Regis Philbin is receiving words of the highest praise and love from those who knew him best.
The TV icon died of cardiovascular disease on July 24. He was 88. Among the host's most popular programs were Who Wants to Be a Millionaire as well as several versions of his daytime talkshow, Live.
Over the years, Philbin co-hosted Live with Regis and Kathie Lee (1988-2000) and Live with Regis and Kelly (2001-2011). His two long-time co-hosts, Kathie Lee Gifford and Kelly Ripa, have now paid tribute to the TV legend.
Kathie Lee Gifford on Regis Philbin: "My precious friend"
On July 25, Kathie Lee Gifford wrote a touching tribute to Philbin on her Instagram page. "There are no words to fully express the love I have for my precious friend, Regis," she began. "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. I smile knowing somewhere in Heaven, at this very moment, he's making someone laugh.
"It brings me great comfort knowing that he had a personal relationship with his Lord that brought him great peace. I send all the love in my heart to Joy, to his children, to the rest of his family and to the innumerable people he touched over his legendary life. There has never been anyone like him. And there never will be," the tribute concluded.
Kelly Ripa on Regis Philbin: "He left the world a better place"
Kelly Ripa, who succeeded Gifford as Philbin's Live co-host, shared what Philbin meant to her in a July 25 Instagram tribute. She signed it from "Kelly and Ryan," with reference to Ryan Seacrest, with whom she co-hosts the current edition of ABC's Live.
"We are beyond saddened to learn about the loss of Regis Philbin," Ripa wrote. "He was the ultimate class act, bringing his laughter and joy into our homes everyday on Live for more than 23 years.
"We were beyond lucky to have him as a mentor in our careers and aspire everyday to fill his shoes on the show. 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," Ripa and Seacrest signed off.
Philbin departed from Live in 2011. His and Ripa's relationship, however, grew strained as a result of his exit. Thereafter, he continued to make regular TV appearances on late night TV and other show's such as Today and Rachael Ray Show.
Our condolences go out to the Philbin family. Rest in peace, Regis.