Legendary TV Host Regis Philbin Has Passed Away at Age 88

Regis Philbin, the iconic Emmy award-winning host of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, Million Dollar Password, and Live! with Regis and Kathy Lee, which later became Live! with Regis and Kelly, died Saturday, July 25th, according to People. At this time, the cause of death is reported as a heart attack. The television personality was one month shy of his 89th birthday. Philbin had multiple issues with heart disease and other health issues; in 1993, he underwent an angioplasty, followed by triple bypass heart surgery in March 2007. In December 2009, he had a hip replacement.

"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 shared in a statement. "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. We thank his fans and admirers for their incredible support over his 60-year career and ask for privacy as we mourn his loss."

TV Host Regis Philbin Dead at 88
Regis Philbin at the 42nd Daytime Emmy Awards Gala at Warner Bros. Studio on April 26, 2015, in Burbank, California. Editorial credit: Joe Seer / Shutterstock.com

Born on August 25th, 1931, Philbin was raised in the Bronx and earned a sociology degree from the University of Notre Dame in 1953. Philbin began his career in front of the camera in 1961 with a local talk show in San Diego called The Regis Philbin Show. In 1967, he landed the part of Joey Bishop's sidekick on The Joey Bishop Show. After a string of local talk shows, including A.M. Los Angeles and Regis Philbin's Saturday Night in St. Louis, he moved back to New York in 1983 to host The Morning Show, which was later renamed Live! with Regis and Kathie Lee.

Philbin is survived by wife Joy Philbin and daughters J.J, Joanna, and Amy Philbin, the latter from his marriage to first wife, Catherine Faylen.

About Eden Arnold

Having spent far too much time in front of the television growing up, Eden has lots of opinions about television (as well as movies and everything else). She puts this to good use along with her journalism degree and writing experience with by-lines over the years in many print publications, books, and online media outlets. You can find her on Twitter at @Edenhasopinions

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