The circumstances behind Regis Philbin’s passing have been made public. The TV star, who passed away on Friday at 88 due to natural causes, was a household figure on the small screen throughout his ever-present, six-decade career.
On Thursday, Linda Silvia of the office of the chief medical examiner in Farmington, Connecticut, stated that Philbin passed away due to “myocardial infarction owing to coronary artery disease and hypertension.” In a statement released on Saturday by Lewis Kay, Philbin’s lawyer, the family of Philbin confirmed the news of Philbin’s passing.
The family of Regis Philbin announced in an open letter that they were “very heartbroken to share that our beloved Regis Philbin died away last night from natural causes, one month shy of his 89th birthday.” Philbin was a dominant force in daytime television for over two decades, co-hosting “Live! With Regis and Kathie Lee” and “Live With Regis and Kelly.”
He was adored by millions of viewers for his less-polished familiarity and his brisk speaking style, which gave the impression that he was more from the neighborhood than from Hollywood. As the host of the top-rated game show “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?” on ABC, he was also briefly crowned the king of prime time for a while.
Over the course of his career, Philbin developed into a pervasive presence on television. He spent decades working in the daytime discussion, the highlight of which was more than 20 years co-hosting a morning show with Gifford (1985-2000) and then Kelly Ripa (2001-2011).
It was in November 2011 when Philbin made his final appearance on the show, now known as “Live With Kelly and Ryan.” During an appearance on the “Today” show on Monday, Kathie Lee Gifford pondered about the last time she saw her former co-star and close friend, who passed away recently, after learning of his passing.
She stated that approximately two weeks ago, she had lunch with Philbin and his wife, Joy, at Gifford’s house in Connecticut. “After they had departed, I was just sitting there thinking to myself, “Lord, is that the last time I’m going to see my friend?” because we had simply the finest time together.
Because it is evident to me that he was struggling, “— I quote her. Gifford continued by saying that she is “so grateful the Lord granted me that final time” with Philbin and that she will miss the two of them. “It was adorable because Joy had stated to me on the day that I found out right after he had passed away that when I talked to Joy the day that I found out right after he had passed away, she said, “Kathie, he hadn’t laughed in a long, long time.” “I was so worried about him,” she confessed to him “— I quote her.