Onyxnews Nigeria reports that Regis Philbin is dead. Known as an amiable talk show host and a fixture of the small screen for decades, Regis Philbin died at 88.
Onyxnews Nigeria understands that Philbin’s family in a statement confirmed his death to NPR “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 humour, and his singular ability to make every day into something worth talking about,” they said. “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 Cause Of Death – How Longtime TV Host Died
Natural causes: Regis Philbin died Friday, just over a month before his 89th birthday. Philbin died of natural causes, according to a family statement.
Who Regis Philbin really was
Being an interesting personality, Philbin cultivated an air of informality on his talk shows, popular for the amusing bants he shared with his co-hosts. However, the Philbin of television seemingly oozed charisma, he suffered in his youth from a lack of self-confidence. “I missed so many opportunities along the way to do what I wanted to do because I didn’t have the confidence to tell myself, much less anybody else, ‘Yes, this is the business I wanted to be a part of,’ ” he told Fresh Air in 2011.
Feeling that he lacked the talent to make it in showbiz, after his graduation from Notre Dame he spent two years serving in the Navy. On his last day, a major in the Marines asked Philbin what he wanted to do with his life.
“I told him, ‘What I’d like to do is go into television but I don’t know if I have any talent or what I could do,’ and he got very angry. … He said, ‘Well, what do you mean? Don’t you know you can have anything you want in this life if you only want it bad enough? Do you want it?’ And I said, ‘Major, I’m not sure.’ And he boomed at me, ‘Do you want this?!’ And I snapped to and gave him a salute and said, ‘Yes, yes I want this.’ ”
The major, Philbin recounted, told Philbin to drive to Hollywood. “And that’s what I did.” Philbin began his television career as an NBC page for The Tonight Show in the 1950s. He worked as a newscast broadcaster for several years, before getting his first big break in 1967, when he became the sidekick to Joey Bishop on The Joey Bishop Show. From there, he went on to host local morning shows.
His biggest stroke of luck might have come when Kathie Lee Gifford joined him in 1985 as co-host of ABC’s The Morning Show in New York City. The pair was so successful, that Live with Regis and Kathie Lee was nationally syndicated three years later. With impressive ratings, it was a mainstay on American television through the ’90s.
In 1999, Philbin took on another role — the inaugural host of ABC’s Who Wants to Be a Millionaire. He continued regularly hosting the show until 2002, making his famous question — “Is that your final answer?” — a national catchphrase.
Philbin was continuing his daily job as host of Live. After Gifford left the show in 2000, Philbin went through several guest co-hosts, before soap opera actress Kelly Ripa joined him as his permanent partner in 2001. They worked together for about a decade before Philbin retired from the show in 2011 at the age of 80. By that point, he held the Guinness World Record for the most hours spent in front of a television camera.