Regis Philbin, TV’s Enduring Everyman, Dies at 88


From 1967 to 1969, he was the announcer and sidekick on “The Joey Bishop Show,” one of ABC’s many attempts to challenge the ratings dominance of Johnny Carson’s “The Tonight Show” on NBC. In the early ’70s he hosted “Regis Philbin’s Saturday Night in St. Louis” on KMOX, a CBS affiliate there. From 1975 to 1981 he co-hosted “A.M. Los Angeles,” a top-rated show on KABC, first with Sarah Purcell and then with Cyndy Garvey.

In 1983, Mr. Philbin teamed with Ms. Garvey in New York on WABC’s “The Morning Show.” Two years later, Kathie Lee Johnson — she became Gifford after a divorce and remarriage — replaced Ms. Garvey as his co-host. In 1988, the show went into national syndication and became “Live! With Regis and Kathie Lee.”

From 1982 to 1987, he also hosted “Regis Philbin’s Lifestyles,” a magazine show on Lifetime that addressed health, diets, exercise and beauty. Throughout the ’80s and ’90s he was a professional whirlwind, with appearances on sitcoms, talk and game shows, dramas, comedies, variety shows, Miss America pageants and specials for Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Eve. He also appeared in a number of films, usually as himself.

Mr. Philbin, who lived in Manhattan near the ABC studios and in Greenwich, Conn., was showered with awards, including Daytime Emmys for “Live! With Regis” and “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire” in 2001, for lifetime achievement in 2008 and for “Live! With Regis and Kelly” in 2011. He was inducted into the Television Hall of Fame in 2006.

Among those paying tribute to Mr. Philbin on social media was President Trump. In a post on Twitter, Mr. Trump called Mr. Philbin “one of the greats in the history of television” and added, “He kept telling me to run for president.”



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