Kathie Lee Gifford's daughter, Cassidy Gifford, is paying tribute to two men close to her heart: Regis Philbin, who died Friday at the age of 88, and her father, Frank Gifford, who passed away in 2015. On Sunday, as fans flocked to social media to mourn Philbin's loss, Cassidy took to Instagram with a touching post.
Sharing a photo of Philbin and her father, a former NFL star, with their arms wrapped around each other's shoulder, Cassidy wrote, "the laughter I know you two are sharing together again in heaven is palpable." Closing off the message with a red heart emoji, she added, "love you forever, Reeg," using the endearing nickname her mother had created during her use co-hosting Live! with Regis and Kathie Lee.
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The post, which followed a tribute to Philbin shared by her brother, Cody Gifford, as well as one posted by her mother, drew plenty of reactions, the comments section quickly becoming a place for fans to send their condolences and also share their own tributes to the TV legend. In one response, somebody wrote, "thinking about you and sending love." Another commented that it was "so very sad," reflecting how "mornings with your Mom and Reeg were the best!" Gifford had co-hosted Live! with Philbin for 15 years, forming a lasting friendship. After learning of his death on Friday, she even traveled to New York from her home in Tennessee to visit with his family, including his wife, Joy.
"I didn't want to intrude on their private family time because I remember what that was like. It's been five years, almost, since Frank passed, and you love your friends reaching out but you also desperately need that private time as a family," she said during Monday's Today. "I was just grateful to have the time with them and comfort them a little bit and let them know that I believe with all my heart that I know where Regis is and I know who he's with, because I had many, many conversations with him over the years about faith and where we go when this life is over, and he was very curious, as always."
According to a statement from Philbin's family, the TV icon died Friday of natural causes. A University of Notre Dame spokesman Dennis Brown confirmed over the weekend that a funeral service for Philbin will be held at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart. He will then be laid to rest at Cedar Grove Cemetery on campus. A date for the services has not yet been announced.