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In Their Own Words: Joy Philbin

Jun 15, 2008  •  Post A Comment

[The Daytime Emmys] will be quite an honor, and I wouldn’t miss it for the world. It’s going to be a big night. We’ll be sitting there with some old, old friends and our two daughters and our son-in-law, hopefully. My heart is out there because I have a new grandson and two daughters and sisters. I’ve been trying to talk him into getting a little place out there, but too much family around him scares him, I think. Regis is taking some time off, so we’ll probably come home sometime the following week.
He looks great on the show. He’s always put together, but like most men, when he’s relaxing, he doesn’t bother with it. Not that he doesn’t have a closet full of great clothes, but he doesn’t spend a lot of time thinking about it. He likes to have fun with Kelly about her shoes because Kelly is a shoe-aholic. He teases her about it. But he also likes to brag about his shoes with his initials on them. But I think that’s all in fun, When we’re up in Connecticut, he wears jeans and sneakers.
When I met Regis, he had a different role. He was Joey Bishop’s announcer. I loved his kind of funky personality, his mischievous boyishness.
I think Regis has become really well seasoned. He knows his craft now more than ever. We had some rough spots. He was out of work for a year when he made that move from ABC to NBC and they said, “Well, you know, Regis, nobody cares what you did last night, just get to the show.” They wanted to change everything and it didn’t work.
So he got the offer to come to New York. I don’t have to tell you that was a big move, because we had two little girls and we were living in this lovely big home in L.A. All of a sudden he’s offered a show in New York, which really got his juices flowing. He wanted to do it, but it was really tough. I saw this other side of him come out. He certainly hadn’t lost his confidence, and some men do when they’re unemployed for a year in this business.
So there we were in this apartment, 1,200 square feet, with two little girls who had never lived in cold weather, had had tree-lined streets where they rode their bikes, and now they’re in this chaos in New York. He would take the girls to the elevator every morning because he would drop them off at school on his way in to the show and it was so sweet. He would say to them, “OK, let’s make this a great day. This is going to be the best day.”
Something came out under those circumstances that he drew from and he made that show a success. It didn’t happen overnight. The press was not kind to him when we came here. They regarded him as a California boy. They thought he was some kind of interloper. He was an outsider. They were really killing him every day. He took a camera crew and he went to the Bronx and took everybody on a tour of his neighborhood and where he grew up. Long story short: It’s now called Regis Philbin Avenue, which is a nice ending to that story.
When we lived in L.A. and he was working with Sarah Purcell, she was going on vacation. He asked me to sit in for one day. I had aspirations before we were married and all that, but I had never done anything like that. I was slightly terrified, but I did it, and we had so much fun that I stayed the whole week. He wants whoever is sitting next to him to look good. He has less ego than most people in this business. Whoever sits next to him can feel that they’re going to come off looking good. That’s what he wants.
I’ve told this story that we did have an argument and went to bed not speaking and the next day Kathie Lee called at 6:30 in the morning and she was snowed in, couldn’t get in. I went out there with him and we had not spoken a word. It was very icy out there. We didn’t look at each other until we finally had to tell the audience what was going on. We each told our side of the story and then we took a vote and I won. I was right. Other than that, I can’t recall him saying anything that was really upsetting to me. I think he knew what the parameters were.

79 Comments

  1. Joy, you’re a class act. I love how you carry yourself, with so much strength and softness. Regis is blessed to have you as his wife and I know that your’e just as bless to have him love you also. Keep pressing on girlfriend! I like your spirit.

  2. Joy, I went to Canada on Saturday, Nov. 1st 2008 at Caesars Windsorand saw the show. It was wonderful. Wow!! You are such an attractive and classy lady. I loved your singing and you sure can play the piano. Regis should have you accompany him all the time. Take care, and God Bless.

  3. Dear Joy;
    I have always enjoyed watching you and Regis on the morning show when sometimes you filled in for some absent guest, on one show Regis mentioned that you had lived in Chicago.
    You stated that you had lived on 73 rd. and Paulina St. I moved to 7238 So. Paulina at the age of 9 in 1939 and as a kid knew most of the families on 73 st. The family that had two young girls which may have been you and your sister
    lived in wooden frame house at about 7310 Paulina.
    I wonder if that is where you lived at and also did you attend St.Jusin Martyr Catholic school or Raster elementry school ?
    Sincerly yours, Arthur Kratovil

  4. Hello Joy,
    I have felt compelled to drop you a note – only to say that I am married to your husband’s clone…..not look wise, but every “other” wise. My husband snores so badly, he NEVER gets a name correct, forgets what he went to the store for, etc. etc. He had triple bypass one year after Regis, and I swore his habits would never bother me again…it’s been two years – they drive me NUTS. We’ve lived near a main street named VANDAIUM. My husband STILL calls it NADINE….you know what I mean. Love my husband so dearly – STILL drives me nuts Thank you for being you – and letting us know that Regis (and yourself) are human too with everyday irritations like the rest of us!!!! Love

  5. Hi Joy,
    Why do you have to be so mean-spirited, especially toward your husband – always whining & complaining about lost luggage, wrong directions, etc. etc. I just have to turn off the TV when you are on the show – its hard enough that Regis has become obsessed with his ailments over the last few years (I think I speak for many when I say – ENOUGH about your illnesses!), but you come off an so self-absorbed and superficial – is there a mirror that you pass without looking?

  6. Hello Joy and Regis:
    I hate to start out with the number of years I’ve watched Regis…so I won’t….but it’s been a LOT! (I live in Sherman Oaks, Ca. so does that give you a clue)?
    When my husband and I bought a pied-a-terre in NYC in 1980, I almost hated going there because I missed Regis coming into our living room every morning. (Don’t get me wrong…I adore NY}! Then, wonder of wonders, one Thanksgiving when we were there, there was Regis DOING COLOR while Ed McMahon hosted the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade! I was overJOYed when I found you two had moved there and eventually Regis prevailed and look where you are now! I’m so happy for you both.
    We have a small connection in that Disney is a part of your lives and for a while they were part of mine, too, as my husband was a film composer there for 28 years. He has since passed away, but it was a magical time.
    Be well and be very kind to each other.

  7. what did regis call sarah purcells husband? he had a nickname for him…

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