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Television Host Regis Philbin Passes Away at 88

Legendary television host Regis Philbin, best known for hosting shows such as Live! with Regis and Kelly, Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?, Million Dollar Password, and more passed away on July 24 at the age of 88.

In a statement to PEOPLE magazine, the host’s family confirmed that the star passed away from natural causes and was just a month away from celebrating his 89th birthday.

Regis Philbin was born August 25, 1931 in Manhattan, New York. Philbin attended the University of Notre Dame, where he earned a sociology degree in 1953 and later serving in the Navy.

Regis began in show business as a writer and wound up in front of the camera in 1961 with a local talk show in San Diego called The Regis Philbin Show. After starring in a number of local talk shows, he began hosting The Morning Show in 1983. This show would eventually be renamed Live! with Regis and Kathie Lee. When Gifford departed in 2000, it took a year to find new replacement host, Kelly Ripa, and the show was again renamed Live! with Regis and Kelly. He continued with the show until 2011.

Regis was also known for his game show hosting. In 1999, Regis became the original host of the show, Who Wants to Be A Millionaire. In 2006, Philbin hosted the first season of America’s Got Talent. He also hosted a revival of Million Dollar Password in 2008.

He is survived by daughters Amy Philbin, J.J. Philbin and Joanna Philbin, as well as his wife of 50 years, Joy Philbin. He is preceded in death by his son Daniel Philbin, who passed away in 2014.

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