Regis Philbin dies at 88: Kelly Ripa and more stars pay tribute

Legendary television host Regis Philbin dies at 88

After news broke this weekend that Regis Philbin had died at the age of 88 from natural causes, both fans and celebrities alike are now mourning the iconic TV host on social media.

"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", read the statement.

Gifford would eventually leave the program in 2000 and was replaced with Kelly Ripa in 2001, leading to the show being renamed Live! with Regis and Kelly.

Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? resembled prime-time game shows of the 1950s, such as The US$64,000 Question.

As of September 2011, Philbin had the record of having the most hours on U.S. television-16,746.50 hours, an entry in the Guinness World Records says.

WWE Hall of Famer Hulk Hogan is just one of many who have been posting tributes to Regis Philbin. "And there never will be". His varied career included stints as an announcer for "The Tonight Show", a journalist and a local talk show host in San Diego, before he landed his gig on "The Joey Bishop Show" from 1967 to 1969.

Former Good Day L.A. host Jillian Barberie posted a photo of her and Philbin co-hosting Live. "We are beyond saddened to learn about the loss of Regis Philbin".

During his long run on the show, which first co-starred Kathie Lee Gifford and later Kelly Ripa, Philbin was an avuncular, quirky, charmingly self-deprecating presence - yet also capable of incisive and thoughtful interviews. He was named after Regis High School, a Jesuit boys school in Manhattan that his father attended.

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"I think he is the world's greatest storyteller", Ripa said in 2011.

He graduated from the University of Notre Dame in 1953 with a degree in sociology before going on to serve in the US Navy.

Philbin married his second wife, Joy, in 1970 and remained married the rest of his life.

An earlier marriage to Kay Faylan lasted from 1957 to 1968.

US President Donald Trump even paid his respects, calling Philbin a friend. "He was a fantastic person, and my friend".

Philbin won several Daytime Emmys for his work on TV in the mornings, and according to Guinness World Records (via The Hollywood Reporter), the host has spent almost 17,000 hours on television, giving him a world record that will be hard to surpass.

Longtime TV personality Regis Philbin has died. "I love him", he tweeted. He told ABC's 20/20 programme in 2001 that he left the Live! talk show in part because the contract offered to him "wasn't what I expected or I thought I deserved".

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