Kathie Lee Gifford Remembers ‘Bigger Than Life’ Regis Philbin

Never forgotten. Kathie Lee Gifford fondly recalled the good memories she has of her late friend Regis Philbin two months after his death.

The TV presenter, 67, appeared on the Tuesday, September 29, episode of Watch What Happens Live With Andy Cohen, where she reminisced on her time with Philbin. The pair cohosted the daytime talk show Live With Regis and Kathie Lee from 1985 until 2000 when she exited the show.

Kathie Lee Gifford Remembers Bigger Than Life Regis Philbin After Death 1
Kathie Lee Gifford and Regis Philbin Vince Flores/ INSTARimages.com

“Every day was fun with Regis,” Gifford told host Andy Cohen. “He was bigger than life. No one talks about themselves by their own name. He would enter any room — whether it was a huge auditorium or just him and me going to lunch — he would enter going ‘Regis is here!’”

She continued, “It was always a party with Reg. He lived to make everybody happy. I think that’s why ultimately he was ready to go from this world. He couldn’t go anywhere and be Regis. He couldn’t make people happy anymore.”

Philbin passed away on July 24 at the age of 88 due to natural causes. Gifford told Cohen, 52, that she spoke with the Who Wants to Be a Millionaire alum’s wife, Joy Philbin, before his death.

“She says, ‘Kathie, that day we came to have lunch with you two weeks ago … that was the last time I heard him laugh,’” Gifford said. “That was a sweet gift from God that I would make my friend laugh.”

Gifford added that Regis “lived the most extraordinary life and made so many millions of people happy and made so many millions of dollars in the process.”

The A Godwink Christmas star previously detailed her final meeting with Regis during a July appearance on the Today show. Gifford noted she “sensed much more fragility” in Regis when he and Joy, 79, visited the actress at her Tennessee home two weeks before his death.

Kathie Lee Gifford Remembers Bigger Than Life Regis Philbin After Death
Regis Philbin and Kathie Lee Gifford Richard Drew/AP/Shutterstock

“After they left [my place in Tennessee], I just thought to myself, ‘Lord, is that the last time I’m gonna see my friend?’ Cause he was failing, I could tell,” she explained.

One day after his death, Gifford penned a touching tribute to her former cohost via Instagram.

“There are no words to fully express the love I have for my precious friend, Regis,” she captioned a photo of the pair. “I simply adored him and every day with him was a gift. We spent 15 years together bantering and bickering and laughing ourselves silly —a tradition and a friendship we shared up to this very day.”

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