The Regis Dossier
Born in New York City in 1931, Regis Philbin graduated from the University of Notre Dame in 1953 and served in the Navy before embarking on a career in broadcasting. He got his start as a television host on KGTV in San Diego with “The Regis Philbin Show,” but gained national recognition as a sidekick on “The Joey Bishop Show.”
Following the cancellation of “Joey Bishop,” Mr. Philbin co-hosted local morning talk show “A.M. Los Angeles” and commuted to St. Louis on weekends to host “Regis Philbin’s Saturday Night in St. Louis.” In 1983, he assumed co-hosting duties of local New York City talk show “The Morning Show,” where he was eventually paired with Kathie Lee Gifford.
The show went national in 1988 as “Live With Regis and Kathie Lee,” which enjoyed high ratings and ran until Ms. Lee’s 2000 departure. Mr. Philbin held sole hosting duties of the show until the addition of Kelly Ripa a year later, when the show was renamed “Live With Regis and Kelly.” Mr. Philbin is currently contracted to continue hosting the program until 2009.
Mr. Philbin also has hosted several game shows since 1975, most notably the American version of “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire,” which ran in various incarnations from 1999 to 2004. He’s currently hosting CBS’ summer prime-time game show “Million Dollar Password.”
He is the recipient of multiple television and broadcasting awards, including two Daytime Emmys (for game show host on “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire” in 2001; and special class special, “Walt Disney World Christmas Day Parade,” in 2006). He was named the TV Guide Personality of the Year in 2001, and was inducted into the National Association of Broadcasters’ Television Hall of Fame in 2006. That same year he broke the Guinness World Record for the most time spent in front of a TV camera.
— Julieanne Smolinski