Kathie Lee Gifford's son Cody Gifford posted a touching tribute to Regis Philbin on Saturday, as news of his passing spread. He shared a photo of Philbin with his father, Frank Gifford, arm in arm and smiling on a TV set. Cody seemed to be referring to both of them when he wrote: "Gone, but not forgotten."
"Rest in paradise, cherished friend," Cody added, along with the hashtag "Regis." Philbin passed away on Saturday at the age of 88, according to a report by PEOPLE. His family issued a statement naming his cause of death has natural causes. This comes five years after Frank Gifford's passing, which was also due to natural causes. Much like Philbin, Frank passed away shortly before his next birthday, when he would have been 85.
Philbin was close to the Gifford family largely because he and Kathie Lee Gifford co-hosted Live with Regis and Kathie Lee. The talk show became a nation-wide favorite when he began in 1988, and it continues to this day with different hosts. There, fans also came to know the hosts' families through their banter and anecdotes, including Cody, who was born in 1990.
After growing up with Philbin in his life all these years, Cody followed both of his families into the media industry by founding the Gifford Media Group. He joined many others in mourning Philbin this weekend, including friends, family, fans and colleagues.
"We are deeply saddened to share that our beloved Regis Philbin passed away last night of natural causes, one month shy of his 89th birthday," read the statement from Philbin's family. "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. We thank his fans and admirers for their incredible support over his 60-year career and ask for privacy as we mourn his loss."
A New York City native, Philbin broke into the entertainment industry as a page on The Tonight Show starting in 1955. From there, he rose through the ranks to become an actor and a talk show host. He later gained wide notoriety as a game show host as well, perhaps best-remembered for Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?
Philbin is survived by three daughters and his wife, Joy Senese. Kathie Lee Gifford and other close colleagues have posted their own tributes to him as well.