Iconic US TV host, Regis Philbin dies at age 88

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New York, United States – The iconic US TV host, Regis Philbin has passed away at the age of 88, according to a statement shared by his family on Saturday.

A statement sent to CNN on Saturday read: “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,” the statement said.

Philbin hosted numerous television shows, including the morning talk show “Live with Regis and Kathie Lee,” Miss America pageants and game shows like ABC’s “Who Wants to be a Millionaire.”

The talk show host, actor and presenter started his career in TV when he was in his mid-50s and became famous with the national talk show “Live! with Regis”, which he co-hosted with Kathie Lee Gifford at first and then later with Kelly Ripa.

Philbin’s longtime co-host Kathie Lee Gillford paid tribute to Philbin on Instagram saying that, “no words to fully express the love I have for my precious friend, Regis. ”

I smile knowing somewhere in Heaven, at this very moment, he’s making someone laugh,” she wrote. “It brings me great comfort knowing that he had a personal relationship with his Lord that brought him great peace. “There has never been anyone like him,” Gifford said. “And there never will be.”

President Donald Trump also tweeted his condolences to Philbin calling him “one of the greats”.

“One of the greats in the history of television, Regis Philbin has passed on to even greater airwaves, at 88. He was a fantastic person, and my friend. He kept telling me to run for President. Holds the record for “most live television”, and he did it well. Regis, we love you…,” Trump Tweeted.

Throughout Philbin’s career, he was nominated for Daytime Emmy Awards 37 times and had won six of them. He was also awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award in 2008.

Philbin was inducted into the Television Hall of Fame in 2006 and received a Hollywood Walk of Fame star in 2003.

According to Guinness World Records, Philbin holds the world record for most hours on US television with 16,746.50 hours, with a career span of 52 years as of 15 September 2011.

As he announced his retirement from Live! with Regis and Kelly, he said: “There is a time that everything must come to an end for certain people on camera – especially certain old people.”