Regis Philbin was such a big fan of the Fighting Irish that he's going to be buried on the Notre Dame campus.A spokesperson for Notre Dame told TMZ that his funeral service will take place at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart at the campus in South Bend, Indiana, one of the most BEAUTIFUL buildings I've ever set foot in. The television legend, who graduated from the school in 1953, will be buried at the Cedar Grove Cemetery, which is on campus. A date hasn't been set but I will keep you posted. Chances are, they live stream it.
Regis Philbin passed away on Saturday. He was 88. Some reports say he died of heart disease, but while he's had heart issues in the past, his family said he passed of "natural causes." My heart broke a little.
What I'll personally never forget about Regis was the way I felt the ONE TIME I was in the same room with him. My dad, a HUGE Notre Dame fan, took my mom and I on a trip to South Bend to see the Fighting Irish take on Boston College. Dad had told me that something would change in me once I visited that campus. He was right. It's breathtaking. You can't set foot on that campus and walk away not believing in something bigger. I set foot on that campus with no clue that a spark would ignite in me and I'd be ever changed.
The Friday night before a home football game is unlike any experience I've ever had on a college campus. EVERYONE comes to the gym. It's a Pep Rally/ Party/ Motivational Speaking event/ I don't know what. I had no idea what to expect. The students were insane. The fans...from ALL OVER THE WORLD..were even more intense than the students. But for that one few-hour stretch, every single one of us was on the same team. Family. And then...he arrived.
I have never seen a man captivate so many people from the moment he entered a room. He didn't have to speak, his facial expressions and enthusiasm did that for him before he even got to the podium. I was LOSING MY MIND. Of all the games...REGIS PHILBIN and Irish Step-dancers who'd just flown in from Ireland..."Hello, Auntie Em? We're not in Alabama anymore. Kbye."
Regis hyped the crowd, led the fight song, got weird with the leprechaun. It was all just so surreal. I knew I wanted to make people feel what he made me feel. He has such a genuine warmth. I left there that weekend referring to him as "Uncle Rege". I probably always will.
May you rest in peace, you legend, you. Thank you for the smiles. #cheercheer
The family released a statement saying: "We're deeply saddened to share that our beloved Regis passed away . . . one month shy of his 89th birthday. His family and friends are forever grateful for the time we got to spend with him." Regis had an incredible 60-year career, beginning in 1961 when he hosted his first talk show, "The Regis Philbin Show", on local TV in San Diego.
He's best remembered now for: Co-hosting "Live! With Regis and Kathie Lee" and "Live! With Regis and Kelly" for more than 20 years; for hosting the initial run of "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire"; and for hosting the first season of "America's Got Talent".
After the news of Regis' death got out, many of his peers paid tribute to him:
Kathie Lee Gifford said, quote, "REGIS. There will never be another." And she later added, quote, "There are no words to fully express the love I have for my precious friend, Regis. I simply adored him and every day with him was a gift . . .We spent 15 years together bantering, bickering and laughing ourselves silly . . . a tradition and a friendship we shared up to this very day. There has never been anyone like him. And there never will be."
Kelly Ripa, in a joint statement with Ryan Seacrest, said, quote, "We're beyond saddened to learn about the loss of Regis. He was the ultimate class act, bringing his laughter and joy into our homes every day on 'Live' for more than 23 years. "We were beyond lucky to have him as a mentor in our careers and aspire every day to fill his shoes on the show."
Longtime "Live!" producer Michael Gelman said, quote, "Devastated by Regis's passing. He was a broadcasting legend as well as my friend, colleague, and mentor for over 30 years. My heart goes out to [his wife] Joy and his family."
Jimmy Kimmel said, quote, "Regis was a great broadcaster, a good friend and a tremendous amount of fun. He leaves behind a TV legacy that will likely go unmatched."
David Letterman said, quote, "Regis is in the same category as [Johnny] Carson. Superlative. He was on our show a million times, always the best guest we ever had, charming, lovable and could take a punch. When he retired, I lost interest in television. I love him." Regis was Letterman's guest 150 times, and he guest-hosted "The Late Show" in 2000, while Letterman was recovering from a quintuple-bypass surgery.