'There's never been anyone like him': Tributes pour in for US TV host Regis Philbin

Former co-hosts, US president Donald Trump among those who paid tribute

27 July 2020 - 11:52 By Khanyisile Ngcobo
US talk show host Regis Philbi has died at the age of 88.
US talk show host Regis Philbi has died at the age of 88.
Image: Richard Cartwright/ABC via Getty Images

US TV personalities Kelly Ripa and Kathie Lee Gifford have led tributes to iconic talk show host Regis Philbin following news of his death last week.

Philbin, a playful and self-deprecating New Yorker with a thick Bronx accent, died on Friday of natural causes, People magazine reported, quoting a statement from the family.

He was 88.

Philbin was best known to many Americans as co-host of a daytime talk show that began in 1988 called Live! With Regis and Kathie Lee.

Working with Gifford and later with co-host Ripa, Philbin appeared on the show for 23 years.

Both women have taken to social media to pay tribute to the iconic TV host, with Gifford posting a heartwarming message on the passing of her "precious friend" next to an image of them together. 

"There are no words to fully express the love I have for my precious friend Regis. I simply adored him and every day with him was a gift. We spent 15 years together bantering and bickering and laughing ourselves silly—a tradition and a friendship we shared up to this very day.

"I smile knowing somewhere in heaven, at this very moment, he’s making someone laugh. It brings me great comfort knowing he had a personal relationship with his Lord that brought him great peace.

"I send all the love in my heart to Joy, to his children, to the rest of his family and to the innumerable people he touched over his legendary life. There has never been anyone like him. And there never will be."

Ripa posted an image of her, Philbin and Ryan Seacrest on Instagram, and next to it a statement from her and Seacrest. 

"We are beyond saddened to learn about the loss of Regis Philbin. He was the ultimate class act, bringing his laughter and joy into our homes every day on Live for more than 23 years.

"We were beyond lucky to have him as a mentor in our careers and aspire every day to fill his shoes on the show. We send our deepest love and condolences to his family and hope they can find some comfort in knowing he left the world a better place."

Also paying tribute to Philbin was US president Donald Trump, who tweeted a message on his "friend's" passing.

More tributes for Philbin:

- Additional reporting by AFP Relaxnews