Regis Philbin has died. The iconic TV personality has passed away on Friday, July 24 after suffering a heart attack at age 88. His family confirmed the devastating news to PEOPLE. While the longtime show host’s family says he died from “natural causes,” reports are claiming he suffered a heart attack.
“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 revealed to PEOPLE on Saturday.
“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,” the family continued.
However, TMZ is claiming the star suffered a heart attack on Saturday morning at his Manhattan, New York home. The date and cause of death differ from what the family is saying.
Regis Philbin quickly became America’s most beloved host in the late ’80s when he joined Kathie Lee Gifford for their long-running morning show, “Live! with Regis and Kathie Lee.” After 15 years on air together, Kathie Lee announced her departure but the two’s bond remained close.
In 2001, Kelly Ripa joined Regis Philbin as host and the show changed to “Live! with Regis and Kelly.” Ten years later, following his 23-year run, Regis announced he was retiring. Former football player Michael Strahan replaced him before Ryan Seacrest took the seat alongside Kelly Ripa in 2007.
Regis Philbin expanded his career into game shows, serving as host of “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?” from 1999 to 2002. He also hosted the first season of “America’s Got Talent,” as well as a prominent co-host on “Rachael Ray.”
Regis Philbin is survived by his wife of 50 years, Joy and daughters, J.J. Philbin, Joanna Philbin, and Amy Philbin. His son, Daniel Philbin, passed away at age 49 in 2014. Regis is also survived by several grandchildren.