Regis Philbin: Kathie Lee Gifford recounts last time she saw iconic TV host before his death

Regis Philbin: Kathie Lee Gifford recounts last time she saw iconic TV host before his death

Regis Philbin: Kathie Lee Gifford recounts last time she saw iconic TV host before his death

Regis Philbin: Kathie Lee Gifford recounts last time she saw iconic TV host before his death

Regis Philbin: Kathie Lee Gifford recounts last time she saw iconic TV host before his death 1

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Kathie Lee Gifford has recounted the last time she saw Regis Philbin, shortly before his death at the age of 88.

Gifford and Philbin were co-hosts on the programme that became known as Live! with Regis and Kathie Lee between 1985 and 2000, and remained close friends afterwards.

Speaking to the Today show on Monday, Gifford said she had lunch with Philbin and his wife Joy Philbin, about two weeks prior to his death, at her Connecticut home.


“I sensed much more fragility that I’d seen in him since the last time [I’d seen him] in January in Los Angeles,” she said.

The three sat together and “laughed ourselves sick”, Gifford added.

“We just had the best time, and after they left I thought to myself, Lord, is that the last time I’m going to see my friend? Because he was failing, I could tell.”

Philbin died on 24 July of natural causes, about a month before what would have been his 89th birthday.

“I’m just so grateful the Lord gave me that final time,” Gifford said on Monday of her final meeting with Philbin.

“And it was so precious because when I talked to Joy the day that I found out right after he had passed, she said, ‘Kathie he hadn’t laughed in a long, long time.’ She said, ‘I was so worried about him.’”

Knowing she got to share some laughs with Philbin before his death will always remain a “precious gift”, Gifford added.

Throughout his career, Philbin spent more than 15,000 hours in front of the cameras. That earned him a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records, defeating Hugh Downs’s previous record for most broadcast hours logged by a TV personality.


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