Kathie Lee Gifford spoke out about the heartbreaking death of her longtime colleague and friend, Regis Philbin.
Kathie Lee Gifford, 66, who hosted the popular talk show Live! with Regis & Kathie Lee with Regis Philbin, broke her silence on his death of natural causes at the age 88 on Saturday, July 24. “There are no words to fully express the love I have for my precious friend, Regis,” she wrote next to a sweet pic of them cuddled up. “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 that he had a personal relationship with his Lord that brought him great peace,” she continued. “I send all the love in my heart to (his wife) 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.”
Kathie Lee’s heartfelt message about her longtime friend comes after they made their mark in the television world by being hosts of their memorable talk show for 15 years. She joined Regis to host what would later officially become Live! in 1985 and stayed by his side until leaving the show in 2000. After having different co-hosts for a year, Kelly Ripa, 49, was named his new permanent co-host and it stayed that way until Regis left the show in 2011.
Kathie Lee and Regis made sure to stay in touch regularly over the years despite departing as co-hosts and were known to be great friends. Their last public appearance together before Regis’ passing was on Feb. 25 at the Movieguide Awards, where Kathie Lee was honored with the Visionary Award. Regis lovingly presented the honor to her as they embraced on stage, like they had so many times in the past.
Regis’ death, which happened one month before his 89th birthday, was announced by his family in a statement on the afternoon of July 25. “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 confirmed in the statement. “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.”
Regis is survived by his wife of 50 years Joy and their daughters Joanna and J.J. as well as his daughter Amy, whom he had with his first wife, Catherine Faylen. He also had a son Daniel, who died in 2014.
We’re sending comfort and healing to Kathie Lee and all those who are affected by Regis’ passing at this time.