TV Legend Regis Philbin Dead at 88 — Plus, Read an All My Children Legend’s Touching Tribute to Her Late Friend
Ryan’s Hope alum’s career spanned six decades.
Regis Philbin’s career in entertainment spanned six decades and included a stint on daytime soap opera Ryan’s Hope, on which he played the role of Malachy Malone in 1988. He also appeared on ABC soaps All My Children and One Life to Live as himself. Philbin passed away on July 24. In a statement to People, his family announced, “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.”
Philbin, who was an only child born in 1931, graduated from the University of Notre Dame and served in the U.S. Navy before going into show business. He married Catherine ‘Kay’ Faylen in 1955 and they divorced in 1968 after having two children, Amy and Daniel. In 1970, Philbin wed Joy Senese. They had two daughters together, Joanna and Jennifer, who is known as J.J.
Philbin’s career in entertainment began as a page for The Tonight Show in the 1950s and by 1964 had his own program, That Regis Philbin Show. He continued acting and hosting and became even more widely known with the talk show Live! with Regis and Kathie Lee, alongside Kathie Lee Gifford in 1988. Gifford left and was replaced with Kelly Ripa after 15 years, when the name changed to Live! with Regis and Kelly. Philbin served as the host of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? from 1999 – 2002, and retired from Live! in 2011, after which he continued to appear on daytime staples such as Today and Rachel Ray.
Celebrities who were friends and/or former co-workers took to social media to remember the beloved Regis Philbin including his former co-host and All My Children alum, Kelly Ripa (Hayley Vaughan), who issued a joint statement with current Live! co-host, Ryan Seacrest.
View this post on Instagram
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
Bold and Beautiful, General Hospital, and Young and Restless actor Sean Kanan (Deacon Sharpe, AJ Quartermaine), who had the opportunity to work with Philbin, marked him passing and remembered his as “kind and charming.”
Saddened to learn that the great Regis Philbin has passed. I had the honor of working with him several times. He was always kind and charming. #ripregis
— Sean Kanan (@seankanan) July 25, 2020
All My Children icon Susan Lucci (Erica Kane), who appeared alongside Philbin for five years on stage, also paid tribute to the late talent, and expressed in part, “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!”
View this post on Instagram
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💙
Philbin is survived by his wife of 50 years, Joy Philbin, his three daughters, J.J, Joanna, and Amy; and his four grandchildren. His son Daniel, who was born with a spinal cord defect, predeceased his father when he passed away at the age of 49 in 2014.
Feel free to peruse the gallery of other daytime talents we’ve lost in 2020 below, and sign up for Soaps.com’s newsletter to get more up-to-the-minute soap news and features delivered straight to your inbox.