Longtime television host Regis Philbin died on July 24

By Karen Mizoguchi and Maria Pasquini
July 25, 2020 04:01 PM
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Celebrities and fans are paying tribute to Regis Philbin after his death at 88.

The longtime television host died on July 24. "We are deeply saddened to share that our beloved Regis Philbin passed away last night of natural causes, one month shy of his 89th birthday," his family shared with PEOPLE in an exclusive statement on Saturday.

"His family and friends are forever grateful for the time we got to spend with him – for his warmth, his legendary sense of humor, and his singular ability to make every day into something worth talking about. We thank his fans and admirers for their incredible support over his 60-year career and ask for privacy as we mourn his loss," the Philbin family said.

In loving tribute to Philbin, numerous celebrities who had known and worked with him over the years went on to mourn the television legend's death.

"Heartbroken," wrote Today's Hoda Kotb, who shared her tribute alongside a photo of Kathie Lee Gifford, whom they both worked alongside for many years.  "We will miss you regis. Nobody like you 💔." 

Credit: Richard Cartwright/ABC via Getty Images

"Regis was a great broadcaster, a good friend and a tremendous amount of fun. He leaves behind a beautiful family and a TV legacy that will likely go unmatched," late night television host Jimmy Kimmel wrote. "Regis, I hope our friend [Don] Rickles met you at the pearly gates with open arms and a slew of the insults you loved so much."

In her own tribute, Jersey Shore star Nicole 'Snooki' Polizzi reflected on a special moment she was able to share with Philbin before he left Live! in 2011.

"NO! So sad to hear that iconic Regis passed away. He was always the kindest & sweetest soul when I had interviews with him. Never judged, just always had a fun time with us," she wrote, alongside a photograph of the pair embracing. "Before he retired, i got him to take his shirt off and fist pump in my last interview with him 😩 Rest In Peace Regis! You will truly be missed!"

"This one hurts. A staple in our household growing up, his joy was infectious and his hosting skills among the greatest I’ve ever seen. Whether on 'Live' or leading 'Who Wants to be a Millionaire' he was always captivating & hilarious. #RIPRegis," actor Josh Gad tweeted.

In 1988, Philbin began his iconic career as the host of Live! with Regis and Kathie Lee alongside Gifford. After 15 years, Gifford 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. (He was replaced by former football player Michael Strahan, who later departed for Good Morning America and was replaced by Ryan Seacrest in 2017.)