"The laughter I know you two are sharing together again in heaven is palpable," Cassidy Gifford captioned a photo of Frank Gifford and Regis Philbin

By Natalie Stone
July 28, 2020 05:31 PM
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Cassidy Gifford and Kathie Lee Gifford
Credit: Michael Kovac/Getty

Cassidy Gifford is paying tribute to two very formative men in her life who are now gone: Regis Philbin and her father Frank Gifford.

Following Philbin's death at age 88 on Friday, Kathie Lee Gifford's daughter, 26, posted a touching photo to Instagram of the late TV host and Frank on the Live! with Regis and Kathie Lee set.

"The laughter I know you two are sharing together again in heaven is palpable... love you forever, Reeg ❤️," Cassidy, who tied the knot in June, captioned the post.

In the picture, former NFL star Frank — who died in August 2015 at age 84 — and Philbin have their arms wrapped around each other's shoulder as they smile for the camera.

Philbin and Cassidy's mother Kathie Lee hosted Live together from 1988 to 2000.

Throughout their years on television, the two became an iconic pair, known for their playful banter and genuine connection on the show.

After 15 years, Kathie Lee left the ABC show, but the pair remained close after her departure. In 2001, the franchise became Live! with Regis and Kelly, co-starring Kelly Ripa before he left in 2011 after 23 years on-air.

Upon learning about Philbin's passing, Kathie Lee shared a heartwarming post about her longtime colleague and friend.

"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," she wrote on Instagram.

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Frank Gifford, Cody Gifford, Cassidy Gifford and Kathie Lee Gifford
| Credit: Bruce Glikas/FilmMagic

"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," she continued. "It brings me great comfort knowing that 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."

On Monday, Kathie Lee spoke with the Today show about her decades-long kinship with Philbin, revealing that she visited with the TV host and his wife Joy weeks ago when she was back in the New York area. (Kathie Lee now spends most of her time at her new home in Tennessee.)

regis and kathie lee
Kathie Lee Gifford and Regis Philbin
| Credit: Peter Kramer/NBC

"We sat right here on my screened porch and we laughed ourselves sick — we always just picked up right where we left off," she said, explaining that she and Philbin had become "dear friends" even after she exited the show.

Added Kathie Lee: "... We had the best time, and after they left, I just thought to myself, 'Lord, is that the last time I'm going to see my friend?' Because he was failing, I could tell."