After more than 50 years together, late Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? host Regis Philbin and wife Joy Philbin were stronger than ever. The longtime lovebirds celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary this past March and Closer Weekly got a glimpse inside how the couple celebrated.
“Regis and Joy are always celebrating their marriage, but 50 years is a long time,” a source close to the couple exclusively revealed to Closer. “They love Craig’s, it’s a regular staple for them. It’s not far from their condo in Beverly Hills.”
Sadly, Regis died at age 88 just months later on July 24, 2020. The legendary TV star’s family confirmed the heartbreaking news in an emotional statement.
“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,” read the statement obtained by Us Weekly. “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.”
The former Live! host married the At Home With… host, 79, on March 1, 1970. Together, the Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous costars share two children, daughters Joanna, 47, and J.J., 45. Regis also shares daughter Amy, 59, and late son Daniel with ex-wife Catherine Faylen, whom he was married to from 1955 until 1968.
“Regis worships the ground Joy walks on. They truly are best friends,” the source added at the time, continuing to gush about the iconic showbiz couple. “Everyone loves Regis and Joy, they’re great company, have amazing stories, and they compliment each other perfectly. It’s one of Hollywood’s longest lasting marriages and a true love story.”
If there’s anyone Regis adored as much as Joy or his kids, it would have to be former Live! partner in crime Kathie Lee Gifford, who headlined the talk show with him from 1998 until 2000. After her departure, she was replaced with Kelly Ripa, who sat beside Regis from 2001 until 2011 when he left. A full 35 years later, he’s still pals with Kathie Lee, 66.
“They’re like army buddies,” an insider, who called their relationship loving and supportive, told Closer. “They went through a unique time together, pioneering the early-morning TV format. They genuinely like and love each other.”
Regis and Joy shared a beautiful love story.