Philbin to Undergo Bypass Surgery

Mar 12, 2007  •  Post A Comment

Regis Philbin dealt fans a shock Monday when he told them on “Live With Regis and Kelly” he’s undergoing a heart bypass operation this week.

Mr. Philbin, 76, returned to his show three days after having an angioplasty in 1993 and said he wished that more simple procedure would solve things this time.

However, after consulting with two doctors and bypass veteran pal David Letterman, Mr. Philbin said he resigned himself to the operation.

In the manner his fans recognize as often hypochondriacal and always joking, he said the bypass is the most long-lasting of the heart-repair options, “But how long do I have anyway? I’m not kidding.”

Co-host Kelly Ripa stressed to Mr. Philbin that her father’s heart bypass had changed his life “dramatically.”

Mr. Philbin is extremely health conscious and active. He starred in an exercise video after his angioplasty, has talked often about playing tennis until recently, and keeps up a sometimes grueling pace. He has juggled his daytime show with a prime time series that require multiple appearances and sometimes cross-country travel: ABC’s “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire” in 1999 and “American’s Got Talent” for NBC Last season. He also has a concert act he frequently takes on the road that has produced popular CDs.

Mr. Philbin took one of his typical working vacations last week and performed with wife Joy in Canada.

Ms. Ripa worked with guest co-hosts last week, as she will while Mr. Philbin recuperates.

A spokeswoman for “Live” was not immediately available for further comment.

(Editor: Worrell)