"What I loved to remember about him is his relationship with my kids," Kelly Ripa said of Regis Philbin on Live with Kelly and Ryan Monday morning

By Eric Todisco
July 27, 2020 11:18 AM
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Regis Philbin and Kelly Ripa in 2001
| Credit: Spencer Platt/Newsmakers

Kelly Ripa is reflecting on her children's relationship with her former co-host and close friend Regis Philbin.

On Monday, Ripa, 49, paid tribute to Philbin, who died on Friday at age 88, during Live with Kelly and Ryan. The pair co-hosted Live with Regis and Kelly together from 2001 to 2011, which created a strong bond between them and their families, including her three children (Michael, 22, and Joaquin, 17, and daughter Lola, 19) with husband Mark Consuelos.

"What I loved to remember about him is his relationship with my kids," Ripa told curreent co-host Ryan Seacrest. "Regis had this ability, oh my goodness, he would talk to kids like they were adults. He didn’t care if they were 2, 4, it didn’t matter. He would talk to them like they were adults."

Ripa added that her kids "responded to that in a way that was so ... they worshiped him."

"Regis is responsible for Michael’s love to this day for Dean Martin," Ripa recalled. "Regis got him his first Dean Martin CD for Christmas. I swear by the time Michael was 4 and a half, he was reciting Dean Martin Las Vegas routines."

Mark Consuelos and Kelly Ripa with their kids
| Credit: Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic

Ripa told Seacrest, 45, about a time that Philbin babysat her kids as part of a skit for their talk show.

"He’d talk to the boys like they were adults," she said, before sharing a memory of Philbin's bond with Lola.

"There was this moment with Lola when he was brushing her teeth before bed and she was staring at him and he says, ‘Well you’re a gentile little lady,' " Ripa recalled. "And then I realize what it must be like to have been one of his daughters. There was this softness to him when he spoke to Lola."

Philbin had four children: daughters J.J. Philbin and Joanna Philbin, whom he shared with his wife of 50 years, Joy Philbin, and daughter Amy Philbin and son Daniel Philbin, whom he shared with his first wife Catherine Faylen. Daniel died in 2014.

Regis and Kelly
| Credit: Robin Marchant/FilmMagic

Following news of Philbin's death on Saturday, Ripa honored her former Live! co-host with a heartfelt tribute on Instagram.

"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 everyday on Live for more than 23 years. We were beyond lucky to have him as a mentor in our careers and aspire everyday 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," she wrote.