Regis Philbin Dead at 88: David Letterman, Jimmy Kimmel and More Celebs Pay Tribute to Late TV Host

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Regis Philbin died on Friday at the age of 88. The legendary television host's family confirmed his death, sharing that he died from natural causes.

"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 told ET in a statement on Saturday.

Following the news of his death, friends, former colleagues and fans took to Twitter to express their condolences. Former Live hosts, Kelly Ripa and Kathie Lee Gifford, posted heartfelt notes on their Instagrams.

"Regis is in the same category as Carson. Superlative," David Letterman tweeted. "He was on our show a million times, always the best guest we ever had, charming, lovable and could take a punch. When he retired I lost interest in television. I love him." 

Leeza Gibbons told ET: "Everyone loved him, many were lucky enough to work with him, but no matter who sat next to Regis, they all felt the magic. I know I did! He knew how to play a moment, to steal a scene and to max out a laugh. As long as Reg was on the air, all was right with the world! He had a unique career where kindness mattered and he never failed to offer support to a colleague, friend or fan. There will never be another one like Regis!" 

"Saddened to hear about the passing of Regis Philbin. Condolences to his wife Joy.
😞," William Shatner tweeted.

Jimmy Kimmel also wrote that "Regis was a great broadcaster, a good friend and a tremendous amount of fun."

"He leaves behind a beautiful family and a TV legacy that will likely go unmatched. 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," he concluded.

The Live! family also expressed their heartbreak in a statement to ET: "Our hearts are broken to learn the news about Regis’ passing.  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."

"What you saw was what you got with Regis. I think that is why he was so effective as a broadcaster. There was no pretense or artifice to him," Leonard Maltin said in a statement given to ET.

See more tributes, below:

 

 

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