'We lost a legend:' Celebrities pay tribute to Regis Philbin

Television host Regis Philbin dead at 88

Iconic television host Regis Philbin — best known as the host of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire and Live! with Regis and Kelly — has died at 88.

“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,” read a family statement that was first reported by People Magazine.

“We thank his fans and admirers for their incredible support over his 60-year career and ask for privacy as we mourn his loss.”

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TV host Regis Philbin dead at 88

News of the legendary personality’s death has sent shockwaves through the entertainment industry with celebrities and prominent figures taking to social media to pay tribute to him almost immediately.

Here’s a roundup of people paying their respects to the long-time television host.

“What a loss — the wonderful Regis Philbin. I met him in 1985 when I was on the Rodney Dangerfield Young Comedians Special and we loved each other ever since,” wrote comedian and TV host Bob Saget on Twitter.

“Such a TV icon and above all, a good man. My sympathies to Joy and all of his children and friends.”

Philbin’s former co-host Kelly Ripa shared a message on her Instagram account.

“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,” read the statement which was also attributed to Ryan Seacrest, the current co-host of the show alongside Ripa.

“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.”

Philbin’s former co-host of more than 15 years Kathie Lee Gifford also tweeted a tribute on Saturday.

“REGIS. There will never be another.”

American actor Paul Reubens, who is best known for portraying comedic character Pee-wee Herman, also paid tribute on Twitter.

“I absolutely LOVED Regis Philbin. I knew him to always be interested in everything, current, happy, funny, generous and sweet,” read the tweet, which included a picture of the two.

“As wonderful a man as he was talented. And, as this photos proves, he was up for anything! I will never forget him and miss him very much. RIP Regis.”

“We lost a legend,” wrote Fifth Harmony singer Ally Brooke.

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“My prayers and heart go out to his loved ones. God bless him and his family.”

“Saddened to hear about the passing of Regis Philbin,” wrote Star Trek actor William Shatner. “Condolences to his wife Joy.”

“Regis Philbin was such a prolific talent. He could do it all, and we loved him for it,” read a tweet from Larry King, host of his own self-titled talkshow.

“I will miss him every day. My heartfelt condolences to Joy and his family.”

“He was a lovely man. #RIPRegisPhilbin,” read a tweet from actress and television personality Rosie O’Donnell.

“Regis was a great broadcaster, a good friend a tremendous amount of fun. He leaves behind a beautiful family and a TV legacy that will likely go unmatched,” read a tweet from talk show host Jimmy Kimmel.

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“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.”

Philbin retired in 2011 after logging more than 15,000 on-air hours, which earned him a place in the Guinness Book of World Records for most broadcast hours by any TV personality.

One of his best-known roles was hosting the prime-time game show Who Wants to Be a Millionaire.

Actor and comedian Terrence K. Williams remembered Philbin by posting a clip of one of the quiz show’s iconic moments, where a participant uses a lifeline to call his parents — not to ask for help, but to say that he was about to win $1 million.

“RIP Regis Philbin. He was such a great man who gave us all the greatest moments in television history.”

— With files from The Associated Press

© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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