Today Show anchor Hoda Kotb shared a brief tribute to Regis Philbin, who often appeared on Today with Kathie Lee and Hoda to support his former Live co-host, Kathie Lee Gifford. Philbin died on Friday from natural causes, his family said Saturday. The television legend, whose career began in the 1950s, was 88.
"Heartbroken. We will miss you Regis," Kotb wrote on Twitter, alongside three broken heart emojis and a photo of Philbin with Gifford on Today. Kotb also shared a different photo of the two on Instagram, adding that there is "nobody like" Philbin. Kotb's messages were both published just moments after Philbin's family broke the news of his death in a statement.
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Philbin and Gifford remained close friends after she left Live with Regis and Kathie Lee in 2000. Last year, he contributed a sweet message that aired during Gifford's final Today Show episode, noting how they "stayed friends throughout the entire game and it was a lot of fun." Gifford was replaced by Kelly Ripa in 2001.
"Where you are right now, I know you are going to be moving on to a great new career making movies, and since I've seen the first one, I know you're going to be a great success, I really mean it," Philbin told Gifford in April 2019, referring to her move to Nashville to work on movies. "I want you to know how I will always remember the great times we had working together and how you are as a person, just great."
In his tribute, Philbin said the "best part" of his life on television was working with Gifford. The two hosted began hosting The Morning Show in 1985 three years before the show launched nationally. After the tribute aired, Gifford said she spoke with Philbin on the phone the day before her last Today episode.
"He called me yesterday. He and [wife] Joy called me yesterday and we had a lovely talk. He’s coming back to Greenwich for the summer, so we’ll be seeing him," Gifford said. During that episode, Kotb added, "Two shows have worked really well in the history of daytime television. Regis and Kathie Lee and Kathie Lee and me. What’s the common denominator?"
Kotb was not the only member of the Today family to pay tribute to Phiblin. Former Today anchor Katie Couric shared the statement from Philbin's family on Instagram, alongside a photo with the TV legend. "Sending love and strength to Joy, his girls and his legions of friends and fans," Couric wrote. "We [love] you Regis."