NEW YORK: Legendary TV host and an award-winning fixture of American talk show culture, Regis Philbin has died at the age of 88.
Philbin, a playful and self-deprecating New Yorker with a thick Bronx accent, died of natural causes, People magazine reported, quoting a statement from the family.
The award-winning fixture of American talk show culture was best known to several Americans as co-host of a morning talk show that started in 1988 called ‘Live! With Regis and Kathie Lee’.
Philbin also hosted the wildly popular Who Wants to Be a Millionaire game show, which was popular from 1999 to 2002. Working with Kathie Lee Gifford and later with another co-host, Philbin appeared on the show for 23-years.
Part of his popular shtick was to spend a few minutes at the beginning of each show talking about banalities like where he had dinner the night before.
According to The New York Times, the talk show icon held the Guinness record for the number of hours spent on television in America — about 17,000, In 2011, as Philbin was preparing to leave his talk show, the Times paid tribute to him as someone who stood out on TV.
Among those remembering Philbin on Saturday was a fellow New Yorker, Donald Trump. “He was a fantastic person and my friend. He kept telling me to run for President,” the US president tweeted.
He further wrote, “Holds the record for ´most live television, and he did it well. Regis, we love you.”
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….
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 25, 2020