Kelly Ripa, Kathie Lee Gifford, more stars pay tribute to Regis Philbin: 'There will never be another'
The iconic talk show host's family released a statement to PEOPLE on Saturday afternoon. "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," it read. "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."
A beloved figure in the industry, Philbin's many friends and admirers shared memories and tributes to the star on social media following the news, including his longtime Live co-host Kelly Ripa. "We are beyond saddened to learn about the loss of Regis Philbin," she wrote on Instagram on behalf of herself and her current co-host Ryan Seacrest. "He was the ultimate class act, bringing his laughter and joy into our homes everyday on Live for more than 23 years. We were beyond lucky to have him as a mentor in our careers and aspire every day to fill his shoes on the show."
"Our hearts are broken to learn the news about Regis’ passing," the Live family said in a statement. "Regis originated Live as a local New York broadcast back in 1983, and for more than 28 years he poured his heart and soul into the show. Many of the members of our staff began their careers at Live with Regis, and were lucky enough to learn from a master broadcaster. Our hearts go out to Joy and his family."
"We throw this word around too much but Regis Philbin was a legend," tweeted Bachelor host Chris Harrison. "He was a true gentleman I'm glad I got to know and a TV host I admired and was honored to follow." Jimmy Kimmel concluded a sincere tribute with the affectionate sendoff, "Regis, I hope our friend Rickles met you at the pearly gates with open arms and a slew of the insults you loved so much."
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