Regis Francis Xavier Philbin (born August 25, 1931 in the Bronx, New York City) is an American media personality, actor and singer, known for hosting talk and game shows since the 1960s.
Sometimes called (alternatively attributed to James Brown) "the hardest working man in show business", he holds the Guinness World Record for the most time spent in front of a television camera. His trademarks include his excited manner, his Bronx accent, his wit, and irreverent ad-libs. Philbin is most widely known as the host of the New York City-based nationally syndicated talk show Live! with Regis and Kathie Lee starting in 1988, which became Live! with Regis and Kelly starting in 2001 and continued until Philbin's departure in 2011.
Philbin has also hosted Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, Million Dollar Password, and the first season of America's Got Talent. Philbin has been married twice and has four children. He was married to Catherine "Kay" Faylen, daughter of actor Frank Faylen, from 1955 to 1968, and he has been married to interior decorator Joy Senese since 1970. His children are Amy, Daniel (both with Faylen), Joanna, and Jennifer "J. J." (both with Senese).
Joy Philbin occasionally co-hosted with her husband Regis. On Live, he often mentioned Joy, and to a lesser degree, Joanna, J.J., Amy, and Danny. When Danny was born, he didn't have some vertebrae and he was missing some muscles in his leg. He had to spend his childhood at the Angel View Crippled Children's Foundation in California. During the September 11 attacks, Philbin noted on air that he was very worried about Danny, who worked at The Pentagon and uses a wheelchair.
Danny emerged from the terrorist attack safe, and since the tragedy Regis has joined Danny at Walter Reed Army Medical Center to visit injured troops. In August 2007, Regis and Joy Philbin announced that their daughter J. J. and her husband, Michael Schur, were expecting their first child in February 2008. William Xavier Schur was born on February 18, 2008. He weighed 6 lb. 5 oz., and was 19 inches in length.
William Xavier is named after Regis, Xavier being his confirmation name. He is also nicknamed "Mr. Trouble" by Regis and often referred to as such on Live. At 7:54 p.m., on July 14, 2010, J.J. gave birth to a daughter, Ivy Elizabeth, in California. Philbin spends time between his home in Greenwich, Connecticut, and apartment on the Upper West Side of Manhattan across from the WABC-TV studios. Philbin follows the professional sports world extensively, enjoying baseball as well as football.
He is an avid fan of the New York Yankees and a proud supporter of the sports teams of his alma mater, the Notre Dame Fighting Irish – so proud, in fact, that Philbin narrated the two audio CDs that accompanied Joe Garner's book, Echoes of Notre Dame Football: Great and Memorable Moments of the Fighting Irish, and is unwilling to waver even when St. John's coach Steve Lavin offered a trade to gift him a pink T-shirt. Philbin played on the Notre Dame tennis team (putting his recent statements in an ad where he claimed to have learned tennis from second wife Joy, in doubt).
Notre Dame football coaches, such as Charlie Weis, Tyrone Willingham, and Lou Holtz have appeared on Live. Along with being a Yankees fan, Regis is also "keeping an eye on the Florida Marlins." On May 5, 2009, he delivered the first pitch at a Marlins game. He has also supported the Pittsburgh Pirates in recent years as well. During his Southern California years, he was a regular at parties at Hugh Hefner's Playboy Mansion. In March 1984, Philbin opened a Ford dealership in Gilbert, Arizona, as a side investment during his career in television.
The dealership, Philbin Ford, suffered due to the already saturated auto market in the area, and was closed in late 1988. He is known to have trouble handling new technology and is frequently confused when operating electronics (such as remote controls and DVD players). He does not usually use computers (although he did use one for an episode of Live during summer 2008, demonstrating how to find homes online) and did not own a cell phone until September 10, 2008. It is often noted, however, that Philbin does not completely reject the technology; he simply has Joy make calls and send e-mails for him.
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