Longtime Talk Show Host Regis Philbin Dead At 88

TV personality Regis Philbin (image via David Shankbone)

From the Hollywood Reporter:

Regis Philbin, the indefatigable and downright neighborly host of talk shows and game shows who spent more time in front of a television camera than anyone else, has died. He was 88.

Philbin died Friday night of natural causes, according to a family statement.

Unfailingly perky and personable during his 60-plus years in show business, Philbin hosted live morning programs from Los Angeles and New York from the early 1970s through 2011, sharing cups of coffee and flipping through the morning papers alongside the likes of Ruta Lee, Sarah Purcell, Cyndy Garvey, Mary Hart, Kathie Lee Gifford and Kelly Ripa.

Like Jack Paar before him, Philbin engaged his audience with tales about his personal life and the seemingly mundane events of his day.

You’ll recall Philbin scored a late-career win in 1999 as the host of the wildly popular primetime game show Who Wants to Be a Millionaire.

The ratings juggernaut launched ABC into the No. 1 spot regularly drawing audiences of 30 million viewers.

According to Guinness World Records, Philbin logged more hours on TV – 16,746.50 – than any other television host in US history.

RIP Regis Philbin.