Regis Philbin Cause of Death Revealed

Update: Nearly a week after Philbin's death, a spokesperson for the Chief Medical Examiner's Office in Farmington, Connecticut, told E! News on Wednesday that the television icon died from a myocardial infarction due to coronary artery disease. TMZ had previously reported more broadly that he had died of heart disease. The previously published story begins below.

Regis Philbin's cause of death was heart disease, the medical examiner in Greenwich, Connecticut, said Saturday. The legendary television host died at Greenwich Hospital, according to TMZ. Sources told the outlet Philbin suffered a heart attack, but this was not confirmed by his family. In their own announcement, they said Philbin died from natural causes.

Philbin died just one month before his 89th birthday, his family said in a statement to PEOPLE Saturday. "His family and friends are forever grateful for the time we got to spend with him – for his warmth, his legendary sense of humor, and his singular ability to make every day into something worth talking about," his family said. "We thank his fans and admirers for their incredible support over his 60-year career and ask for privacy as we mourn his loss."

Philbin did have a history of heart disease. He underwent an angioplasty in 1993. In 2007, he had triple bypass surgery due to plaque in his arteries. He also needed a hip replacement in 2009. However, Philbin did appear healthy in recent public appearances. His last TV appearance was in the Single Parents episode "Oh Dip, She's Having a Baby," which aired on ABC in April.

The New York native was best known for hosting Live With Regis and Kathie Lee, which became Live With Regis and Kelly after Kelly Ripa replaced Kathie Lee Gifford. He also hosted the original run of ABC's Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? and several other game shows during his career. He was a fixture on television, earning the Guinness World Record for most hours on television. In 2008, he received the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Daytime Emmy Awards and won Outstanding Game Show Host in 2001. He joined the Television Hall of Fame in 2006.


Gifford was among the dozens of celebrities to share their condolences to Philbin's family and share their memories of working with him. "I send all the love in my heart to Joy, to his children, to the rest of his family and to the innumerable people he touched over his legendary life," she wrote. "There has never been anyone like him. And there never will be."

Philbin is survived by his wife, Joy, whom he married in 1970. They share two daughters, comedy writer J.J. Philbin and Joanna Philbin. Philbin is also survived by his daughter Amy Philbin from his marriage to Catherine Faylen. He and Faylen also had a son, Daniel, who died in 2014.