Washington D.C. [USA], July 26 (ANI): Regis Philbin, the iconic television personality best-known for his hosting duties on 'Live!' with co-hosts Kathie Lee Gifford and Kelly Ripa, and 'Who Wants to Be a Millionaire,' has died. The beloved star was 88.
According to People Magazine, the longtime television host died on July 24. His family shared a statement on Saturday, "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. 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 Philbin family says.
Philbin began his iconic career in 1988, as the host of 'Live! with Regis and Kathie Lee' alongside TV presenter Kathie Lee Gifford. After 15 years, Gifford left the ABC show but the pair remained close after her departure.
In 2001, the franchise became 'Live! with Regis and Kelly', co-starring Kelly Ripa before he left in 2011 after 23 years on-air.
From 1999 to 2002, Philbin also served as the original host of the widely popular game show 'Who Wants to Be a Millionaire.' In addition, the New York City native's hosting credits include 'Million Dollar Password', the first season of 'America's Got Talent', as well as a reoccurring co-host seat on 'Rachael Ray'.
Born on August 25, 1931, Philbin was raised in the Bronx and graduated from Cardinal Hayes High School in 1949 before attending the University of Notre Dame, where he earned a sociology degree in 1953.
After serving in the Navy, Philbin began his career in show business as a writer and made his way in front of the camera in 1961 with a local talk show in San Diego called 'The Regis Philbin Show'. Then in 1967, he became widely known as 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', the star moved to New York in 1983 to host 'The Morning Show', which was renamed three years later as 'Live! with Regis and Kathie Lee'.
His accolades include Daytime Emmy Awards for outstanding talk show host for 'Live!' in 2001 and 2011 as well as an outstanding game show host for 'Who Wants to Be a Millionaire'. He also received a Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2003 and a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Daytime Emmy Awards in 2008.
Throughout his career, Philbin had various health issues. He underwent an angioplasty in 1993, followed by triple bypass surgery due to plaque in his arteries in March 2007. In December 2009, the television personality had his hip replaced.
Married twice, Philbin is survived by 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 had another child, son Daniel Philbin, who died in 2014. (ANI)