Veteran US presenter Regis Philbin, best known for Live! with Regis and Kathie Lee and Who Wants to be a Millionaire has died, aged 88.
He died of natural causes according to family.
“His family and friends are forever grateful for the time we got to spend with him for his warmth, his legendary sense of humour, and his singular ability to make every day into something worth talking about,” a statement said.
“We thank his fans and admirers for their incredible support over his 60-year career and ask for privacy as we mourn his loss.”
Guinness World Records listed him as having put in more time on camera than anyone else in the history of US television — about 17,000 hours.
Philbin was perhaps best known as the host of the nationally syndicated talk show, Live! with Regis and Kathie Lee. It started in 1988, and became Live! with Regis and Kelly in 2001, running until 2011.
His biggest success came in the various incarnations of his nationally syndicated morning talk show that began in 1983 when he created The Morning Show. Gifford joined him in a highly successful collaboration in 1985, and in 1988 the program gained national syndication. Gifford was his co-host for 15 years before Philbin was partnered with former soap opera actress Ripa for 11 years.
Philbin hosted Who Wants to be a Millionaire from 1999–2002. He also hosted the first season of America’s Got Talent and served as a recurring co-host on Rachael Ray‘s show, among countless other series.
He received a lifetime achievement Daytime Emmy Award in 2008.