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Regis Philbin, longtime tv character, dies on the age of 88

Regis Philbin during an interview about "Late Night with Seth Meyers" on July 16, 2014.

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Regis Philbin, the long-time television broadcaster who ran the talk show "Live With Regis & Kathie Lee!" Moderated, has passed away. He was 88 years old.

According to his family, he died on Friday for natural reasons.

"His family and friends are forever grateful for the time we were allowed to spend with him – for his warmth, his legendary sense of humor and his unique ability to do something every day that is worth talking about. We thank his fans and admirers for their incredible support during his 60-year career and ask for privacy while we mourn his loss, "his family wrote in a statement.

Philbin became a legendary television host in 1988 with the premiere of his talk show "Live! With Regis and Kathie Lee" alongside Kathie Lee Gifford. The show later became "Live! With Regis and Kelly" in 2001 when Gifford left and was replaced by Kelly Ripa. Philbin left the show in 2011.

He was also the original moderator of the well-known game show "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?" From 1999 to 2002. His hosting career also included "Who Wants To Be A Super Millionaire?", "Million Dollar Password" and the first season of "America & # 39; s Got Talent".

Philbin won the Daytime Emmy Awards for outstanding talk show hosts in 2001 and 2011 and a Daytime Emmy Award for outstanding game show hosts for "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire". At the Daytime Emmy Awards 2008, he won a Lifetime Achievement Award.

Philbin was born in 1931, grew up in the Bronx in New York and later graduated from the University of Notre Dame. After serving in the Navy, Philbin served as a site for the "Tonight Show" in the 1950s. He received his first television presence on the network in 1967 as Joey Bishop's buddy in "The Joey Bishop Show".

Former co-host Kelly Ripa posted a tribute to Philbin on Instagram on Saturday, writing that he was "the ultimate classmate and brought his laughter and joy to our homes live every day for more than 23 years. We had that very lucky to have him as. " a mentor in our career and strive every day to fill his shoes on the show. "

Former Disney CEO Bob Iger expressed condolences to Philbin's family on Saturday and said: "Regis gave us warmth, humor and a self-ironic joke and always brought us luck."

The Mayor of New York, Bill de Blasio, also tweeted that Philbin "has brought humor, warmth, and wit to so many homes. Many people who have never met him feel like they have lost a personal friend, and that is proof of its character. "

President Donald Trump described Philbin as "one of the greatest in the history of television".

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