Soap stars pay tribute to Regis Philbin, who died on Saturday at the age of 88
Posted Monday, July 27, 2020 5:48:55 AM
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Iconic talk show and game show host Regis Phibin (ex-Malachy Malone, Ryan's Hope) passed away over the weekend, leading All My Children alums Kelly Ripa (ex-Hayley Santos) and Susan Lucci (ex-Erica Kane) to post heartfelt tributes.

The world is in mourning after hearing the news that legendary television personality Regis Phibin died of heart disease on Saturday. The 88-year-old Daytime Emmy-winning host was famous for the morning show Live! with Regis and Kathie Lee, which he hosted for 15 years, and its later incarnation Live! with Regis and Kelly, which he co-hosted with All My Children alum Kelly Ripa (ex-Hayley Santos) from 2001 until he departed the series in 2011. He also played the role of Malachy Malone on the ABC soap opera Ryan's Hope in 1988.

A statement released by Philbin's family 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. We thank his fans and admirers for their incredible support over his 60-year career and ask for privacy as we mourn his loss."

Born in New York City, Philbin graduated from the University of Notre Dame with a sociology degree before serving in the U.S. Navy as a supply officer. He went through a few behind-the-scenes jobs in television and radio -- including being a page for The Tonight Show -- before finally moving into the broadcasting arena, where he and TV audiences found he truly shined.

Some of Philbin's accolades include The Regis Philbin Show (where, due to a lack of a writing staff, he began his hallmark "host chat" segment to start each episode), The Joey Bishop Show, The Steve Allen Show, A.M. Los Angeles, and Live! with Regis and Kathie Lee (which became Live! with Regis after Kathie Lee Gifford's departure in 2000 and Live! with Regis and Kelly when Kelly Ripa eventually stepped in as Gifford's permanent replacement in 2001). He also served as a host of the game shows The Neighbors, Almost Anything Goes, Who Wants to be a Millionaire, America's Got Talent, and Million Dollar Password.

Philbin won Daytime Emmy Awards in the Outstanding Talk Show Host category for his work on Live! in 2001, 2011, and 2012, as well as for Outstanding Game Show Host for his work on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire in 2011. He received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Daytime Emmy Awards in 2008 and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2003. Philbin is also a Guinness World Record holder for "Most Hours on Camera," with over 16,000 hours clocked.

Kelly Ripa, who shared the stage with Philbin on Live! for a decade, shared a photo of her, Philbin, and her current Live! costar, Ryan Seacrest, with a caption that reads: "We are beyond saddened to learn about the loss of Regis Philbin. He was the ultimate class act, bringing his laughter and joy into our homes every day on Live for more than 23 years. We were beyond lucky to have him as a mentor in our careers and aspire everyday to fill his shoes on the show. We send our deepest love and condolences to his family and hope they can find some comfort in knowing he left the world a better place."

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We are beyond saddened to learn about the loss of Regis Philbin. He was the ultimate class act, bringing his laughter and joy into our homes everyday on Live for more than 23 years. We were beyond lucky to have him as a mentor in our careers and aspire everyday to fill his shoes on the show. We send our deepest love and condolences to his family and hope they can find some comfort in knowing he left the world a better place. - Kelly and Ryan

A post shared by Kelly Ripa (@kellyripa) on

Kathie Lee Gifford shared, "There are no words to fully express the love I have for my precious friend, Regis. I simply adored him and every day with him was a gift. We spent 15 years together bantering and bickering and laughing ourselves silly -- a tradition and a friendship we shared up to this very day. I smile knowing somewhere in Heaven, at this very moment, he's making someone laugh. It brings me great comfort knowing that he had a personal relationship with his Lord that brought him great peace. I send all the love in my heart to Joy, to his children, to the rest of his family and to the innumerable people he touched over his legendary life. There has never been anyone like him. And there never will be."

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There are no words to fully express the love I have for my precious friend, Regis. I simply adored him and every day with him was a gift. We spent 15 years together bantering and bickering and laughing ourselves silly-a tradition and a friendship we shared up to this very day. I smile knowing somewhere in Heaven, at this very moment, he's making someone laugh. It brings me great comfort knowing that he had a personal relationship with his Lord that brought him great peace. I send all the love in my heart to Joy, to his children, to the rest of his family and to the innumerable people he touched over his legendary life. There has never been anyone like him. And there never will be.

A post shared by Kathie Lee Gifford (@kathielgifford) on

AMC alum Susan Lucci (ex-Erica Kane), who appeared in many nightclub shows with Philbin and was known as one of his favorite talk show guests, shared, "Oh, Regis -- I am so shocked and so incredibly sad to learn of your passing. Your warmth and charm and devilish sense of humor made the world fall in love with you -- and all of us who had the privilege and joy to work with you adored you! Those five years we traveled the country appearing together on stage are full of some of my favorite memories. Helmut and I send our love and heartfelt sympathy to beautiful Joy and your entire family. You were one of a kind, Rege -- [music note emoji] There Will Never Ever Be Another You [music note emoji] RIP, Regis -- and thank you."

Later, Lucci wrote, "A friend just sent me this photo, taken on the road, performing with Regis." The photo shows her with Philbin, who originally coined the actress' famous nickname, "La Lucci."

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Oh, Regis-I am so shocked and so incredibly sad to learn of your passing. Your warmth and charm and devilish sense of humor made the world fall in love with you-and all of us who had the privilege and joy to work with you adored you! Those five years we traveled the country appearing together on stage are full of some of my favorite memories. Helmut and I send our love and heartfelt sympathy to beautiful Joy and your entire family. You were one of a kind, Rege-🎼There Will Never Ever Be Another You🎼 RIP, Regis-and thank you💙

A post shared by Susan Lucci (official) (@therealsusanlucci) on

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A friend just sent me this photo, taken on the road, performing with Regis. ❤️💙❤️🙏🙏🙏 #treasure

A post shared by Susan Lucci (official) (@therealsusanlucci) on

Philbin is survived by his daughters, J.J. Philbin and Joanna Philbin, whom he shared with his wife of 50 years, Joy Philbin. He was also father to daughter Amy Philbin, whom he shared with his first wife, Catherine Faylen. Philbin and Faylen also had a son, Daniel Philbin, who passed away in 2014.

What are some of your favorite memories from Regis Philbin's long career in television? Do you remember his role on Ryan's Hope? We want to hear from you -- and there are many ways you can share your thoughts.

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