“I sensed much more fragility than I’d seen in him since the last time in January, out in Los Angeles,” she told Today‘s Hoda Kotb. After Philbin and his wife, Joy, left, Gifford recalled, “I just thought to myself, ‘Lord, is that the last time I’m going to see my friend?’ Because he was failing, I could tell.”
Philbin died Friday of natural causes. He was 88.
In an Instagram post on Saturday, Gifford reflected on the years of her career spent “bantering and bickering and laughing ourselves silly” with Philbin, adding that she “simply adored him and every day with him was a gift.”
On NBC’s morning show Monday, she continued to reminisce about her long working relationship with Philbin and their even longer friendship, which she says got stronger after she left the talk show in 2000.
“He was very curious, as always, listened,” she said. “We always respected each other’s opinions so highly. You know, in all the years we were together, we never had one cross word.”
Click on the video above to hear Gifford’s fond recollections about her friend and co-worker, then hit the comments with your favorite memories of Philbin.