and Kathie Lee cohost.
“Regis was a great broadcaster, a good friend and a tremendous amount of fun,” Kimmel tweeted. “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.”
Philbin, who began his TV career in 1961 with a talk show in San Diego, set a Guinness World Record for Most Hours on Camera in 2004, with his Twitter feed proclaiming, “17,000 hours on TV and counting, just try and stop me!”
In addition to hosting Live! with Gifford and later Kelly Ripa until his departure after 23 years in 2011, Philbin was also the first host of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, winning a Daytime Emmy Award for Best Game Show Host in 2001. He also appeared on sitcoms including Seinfeld, Spin City and The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.
“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 said in a statement to Us Weekly on Saturday.
“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,” the statement continued. “We thank his fans and admirers for their incredible support over his 60-year career and ask for privacy as we mourn his loss.”
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