Tributes from celebrities and fans started pouring in as soon as news broke that Regis Philbin died. His family put out a statement via People on July 25, 2020, announcing that Philbin had died the night before of natural causes. “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,” the statement read. “We thank his fans and admirers for their incredible support over his 60-year career and ask for privacy as we mourn his loss.”
Many people quickly took to social media to lament the TV icon’s passing. Messages came from everyone from President Donald Trump to executives in the TV industry to other people who worked with him. His former co-host on Live! With Regis and Kathie Lee, Kathie Lee Gifford, posted a short message on Twitter that summed up her thoughts succinctly, “REGIS. There will never be another.” (She also posted a lengthier message on Instagram.) Bob Iger — who is the executive chairman of the Walt Disney Company, which owns and operates ABC, the home of Live! and Philbin’s other big hit show Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? — called out Philbin’s “warmth, humor & a self-deprecating wit” in his heartfelt message to his former colleague.
Keep reading to see who else has paid tribute to the television legend.
Kelly Ripa shared a joint message with Ryan Seacrest
Regis Philbin’s last Live! co-host, whom he worked with until he left the show in 2011, Kelly Ripa, shared an Instagram photo of herself with her current co-host, Ryan Seacreat, alongside Philbin and Mickey Mouse. In her post, Ripa wrote, “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.” She signed the post, “Kelly and Ryan.”
Philbin received many warm messages from other celebrities, including Hoda Kotb, who tweeted that she was “heartbroken”; Billy Eichner, who dubbed Philbin a “real icon”; and Josh Gad, who called the host “a staple in our household growing up.” William Shatner offered condolences to Philbin’s wife, while Dean Cain said, “Awwww bless you Regis.” Messages of love for Philbin and his family surely will continue to be shared.
Fellow TV host Jimmy Kimmel called Regis Philbin a 'tremendous amount of fun'
Of course, Regis Philbin was a staple on TV screens for decades. He was an award-winning host of both Live! and Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? He won the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Daytime Emmys in 2008, and the organization was sure to extend condolences on Twitter after his passing. They called him a “dear friend, colleague, and champion of our daytime community.” SAG-AFTRA also posted a note of condolence on Twitter for Philbin, who was a member. They made sure to highlight his 17,000 hours on TV screens over his career, a number that beats everyone else in history.
The notes from some of Philbin’s fellow TV hosts were maybe the most touching. Chris Harrison, who famously hosts all the shows in Bachelor Nation and took over Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? duties, tweeted that Philbin is a “legend” and a host he felt lucky to know. Late-night host Jimmy Kimmel, who also worked on 2020’s Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? celebrity special, called the late star “a good friend and a tremendous amount of fun.” Kimmel also wrote, “He leaves behind a beautiful family and a TV legacy that will likely go unmatched.”
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