Catherine ‘Kay’ Faylen, Regis Philbin’s First Wife: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

Regis Philbin

Getty Regis Philbin

Iconic TV host, personality and actor Regis Philbin died on Saturday morning at 88 years old. In a statement to People, Regis’ family stated: “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.”

His cause of death has not been officially revealed by the family, although sources have told TMZ that he suffered a heart attack on Saturday morning.

At the time of Regis’ death, he was married to Joy Senese. However, Regis was married to his first wife, Catherine “Kay” Faylen for 13 years in the 1950s and 1960s. Born in Chicago on July 9, 1929, as Catherine Frances Ruf, Kay is known for her work as an actress in the 50s. Since their divorce, Kay has stayed out of the spotlight.

Here’s what you need to know about Catherine “Kay” Faylen:


1. The Two Were Married in 1955 & Had 2 Children Together

Regis and Kay tied the knot in 1955, according to ET Online, and they were married until 1968 when they divorced.

During their 13-year marriage, the couple welcomed two children. In 1961, six years into their marriage, they had their first child, Amy Philbin. Regis and Kay wouldn’t have another child for six more years until Daniel Philbin was born in 1967.

A year after Daniel was born, Regis and Kay divorced. In an interview with People, Regis said his relationship with Kay was “a marriage that didn’t work or last.”


2. Kay & Regis’ Son Daniel Died in 2014 After Living His Life Bound to a Wheelchair

On November 7, 2014, Daniel died at the age of 49 from natural causes. According to Closer Weekly, Daniel was born with a spinal cord defect and he was bound to a wheelchair his entire life, spending most of his childhood at the Angel View Crippled Children’s Foundation in Desert Hot Springs, California.

Both of Daniel’s legs were amputated in hopes to improve his condition, the outlet reported.

According to Closer Weekly, Daniel worked for the Department of Defense, and he was one of 16 persons with disabilities to be honored for their contributions after the September 11 terrorist attacks.


3. Regis and Kay’s Daughter Amy Has Managed to Stay Out of the Spotlight

Much like Daniel before his death, Amy has remained out of the spotlight. Not much is known about Regis and Kay’s first child, and she does not have a presence on social media.

According to Closer Weekly, Amy pursued a career in singing. The outlet also reported that Amy was not seen around Regis very often growing up.

4. Kay Is Credited for Roles in Multiple TV Series in the 1950s

According to Kay’s official IMDB page, she has been credited for six TV roles. In her first credited acting role, she played Jenny Crane in the series Highway Patrol in 1955. Kay went on to appear in Science Fiction Theater twice, playing a “Blonde Nurse” in 1955 and Alice Kinder in 1956.

In the 1956 TV series Dr. Christian, Kay appeared in the episode “The Thin Line.” She followed up that role and acted in the “Staff Headquarters” episode of The Man Called X that same year.

In her two final acting roles, which took place in 1957, Kay played Janice in an episode of The 20th Century-Fox Hour, as well as Dixie Dayton in Perry Mason.


5. Kay Is the Daughter of Famed Actor Frank Faylen

Kay’s father is Frank Faylen, a famed actor who worked from the ’30s to ’70s playing hundreds of roles throughout the decades. According to his IMDB page, Frank was best known for his roles as Ernie in It’s a Wonderful Life, “Bim” Nolan in The Lost Weekend, Jake Pindalest in Blood on the Moon and Herbert T. Gillis in The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis.

Frank was born on December 8, 1905, in St. Louis, Missouri. He died at the age of 79 on August 2, 1985.

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