Following Regis Philbin’s death, Kelly Ripa is mourning the loss of her former daytime cohost.
In a joint statement with her current Live partner Ryan Seacrest, Ripa said she is “beyond saddened” by Philbin’s passing, calling him “the ultimate class act” throughout his multi-decade showbiz career.
“We were beyond lucky to have him as a mentor in our careers and aspire every day to fill his shoes on the show,” Ripa and Seacrest wrote. “We send our deepest love and condolences to his family and hope they can find some comfort in knowing he left the world a better place.”
Philbin, who died of natural causes on Friday at age 88, co-hosted Live with Ripa for 10 years, beginning in 2001 after Kathie Lee Gifford departed the daytime talk series. Philbin then stepped down in 2011, at which point Ripa hosted solo until Michael Strahan was tapped as Philbin’s replacement. Seacrest then took over co-hosting duties in 2017.
Following his Live exit, Philbin served as a recurring guest host on the daytime cooking show Rachael Ray and hosted Crowd Goes Wild, a daily sports talk show on Fox Sports. He also occasionally co-hosted Today‘s fourth hour, reuniting with Gifford in the process.
Outside of his daytime work, Philbin was best known as host of the quiz show Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, which ran with Philbin asking the questions from 1999 to 2002.
Read Ripa and Seacrest’s full tribute to Philbin below:
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We are beyond saddened to learn about the loss of Regis Philbin. He was the ultimate class act, bringing his laughter and joy into our homes everyday on Live for more than 23 years. We were beyond lucky to have him as a mentor in our careers and aspire everyday to fill his shoes on the show. We send our deepest love and condolences to his family and hope they can find some comfort in knowing he left the world a better place. – Kelly and Ryan