'The View': This Former Co-Host Recalls Regis Philbin's Support When She Launched Her Own Show
Legendary television host Regis Philbin died on July 24, 2020. Family, friends, and fans continue to share memories of the iconic broadcaster in interviews and on social media.
One former panelist from The View praised Philbin’s generous offer of support when she was about to hit the airwaves with her solo daytime program.
Regis Philbin’s family shares news of his passing
Shortly following his passing, Philbin’s wife Joy and three daughters released a statement to the press.
“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,” the statement read, according to CNN. “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.”
Philbin’s family showed their gratitude for everyone’s condolences while requesting some space so they could grieve.
“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 statement read.
TV legend known for his gratitude
Starting off his career behind the camera in the 1950s, Philbin made television history on his morning talk show with co-host Kathie Lee Gifford in 1985. The two soared in the ratings and became TV’s favorite early risers on the air. After Gifford left the show in 2000, the two remained close friends.
“He was the most grateful person in the world, he never forgot where he came from,” Gifford said of Philbin after his death, according to Today. “He was just happy to be on a set. We had the biggest secret known to the whole world but they don’t do it. We had fun — F – U – N and it’s contagious.”
Another television personality recalled Philbin’s humble spirit as well as his talent as the ultimate host.
“He’s in a league by himself or with just a handful of folks through the years,” former co-host of The View and the Today Show Meredith Vieira shared, according to People. “He was so good at conversation, so good at listening and such a great listener. But what I will miss the most is his kindness… [he] never forgot that he was this kid from the Bronx.”
Meredith Vieira gets support from a TV legend
Vieira served as co-host and moderator of The View from 1997 to 2006, then moved to take a chair at NBC’s Today Show until 2011. Launching her own syndicated daytime talk program The Meredith Vieira Show, the television personality recalled Philbin reaching out to her in solidarity.
“It’s really hard to launch a talk show, really, really hard — and hard to get people to come on,” Vieira revealed. “Nobody wants to be the one to step into the pool first. Regis was one of the first people who called me and said ‘What do you need? I’m there.’ [He] didn’t have to do that. He did it because I think he knew what it was like. He wanted to show his support.”
Though her show ended two seasons later, Vieira still holds Philbin’s class and camaraderie close to her heart.
“He was just a good guy,” Vieira said in praise of Philbin. “There are a lot of great people in this industry but there are a lot that, like in anything, maybe don’t wish you well. Regis wished everybody well.”
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