A recent iconic entertainer’s birthday prompted a heartfelt tribute on Instagram from a fan-favorite Hallmark star. Kathie Lee Gifford paid tribute to her former morning talk show co-host Regis Philbin, and fans thought what she shared was perfect for the occasion.
Here’s what you need to know:
Gifford Noted It Was a Very Tough Day
On August 25, Gifford took to Instagram to recognize Philbin’s birthday. She included a black-and-white photo of the two from many years ago, and it was certainly a classic snapshot of the pair of entertainers. “I miss Regis every day,” Gifford began in her caption. “But this is a particularly difficult day as we remember this amazing man who would have been 91,” the star of “A Godwink Christmas” noted.
Philbin died in July 2020 of natural causes at 88. As ET Online noted, Philbin and Gifford worked together on their morning talk show for 15 years, beginning in 1985. They first paired up for “The Morning Show” when it was a local series, and they stuck together when in 1988 the show was taken national and named “Live! With Regis and Kathie Lee.” She left in 2000, but the two remained close until his death. Gifford even joked once, “I don’t miss working with Regis, because I see him actually more now than I ever did.”
Fans Gushed Over the Connection Gifford & Philbin Had
Gifford also sent her love to Philbin’s family as she recognized his birthday, specifically mentioning his wife Joy. The Hallmark entertainer mentioned she knew the family was celebrating “an extraordinary man and life” on the day he would have turned 91. More than 30,000 people “liked” Gifford’s post to show their support, and over 1,200 comments poured in as well.
“The best duo ever of talk shows! I watched faithfully,” one fan commented. “Regis was simply a very unique individual and I loved every minute of his stories,” that fan continued.
“He definitely is the definition of a life lived well,” another person noted.
“You two were a good professional team… respectful, caring & funny… That’s what we saw,” added someone else.
“The love and friendship you two shared with the world was a blessing to us who love YOU both!!! Both amazing people but better together!!” Commented a different supporter.
Shortly after Philbin’s death in 2020, Gifford chatted with the women on “The Talk” about her former co-host. Gifford shared that she had spent time with Philbin in January 2020 in Los Angeles, and when she reconnected with him shortly before his death, “he was much more frail.” Just a couple of weeks prior to his death, Philbin and his wife visited Gifford in Connecticut and she noticed “a marked change with him.”
Gifford also detailed that after his death, Philbin’s wife shared that the last time she had heard her husband laugh was during that visit. “That was a sweet gift from God that he blessed that friendship even at the very end,” Gifford noted. “There was nobody like him ever. And there will never be another one like him ever,” she added. Given the decades-long friendship Philbin and Gifford had built, it was easy for fans to see why she felt emotional about what would have been his 91st birthday.