TV personality Kelly Ripa wasn’t the only one who had a great relationship with Regis Philbin. Her kids did, too. In fact, Kelly, 49, said her children, Michael Consuelos, Lola Consuelos and Joaquin Consuelos, “worshipped” the late star and enjoyed being around him.
“What I love to remember about him is his relationship with my kids because Regis had this ability,” she gushed on the Monday, July 27, episode of Live! With Kelly and Ryan. “Oh my goodness. He would talk to kids like they were adults. He didn’t care if they were 2 [or] if they were 4. It didn’t matter. He would talk to them like they were adults and my kids responded to that in a way that was so — they just worshipped him.”
The All My Children alum especially recalled a sweet moment Regis had with her daughter, Lola, when he babysat her on a previous episode of Live! With Regis and Kelly.
“He was brushing her teeth before bed and she was staring at him,” Kelly recalled. But what really made the actress emotional was when Regis told Lola, “‘You’re a gentile little lady’ or words to that effect,” Kelly explained. “Then I realized what it must be like to have been one of his daughters, right, because there was this softness to him when he spoke to Lola.”
After finding out Regis died on Saturday, July 25, from “natural causes,” the Hope & Faith star took to Instagram to pay tribute to her dear friend. In a lengthy post, Kelly said she was “beyond lucky” to have Regis as a mentor in her career. Every day, she aspired to “fill his shoes on the show” since he left Live! in 2011.
“He was the ultimate class act,” she gushed. “We send our deepest love and condolences to his family and hope they can find some comfort in knowing he left the world a better place.”
If you’d like to honor Regis’ memory, his family kindly asks that you “make a donation to http://foodbanknyc.org/, to help people in need in his beloved New York, especially his home borough of The Bronx.”