Kelly Ripa remembered her longtime ‘Live!’ co-host of a decade in an emotional tribute, dubbing Regis Philbin ‘the ultimate class act.’
Kelly Ripa, 49, is “saddened” over the loss of her former Live! with Regis & Kelly co-host Regis Philbin. “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,” she posted in a statement shard to Instagram on Saturday, July 25. “We were beyond lucky to have him as a mentor in our careers and aspire everyday to fill his shoes on the show,” she also wrote.
“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,” the All My Children alum concluded. Kelly captioned a sweet photo of herself and Regis, as well as current Live! co-host Ryan Seacrest, 45, posing with Disney icon Mickey Mouse which you can see here. The throwback image appeared to be from a Christmas celebration, likely held by ABC, which is part of the Walt Disney family. Ryan posted the same statement to his own feed, signing it off as “Kelly and Ryan.”
The post comes just an hour after news broke that Regis passed of natural causes, confirmed by his family on Saturday, 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 said in a 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,” it also read.
Kelly and Regis worked together for nearly a decade, with the Hope & Faith actress taking over as co-host of Live! in 2001 after the departure of Kathie Lee Gifford, 66. Regis departed the series in 2011 after 28 years on the air.