Daniel Philbin’s Cause of Death: How Did Regis Philbin’s Son Die?

Daniel Philbin, Regis Philbin's Son

Department of Defense Daniel Philbin, Regis Philbin's son, receiving an award from the Department of Defense.

Regis Philbin’s son, Daniel “Danny” Philbin, died years before his father. Out of his four children, Regis Philbin only had one son. Daniel Philbin died in 2014.

Here’s what you need to know:


Daniel Philbin Died of Natural Causes in 2014

Daniel Philbin died in 2014, ET Canada reported. Daniel was born in 1967 to Regis and his first wife, Catherine “Kay” Faylen. They had one child before Daniel — Amy Philbin. She has stayed mostly out of the spotlight all these years. Regis and Kay divorced about a year after Daniel was born.

Daniel Philbin was only 49 when he died of natural causes, Closer Weekly reported. He was married to Judy Philbin, but they divorced four years before he died, Radar Online reported. Although Daniel Philbin died in November 2014, his death wasn’t shared publicly until 2015, ET Canada reported.

Daniel Philbin was born with a spinal cord birth defect that required both of his legs to be amputated, Closer Weekly reported. He spent most of his childhood at the Angel View Crippled Children’s Foundation in California.

Daniel Philbin and his father may have had a strained relationship for part of their lives, Radar Online reported in 2015. His former wife told Radar Online that Daniel Philbin had been depressed because of it, but the father and son later reconciled, though she called that a publicity stunt, the outlet reported. However, when the rumors circulated about it in the 1990s, Daniel Philbin himself simply said: “I love my dad and I’m really proud of him.”

According to an unauthorized biography of Regis called Regis!, Regis called his son his hero in 1994. Regis said: “For him to overcome all this disability, to graduate from college, work on his master’s program — he’s just dynamite, a remarkable kid.”

Regis Philbin talked about when his son was in the hospital for a long period of time. “I’d go see him every day,” he said. “I’ll tell you, anytime he goes back into the hospital it’s like a knife in my heart. I wish it were me, not him.”

Philbin said that at one point, he was going to the Children’s Hospital in Los Angeles five days a week and couldn’t take his son out because of health complications.

“I know what it is like to be at a children’s hospital and to see those kids in pain,” he said.


Daniel Philbin Worked for the Department of Defense

Daniel Philbin worked for the Department of Defense as a writer-editor in the Secretary of Defense Public Affairs Office’s Directorate of Public Inquiry and Analysis, The Department of Defense shared in 2002.

When he was 37, the Department of Defense honored Philbin and 16 other people with disabilities for their help with the response to September 11, Closer Weekly reported. Philbin was honored for staying on the job throughout the emergency even after a plane crashed into the Pentagon and “despite the flames burning near his office,” Radar Online reported. He had to be hospitalized for several days later as he recovered, Radar Online reported.

According to the Department of Defense, Philbin was at his desk at the Pentagon when he heard that an airplane flew into the building. Once he got outside, he wanted to stay and help his office deal with the media response. He said he pushed himself to the command post at the Navy Exchange gas station about a mile away to help them keep the public affairs division going.

The award noted: “That evening, while the building was still in flames, he returned to the Pentagon to help with the secretary of defense’s press conference. He came back on Sept. 12 to perform additional duties. This bravery and dedication were not without cost, as he was hospitalized later for several days.”

Here’s a photo of Philbin receiving the award in 2002. He’s pictured with Charles S. Abell, principal deputy undersecretary of defense for personnel and readiness, left, and Raymond F. Du Bois, right, director of administration and management, Office of the Secretary of Defense, and director, Washington Headquarters Service.

Department of Defense

He also helped with the Secretary’s Situation Report after the attacks. He also responded to many cards and letters that were sent after the 9/11 attacks.

He said:

It’s very difficult to respond to every single person who wrote in. I try to focus a lot on kids in schools, because they’re the future. Hopefully, when they finish their schooling, they’ll remember that response they received from the Department of Defense and perhaps they’ll want to work with us or join our colleagues in uniform. I try to look ahead a few years.

Nic DiPalma shared a story on Twitter about when he worked with Daniel Philbin and how his famous father would sometimes call in. DiPalma wrote: “Danny Philbin and I worked together years ago. His desk was a few cubicles from mine. Occasionally, he would lean his head out and yell, ‘DiPalma, line 1.’ I’d pick up the phone and it was his dad, #RegisPhilbin. Because he could. Regis never minded and it was always a treat.”


Regis Philbin Has 3 Other Children

Amy Philbin, Regis’ oldest child, was born in 1961 to Regis and his first wife, Faylen. She’s stayed mostly out of the spotlight but had pursued a singing career, Closer Weekly reported.

Philbin married his wife Joy in 1970 and they had two children: Joanna Philbin (born 1973) and J.J. Philbin (born 1974.)

Joanna Philbin attended Brown University and is a successful author. Her numerous books include The Daughters series, Since Last Summer and more.

J.J. Philbin is in the TV industry, working as a producer and writer. She wrote for Mad TV after graduating from the University of Notre Dame and then joined the script department of SNL. She also wrote for the ABC series That Was Then and is known for her work with New Girl and The O.C. 

J.J. Philbin was the co-creator and executive producer for Single Parents. When it launched, she wanted her dad to appear on the show, ET Online reported. He appeared as a guest for one episode as part of a birth storyline.

J.J. Philbin is married to Michael Schur and they have two children: Ivy Elizabeth and William.

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