Regis Philbin Dead: Legandary 'Who Wants to be a Millionaire?' Host Died At 88

Regis Philbin died a month shy of his 89th birthday. Such a sad news for his family, friends, and fans. 

The legendary television host has passed away at 88, of natural causes, his family confirmed in a statement to People magazine. It seems only yesterday when he started his iconic career with the massively successful "Live! with Regis and Kathie Lee."

"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," the family statement read.

The family also thank his legion of fans and friends for their support and now requests for some much-needed privacy during the difficult time. "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. We thank his fans and admirers for their incredible support over his 60-year career and ask for privacy as we mourn his loss," the statement continued.

Philbin's career has lasted decades. He was the host of many shows that became household entertainment for years. included in the list of iconic shows he hosted are "Who Wants to be a Millionaire?, "Million Dollar Password," as well as "America's Got Talent."

He is survived by his wife of five decades, Joy Philbin and two daughters, Jennifer and Joanna. Given his long and illustrious career, he picked up the Lifetime Achievement Award from the daytime Emmys

Outside of his hosting jobs, he was a guy well-loved. He also got a great sense of humor; he would not have lasted that long in the industry if not. He even influenced other stars to become icons of their own, such as David Letterman. 

Regis Philbin was born Regis Francis Xavier Philbin. He grew up Bronx, New York and raised by Italian-Irish parents. He had studied and graduated from the Notre Dame University. Revealing how much he was impacted and shaped by his education, he once said that he wanted his ashes scattered there. 

Before he became a renowned television host, he worked several odd jobs that all made an impact on his career. He left the Navy in 1955 and then had a meting with the stationmaster at KCOP-TV in Los Angeles. Some said he sure talked his way to his career right from the start. That meeting proved fateful to his career, where he started as someone who parked cars, then became a stagehand, a courier, and a news writer. He then progressed into being a producer of a sports telecast. When the sportscaster could not show up for work one day, he filled i.

ABC13 anchor emeritus Dave Ward shared   how great of a man Regis Philbin was to him, and to everyone. The two have connected over their respective long years in broadcasting. According to Ward during a FaceTime interview on Saturday, Philbin can make people feel special. If there are 20 people in the room, he would come over and talk to you as if you are the only person in the crowded room. Ward also described him as kind, gracious and outgoing, certainly deserving of all his mementos and awards.

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