Regis Philbin Dead: Former 'Today' Host Katie Couric Mourns Late TV Legend, Sends 'Strength' to Family

Former Today Show host Katie Couric joined the chorus of people mourning Regis Philbin on Saturday after news of his passing broke. Couric shared a photo of herself smiling with Philbin, along with the public statement issued by his family in a post on Instagram.

"I'm so sad to hear this news," Couric wrote of Philbin's passing. "Sending love and strength to Joy, his girls and his legions of friends and fans. We [love] you Regis." Couric added the hashtags "Regis Philbin" and "rest in peace." According to the family's statement, Philbin died on Friday due to natural causes, at the age of 88. As the news spreads, colleagues like Couric have been some of of the most sorrowful mourners.

View this post on Instagram

I’m so sad to hear this news 💔. Beloved television host Regis Philbin died on July 24th. He was 88 years old. "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," his family shared. "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 .” Sending love and strength to Joy, his girls and his legions of friends and fans. We ❤️ you Regis. #restinpeace #regisphilbin

A post shared by Katie Couric (@katiecouric) on

"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."

Couric and Philbin were both talk show icons of similar stature around the same time over the last few decades, and both generally operated out of New York City. Their biggest career crossover was in November of 2011, when Philbin retired from his own show, Live! At the time, Couric interviewed him for a special edition of ABC News' 20/20, profiling him and revisiting his iconic TV career.

Philbin began working in the entertainment industry at the entry level in 1955 as a page on The Tonight Show, shortly after returning from a stint in the U.S. Navy. He worked his way up to become an actor, and the host of some regional talk shows before landing a national gig. He became a household name with the launch of Live! With Regis and Kathie Lee in 1988.

0comments

In the year of his retirement, Couric presented Philbin with the New York Landmarks Conservancy's Living Landmark Award, according to a report by Ad Week. Much like now, she praised Philbin for his long list of achievements, and wished him a happy retirement.

Philbin is survived by three daughters and his wife, as well as many adoring fans, friends and family. Plans for his memorial have not yet been made public.