Celebrities, friends, and fans are paying tribute to Regis Philbin following his death on Friday.
As you’re likely aware, his family confirmed in a statement (below) that the legendary TV host passed away of natural causes at the age of 88:
“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.”
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Philbin began co-hosting Live! with Regis and Kathie Lee in 1988 alongside Kathie Lee Gifford. Though Gifford departed the show after 15 years in 2003, the two have remained close friends ever since. She wrote on Instagram:
“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.”
Ugh. So, so sad.
“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.”
Kelly Ripa and Ryan Seacrest, who together currently host Live!, both shared the same statement and image to their respective IG accounts after the news broke:
Michael Strahan, who took over for Philbin in 2012 on Live! following his departure, penned a note to the “legend and icon” on his Insta along with a photo:
“I’m absolutely heartbroken. Regis was an incredible man who could light up any room. He always made me feel special no matter if I saw him in the studio or ran into him on the street. Legend and Icon aren’t strong enough words to describe him. He will never be forgotten!! Sending my love and condolences to his family. I am forever grateful to have known him. RIP ❤️”
Take a look (below) at more celebrity tributes (below):
Saddened to hear about the passing of Regis Philbin. Condolences to his wife Joy. 😞
— William Shatner (@WilliamShatner) July 25, 2020
RIP REGIS!!! A real icon. Nothing will ever top Regis and @KathieLGifford as a morning show. Nothing!
— billy eichner (@billyeichner) July 25, 2020
Regis was a great broadcaster, a good friend and a tremendous amount of fun. He leaves behind a beautiful family and a TV legacy that will likely go unmatched. Regis, I hope our friend Rickles met you at the pearly gates with open arms and a slew of the insults you loved so much
— Jimmy Kimmel (@jimmykimmel) July 25, 2020
Regis Philbin spent more time on television than almost anyone. And we were all better for it. Sending love to his family and his fans.
— Ellen DeGeneres (@TheEllenShow) July 25, 2020
Heartbroken. We will miss you regis 💔💔💔 pic.twitter.com/kB8oag8BFO
— Hoda Kotb (@hodakotb) July 25, 2020
The end of an era. A great friend and mentor. I will never forget your generosity of spirit sweet Regis.
You changed my life and I will never forget the lessons you taught me. You showed me how to fly.
May you Rest In Peace with the angels.#RIP #RegisPhilbin pic.twitter.com/rVOKVAF42v
— lisa rinna (@lisarinna) July 25, 2020
He was, and still is, so loved.
[Image via WENN/Instar & Nicky Nelson/Derrick Salters/Sheri Determan/WENN.]