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Regis Philbin

As the face to which millions of Americans wake up every morning, Regis Philbin has become a cultural icon in television broadcasting. The energetic host of the a.m. talker Live with Regis and Kelly took his daytime success to nighttime with Who Wants to be a Millionaire and Super Millionaire, and in 2006 returned to primetime with the hit summer program America's Got Talent. In early 2008, he was tapped to host the red carpet arrivals show for the 2008 Academy Awards, and he'll once again take on primetime television with Million Dollar Password.

Since Philbin first stepped in front of the camera more than 40 years ago, he has ambitiously tackled talk shows, game shows, the literary world and even the fashion industry. In May 2001, the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences honored him with a Daytime Emmy as Outstanding Game Show Host for Who Wants to be a Millionaire, and another Emmy as Outstanding Talk Show Host for his syndicated program, Live with Regis. He and co-host Kelly Ripa received the Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Special Class Special for hosting the 2005 Walt Disney World Christmas Day Parade. And in 2006, he broke his own existing Guinness World Record? for Most Hours on Camera, setting a new mark of 15,662 hours accumulated over his illustrious career.

Early on, Philbin took A.M. Los Angeles from the bottom of the ratings to number one, where the show remained throughout his seven-year tenure. At the national level, he served as Joey Bishop's sidekick on The Joey Bishop Show and helmed The Regis Philbin Show, a daily 30-minute program that received an Emmy for Outstanding Daytime Variety Series.

Currently in its landmark 20th season in national syndication, Live with Regis and Kelly originated in 1983 when Philbin created The Morning Show for WABC in his native Manhattan. It quickly became the number one show in the market. Kathie Lee Gifford joined him in June 1985, and in September 1988 the program debuted in national syndication and the title was changed to Live with Regis & Kathie Lee. In 2001, Philbin was joined by Ripa, and the program entered a new era as Live with Regis and Kelly.

Two of his non-televised projects are true labors of love. In September, 2004, Hollywood Records released Philbin's album of timeless songs, When You're Smiling, produced by acclaimed producer/singer Steve Tyrell. The disc isn't his first musical venture that was 1968's It's Time for Regis!, recorded during his days on The Joey Bishop Show. It took 38 years for his follow-up album, a collection of some of the greatest songs in American pop music, including Pennies From Heaven and It Had to be You. Based on the success of When You're Smiling, Hollywood Records signed Philbin for a follow-up album of Christmas classics, also produced by Tyrell. The Regis Philbin Christmas Album, which debuted in September, 2005, features duets with Joy Philbin, Tyrell, a special appearance by Donald Trump, and was one of the season's top-selling holiday albums.

In 2001, Philbin received a TV Guide Award as Personality of the Year, and a Broadcasting & Cable Lifetime Achievement Award. He also was presented with a Crystal Apple Award from New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani for his contributions to the New York television industry. Other accolades include the Walter Camp Distinguished American Award at Yale University and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Philbin was the 2006 inductee into the National Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame, and in December of 2006 was selected by the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences to be inducted into the Television Academy's Hall of Fame.

A native of New York City, Philbin is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame and received an honorary doctorate of law degree for his contributions to Notre Dame and South Bend. Regis and Joy have two grown daughters, Joanna and Jennifer.


Note: This profile was written in or before 2009.
Read earlier biographies on this page.

Regis Philbin Facts

Birth Name Regis Francis Xavier Philbin
OccupationTV Host
BirthdayAugust 25, 1931 (86)
SignVirgo
BirthplaceNew York, New York, USA
Height5' 7" (1m70)  How tall is Regis Philbin compared to you?

Selected Filmography

Not available.