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Regis Philbin dead at 88

Regis Philbin dead at 88

The longtime television host died on July 24, PEOPLE confirms. “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 shares 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 says.

In 1988, Philbin began his iconic career as the host of Live! with Regis and Kathie Lee alongside Kathie Lee 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.)

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Philbin also served as the original host of the widely popular game show Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? from 1999 to 2002. In addition, the New York City native’s hosting credits include Million Dollar Password, the first season of America’s Got Talent, as well as a reoccurring co-host seat on Rachael Ray.

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