Regis Philbin dead at 88; TV icon was best known for hosting ‘Live’ and ‘Who Wants to Be a Millionaire’

July 25, 2020

by Frances Dalton

Regis Philbin (Photo by Todd Williamson/Getty Images for Amazon)

Longtime TV personality Regis Philbin died of natural causes in his New York home on July 24, 2020. He was 88.

Philbin’s family issued this statement to Variety: “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.”

Born in New York City on August 25, 1931, Philbin was known for his affable manner with touches of sarcasm. He was most famous for co-hosting the syndicated talk show “Live” and for hosting ABC’s original U.S. incarnation of the game show “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire.”

After graduating from Notre Dame University and serving a brief stint in the U.S. Navy, Philbin started his TV career in the 1950s as a page forNBC’s “The Tonight Show.” He worked in local TV news for several years, and then hosted local TV talk shows in various cities, such as Los Angeles and St. Louis. In 1964 to 1965, he starred in the short-lived nationally syndicated “The Regis Philbin Show,” and he became a sidekick/announcer on “The Joey Bishop Show” in 1967.

“Live” began in 1983 as the 90-minute “The Morning Show” on the WABC-TV, the ABC affiliate in New York City, with Philbin co-hosting with Cyndy Garvey. In 1984, the show was renamed “Live” and pared down to a 60-minute format with co-host Ann Abernathy. In 1988, “Live” became a nationally syndicated show, with Katie Lee Gifford as co-host, and renamed “Live With Regis and Kathie Lee.”

Philbin co-hosted the show with Gifford co-hosted the show, until Gifford left in 2000. From 2000 to 2001, Philbin was the show’s only permanent host with a revolving set of guest co-hosts until Kelly Ripa became the permanent co-host in 2001, and the show was renamed “Live With Regis and Kelly.” Philbin left the show in 2011 to go into semi-retirement, and he was replaced by Michael Strahan. Strahan left “Live” in 2016 to join ABC’s “Good Morning America,” and was replaced by Ryan Seacrest in 2017.

From 1999 to 2003, he hosted ABC’s primetime game show “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire.” He hosted ABC game show “The Neighbors,” which lasted from 1975 to 1976. Philbin also made numerous guest TV appearances on other shows over the years, usually portraying himself (or a version of himself) in scripted shows.

Philbin holds the Guinness World Record for the most hours on camera (more than 16,700 hours) for any individual on U.S. television.

He is survived by his second wife, Joy Senese Philbin (who was often a guest host on “Live”), who was married to Regis since 1970; their two daughters Joanna and Jennifer; and his son Daniel and daughter Amy, from his first marriage to Catherine “Kay” Faylen, whom he was married to from 1955 to 1968.

Guy Fieri holds a celebrity chef tournament in ‘Guy’s Grocery Games: Superstars’

August 1, 2017

Guy Fieri
Guy Fieri (Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images for Churchill Downs)

The following is a press release from Food Network:

You have followed their careers, read their cookbooks, and watched them on TV, and beginning on Sunday, August 20 at 8pm ET/PT, you will watch these celebrity chefs compete against each other in a no-holds-barred tournament on “Guy’s Grocery Games: Superstars.” In this thrilling five-week tournament, Guy Fieri will give eight of America’s superstar chefs the chance to win $40,000 for their favorite charity. But first, they must battle each other in some of the most twisted games the Flavortown Market has ever seen!

Rocco DiSpirito, Elizabeth Faulkner, Tregaye Fraser, Alex Guarnaschelli, Antonia Lofaso, Brian Malarkey, Marcel Vigneron and Justin Warner go head-to-head in this tournament to see whose skills have game. Each week the chefs will be put to the test in the grocery store aisles, and the top chefs will automatically move on in the competition, while the bottom contestants will face off in a redemption round. Each week, one chef will check out of the competition, while the others stay for the chance to earn big money for charity.

Fans can head to to relive the top moments of the tournament, test their supermarket trivia smarts, and collect shopping and cooking tips from the judges. Plus, they can also join the conversation using #GroceryGames.

Episodes include

Premiering Sunday, August 20 at 8pm

“Superstars Tournament Part 1”

First, the Superstars confront every shopper’s mortal enemy, the Express Lane! But since they’re the best, Guy Fieri gives them an extreme limitation, four ingredients or less, to make their ‘Best Italian Dish.’ The bottom two chefs must go head-to-head in the single-elimination Redemption Round, making a ‘Seafood Feast’ using one ingredient from each and every aisle. In the end, one chef exits while the others stay alive in this five-part tournament that will earn one chef big money for charity!

Judges: Troy Johnson, Carl Ruiz, Aarti Sequeira

Premiering Sunday, August 27 at 8pm

“Superstars Tournament Part 2”

This week’s theme is: Budget Battle Royale! The seven remaining celebrity chefs are given $36.01 each to buy all their groceries for the night. Should they spend it all on the initial ‘Taco Combo’ challenge, or reserve some money in case they must cook again in the Redemption Round? The three bottom chefs are forced to duke it out for survival by making a ‘Decadent Dessert’ with whatever money they have left. In the end, one chef goes home and six move one step closer to winning $40,000 for charity.

Judges: Eric Greenspan, Troy Johnson, Aarti Sequeira

Premiering Sunday, September 3 at 8pm

“Superstars Tournament Part 3”

The remaining six chefs are all given the same grocery list. But in a surprising twist, they must compete in 3 one-on-one battles to see which opponent makes the best breakfast, lunch or dinner. The winners of these match-ups are safe until next week’s competition. But the three that get edged out, head into the Redemption Round where they must flip the ingredients in tiramisu into an ‘Elegant Entrée.’ Which two will get another shot at becoming a champion for charity and rejoin their peers for the semi-finals of the tournament?

Judges: Troy Johnson, Aaron May, Aarti Sequeira

Premiering Sunday, September 10 at 8pm

“Superstars Tournament Part 4”

It’s the semi-finals and Guy Fieri has devised two shocking shopping cart games for the remaining five celebrity chefs. First, they must search the store to discover where he has hidden their personal carts, only to find that they must make their best ‘Burger and Fries’ featuring the bizarre ingredient Guy dropped in each one. The winner gets an automatic pass to the finale, while the bottom four must fight for redemption by making their ‘Cheesiest Dish.’ But before they can cook, Guy hits them with a totally new twist: a four-way cart swap!

Judges: Troy Johnson, Carl Ruiz, Aarti Sequeira

 Premiering Sunday, September 17 at 8pm

“Superstars Tournament Part 5”

The final four celebrity chefs are all vying to become the champion. But first, they must face Guy Fieri’s most diabolical challenge yet: The Double Wheel O’ Games. That’s right, two wheels-of-chance featuring Guy’s toughest games. That means they must play not one, but two extreme grocery games in each round as they attempt to prepare their ‘Best Fried Dish’ and a ‘High End Dish.’ The final two culinary giants must make their ‘Signature Dish’ during two more treacherous games. Who will be the Superstar champion and win $40,000 for their charity?

Judges: Troy Johnson, Aarti Sequeira, Jet Tila

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