Regis Philbin’s cause of death was heart disease, TMZ reported. His family did not mention coronavirus in their statement and COVID-19 did not play any role in his death. An early statement from the family noted that he died of natural causes, and the exact cause of death was shared later.
He Died of Myocardial Infarction from Heart Disease
Regis Philbin died at the age of 88, just one month before his 89th birthday, People reported. In a statement to People early on, his family said that he died of natural causes.
We are deeply saddened to share that our beloved Regis Philbin passed away last night of natural causes, one month shy of his 89th birthday. His family and friends are forever grateful for the time we got to spend with him – for his warmth, his legendary sense of humor, and his singular ability to make every day into something worth talking about. We thank his fans and admirers for their incredible support over his 60-year career and ask for privacy as we mourn his loss
TMZ later reported that Philbin’s specific cause of death was heart disease.
Page 6 reported more specifics on July 29, nothing that he died from myocardial infarction due to coronary artery disease and hypertension.
Philbin hadn’t made many TV appearances in recent years. But in March 2019 at the age of 87, he made a public appearance and looked fit and healthy at the time, Closer Weekly reported. He told Closer that his health was great and that, in his retirement, he was taking statin medication daily, eating a healthy diet, and exercising regularly. He said that by staying healthy, he could travel between New York and California and spend time with his children.
He Had Triple Bypass Surgery in 2007 & Was Taking Statins Ever Since
In April 2018, Philbin shared with Closer Weekly that he had dealt with years of cholesterol and heart issues, but he had gotten those issues under control since his triple bypass surgery in 2007. He told Closer: “Before my first surgery, I wasn’t very disciplined when it came to my diet, but that all changed when I had my first heart scare and my doctor discovered my high cholesterol. I knew I had to make some pretty major lifestyle changes right away, including giving up the cheeseburgers and oatmeal raisin cookies that I loved so much.”
In an interview with AOL in 2018, Philbin said that he saw his doctor frequently after his heart scare and had to change statins once because of the side effects. He said he was a big believer in statins, but it was important to find the right one.
He told AOL: “I was shocked to learn that at least 50 percent of people who start a statin quit taking it within the first year. This was a great surprise to me as statins have helped me to enjoy life without the worry of having high cholesterol. I urge everyone to talk to their doctor before they stop their statin and find the one that’s right for them. It has really made all the difference for me.”
At the time, he said he was adding more exercises to his routine, and he was sticking to mostly chicken and vegetables for his weekly dinners to stay healthy.
Regis Philbin leaves behind a loving family. He had been married to Joy Philbin since 1970 and he had four children.