Ryan Seacrest Remembers Regis Philbin in Heartfelt Tribute on 'Live With Kelly and Ryan'

Ryan Seacrest paid the perfect tribute to the late Regis Philbin during Monday's Live With Kelly and Ryan, talking with Philbin's former Live co-host Kelly Ripa about the impact and legacy left behind by the iconic broadcaster after his death Friday a month before his 89th birthday. "It’s been a very difficult and emotional day for all of us at Live. Kelly, I know a tough weekend for you, especially because you worked with our dear friend, a friend that passed away over the weekend, Regis Philbin," Seacrest began. "A legend on television. A best friend to so many of us who didn’t even know him, across the country."

Seacrest went on to recall his experience coming in to Live after Philbin's exit, saying he was "nervous" coming in, because his predecessor was "on another level." Seacrest added that when he came on board with the show, he was completely relieved to get a hug from Philbin, which he called a "seal of approval." Sharing the story on Instagram, Seacrest wrote, "Today we remember Regis Philbin and the incredible legacy he left with Live."

"His gift of storytelling and humor made him a mentor, friend, and family member to millions of people who watched every morning," he continued. "It’s a huge honor to fill the seat he left behind. Regis, there will never be another like you." Seacrest's followers were quick to praise his "wonderful tribute," with one writing, "You both honored him so genuinely and with such grace."

Philbin's family announced Saturday that he had passed away at the age of 88 the day prior. "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," they said in a statement. "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."

That same day, Ripa and Seacrest posted a joint message on Instagram alongside a photo with Philbin. "We are beyond saddened to learn about the loss of Regis Philbin,” the statement read. “He was the ultimate class act, bringing his laughter and joy into our homes every day on Live for more than 23 years. We were beyond lucky to have him as a mentor in our careers and aspire every day to fill his shoes on the show. We send our deepest love and condolences to his family and hope they can find some comfort in knowing he left the world a better place.”