The country was in mourning on Saturday when news first broke that longtime TV personality and talk show host Regis Philbin had passed away at the age of 88 from natural causes. Tributes began to pour in from many in the industry that he had mentored or worked with while his family shared a statement thanking everyone for their support but asking for privacy while in mourning. While many expressed their sorrows, no one was hit as hard as his wife of 50 years, Joy Philbin.
The two tied the knot on Mar. 1, 1970 and went on to have two children together, both daughters named Joanna and J.J. In addition, the Philbin’s were grandparents to two kids, a boy and a girl. While her husband would go on to be among the biggest television legends on his way to nearly 40 Daytime Emmy Award nominations, Joy accompanied him on some of his endeavors. She would occasionally co-host with Philbin on both Live with Regis and Kathy Lee and later on with Live with Regis and Kelly. She also hosted her own show on HGTV called At Home With along with another show, Haven. The two appeared in a cameo on Hope & Faith, which starred Ripa.
Joy, who was born on Feb. 1, 1941 in New York City, joined her husband in a 2011 interview with Parade in which they revealed their secrets to a successful marriage. The two celebrated their 50th anniversary this past March. Joy gushed over her love of her husband, saying, “There’s just something about Regis. There’s always something new on the horizon and it keeps our lives active and fun.” She applauded him for always keeping things “interesting” which is why she joked in the interview that he should never retire from television.
They also spoke about one of their favorite hobbies, playing tennis together. Regis said the two did so “a lot” while also going to the gym together three to four times a week. Joy spoke about their competitiveness, not against each other but when they play another couple, “If we win at tennis, then we’re totally in love for the rest of day.” If the result is a loss, then she said it could “really trigger an ugly evening.” Joy poked fun at Regis, saying that he’d be the most likely to have a bad game because he “doesn’t like to warm up.”