Kathie Lee Gifford Describes Her Last Visit With Regis Philbin: ‘I Sensed Much More Fragility in Him’

by Jeremy Spirogis
Kathie Lee Gifford and Regis Philbin

Before co-hosting Today with Kathie Lee & Hoda, Kathie Lee Gifford shared the stage for 15 years with tv legend Regis Philbin. The pair headlined the favored morning present Live with Regis & Kathie Lee from 1985 till Gifford left in 2000, passing her chair on to Kelly Ripa.

The two remained shut pals over time. After Philbin’s household introduced his loss of life on July 24, 2020, Gifford shared her ideas concerning the final time she noticed her pricey friend.

Kathie Lee Gifford and Regis Philbin
Kathie Lee Gifford and Regis Philbin | Bruce Glikas/FilmMagic

Regis Philbin and Kathie Lee Gifford created TV magic

Philbin and Gifford grew to become morning’s should see TV program. From 1985 to 2000, the 2 made early-hour banter an artwork type. Their spontaneous on-air conversations gave viewers a birds-eye view into their lives together with plenty of laughs.

“When we first started, we had no idea what we had, but we knew what we didn’t want,” Gifford informed Today. “We didn’t want writers, we didn’t want a million producers, we didn’t want it overproduced. We just wanted to sit there and have fun together.”

Gifford revealed one in all their keys to success was ready to start out any dialog till they had been in entrance of the cameras.

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“We never talked before the show. We didn’t have what they call ‘elements’ in our business,” the previous Today host shared. “He’d hold up the newspaper, and we’re off to the races. Or I’d say, (my son) Cody threw up, and we were off to the races. We never planned it.”

Kathie Lee Gifford and Regis Philbin went from co-hosts to lifelong pals

Launching the now notorious morning speak present, Gifford and Philbin started their relationship as colleagues. They shared an expert understanding that solidified their partnership.

“You know, in all the years we were together, we never had one cross word.” Gifford revealed. “He was an entertainer in his guts, and so was I. So when we came together, although we didn’t have a friendship yet, we had a mutual respect for what we had accomplished already in our careers. We had the same sense of humor … and we just took off like a rocket.”

Gifford recalled her former co-host’s humble spirit and gratitude for his success over time, and the explanation for his or her electrical chemistry.

“He was the most grateful person in the world, he never forgot where he came from,” she mentioned of Philbin. “He was just happy to be on a set. We had the biggest secret known to the whole world but they don’t do it. We had fun — F – U – N and it’s contagious.”

Kathie Lee Gifford’s remaining go to together with her friend

While talking together with her pal and former Today co-host Hoda Kotb, Gifford shared some particulars of her current go to with Philbin when she was within the New York space.

“[Regis and wife Joy] came over about two weeks ago. I saw Reg get out of the car with Joy and I sensed much more fragility in him than I’d seen in him since the last time in January out in Los Angeles,” Gifford recalled. “We sat here on my screen porch and we laughed ourselves sick. We always just picked up right where we left off.”

Despite their joyful reunion, Gifford suspected this can be their final time collectively. “We had the best time, and after they left, I just thought to myself, ‘Lord, is that the last time I’m going to see my friend?’” she revealed. “Because he was failing, I could tell.”

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After listening to the information of Philbin’s passing, Gifford went to go to Joy and their daughters. After mourning her husband Frank’s loss of life in 2015, Gifford additionally needed to be delicate to their want for privateness.

“It’s been five years almost since Frank passed and you love your friends reaching out, but you also desperately need that private time as a family,” she defined. “I was just grateful to have the time with them and comfort them a little bit, let them know that I believed with all of my heart that I know where Regis is and I know who he’s with … I had many, many conversations with him over the years about faith.”

Gifford cherishes the time she obtained to spend with Philbin shortly earlier than his passing. “I’m just so grateful the Lord gave me that final time,” she mentioned. “That will forever be a precious gift the Lord gave me, that I got to laugh again with one of my best friends of all my lifetime.”

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