Regis Philbin Dead: 'Law and Order: SVU' Star Ice-T Mourns Legendary Host After Death at 88

Ice-T joined the fans, friends and colleagues mourning Regis Philbin on Saturday afternoon on Twitter. The rapper and TV star shared a tweet from the hip hop archivist account "UPNORTHTRIPS" showing a photo of Philbin in a Wu-Tang Clan t-shirt. "Ahh wow... Rest In Peace Regis," Ice-T wrote.

Ice-T's tweet picked up several hundred retweets and several thousand likes shortly after it was posted. Many fans shared their own memories of Philbin in the replies, trying to imagine how Ice-T himself was feeling. Philbin was a TV icon for about 60 years, with various talk shows and game shows to his credit. In a statement published by PEOPLE, his family said that he died of natural causes.

"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," Philbin's family said. "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."

As a fellow New York City-based entertainer, Ice-T likely crossed paths with Philbin often of the years. Philbin often portrayed a fictional version of himself on TV shows — particularly those set in NYC, including How I Met Your Mother, 30 Rock, New Girl and Family Guy. However, he never joined Ice-T and his cast mates on Law & Order: SVU. Many fans remarked on this missed opportunity in response to ICE-T's tweet.

"This pic tho!! Legendary on many levels," on fan wrote. "Regis was the original GOAT," wrote another, "RIP sir." A third fan added: "Damn, we losing too many people this year... 2020 sucks ASS!!"

Philbin was best-known to most fans for talk shows like Live! With Regis and Kathie Lee, which has since evolved into Live! With Kelly and Ryan these days. He is also remembered for being the original host of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?

0comments

Philbin's entertainment credits go back much further than that, however. He began as a page on The Tonight Show in 1955, and rose through the ranks over the next few years. Early on, he had several TV acting roles — before he became such a familiar face that he mostly played himself.

Philbin is survived by three daughters and a wife. The family is requesting privacy as they mourn the media icon.