Donald Trump leads tributes to late TV titan Regis Philbin

Regis Philbin

U.S. President Donald Trump and Josh Gad have added their tributes to Regis Philbin following his death on Friday (July 24, 2020).

America’s leader took to Twitter on Saturday to call the veteran “one of the greats in the history of television”.

He added: “Regis Philbin has passed on to even greater airwaves, at 88. He was a fantastic person, and my friend. He kept telling me to run for President. Holds the record for ‘most live television’, and he did it well. Regis, we love you…”

Meanwhile, superfan Gad added: “This one hurts. A staple in our household growing up, his joy was infectious and his hosting skills among the greatest I’ve ever seen. Whether on Live or leading Who Wants to be a Millionaire he was always captivating & hilarious. #RIPRegis.”

There were also social media tributes from fellow TV chat icons Jimmy Kimmel and David Letterman, William Shatner, Billy Eichner, Rosanna Arquette, Nia Vardalos, Brad Garrett, and New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, who wrote: “Regis Philbin brought humor, warmth and wit into so many homes. Many people who never met him feel as though they’ve lost a personal friend and that’s a testament to his character. He will be missed.”

Philbin’s longtime Live! With Regis & Kathie Lee co-host Kathie Lee Gifford also remembered the TV icon, writing: “There are no words to fully express the love I have for my precious friend, Regis. I simply adored him and every day with him was a gift. We spent 15 years together bantering and bickering and laughing ourselves silly – a tradition and a friendship we shared up to this very day.

“I smile knowing somewhere in Heaven, at this very moment, he’s making someone laugh. It brings me great comfort knowing that he had a personal relationship with his Lord that brought him great peace. I send all the love in my heart to (wife) Joy, to his children, to the rest of his family and to the innumerable people he touched over his legendary life. There has never been anyone like him. And there never will be.”

Gifford co-hosted Live! with Philbin from 1985 until 2000. She was replaced by Kelly Ripa, who has also posted a tribute to Regis.