Regis is undergoing surgery for a blood clot this week, a fact that has meant his name has been top of Google and Yahoo trends all weekend.
Yes, folks, there are million of Philbinites out there, rabid fans who love the easy manner, casual swagger and fun personality that Regis has.
Not surprising really that he would have the gift of the gab.
Regis was born in 1931. His father was Francis "Frank" Philbin a U.S. Marine who served in the Pacific, and was of Irish heritage from Mayo.
He grew up in the Bronx, like so many Irish Americans of that generation.
The world thought he was an only child until 2007 when he announced that his brother Frank had died.
Frank had requested anonymity all his life and Regis never mentioned him-- a typical selfless act.
He was a Cardinal Hayes graduate steeped in the Irish American Catholic era of the 1940s and 50s.
He went to Notre Dame cementing those ties and he has always been extremely proud of them. He graduated in 1953.
It was another Irish American, Joey Bishop, who gave him his break in 1967 when he played the role of Ed McMahon to Bishop's Johnny Carson to perfection.
Soon after when Bishop left Philbin took over and a legend was born.
After bouncing around on successful shows between Los Angeles,San Diego and St,Louis Philbin took over the 9.a.m slot on WABC in New York in 1985 with Kathy Gifford.
The Regis and Kathy show was born and proved hugely successful.
There were the game shows of course, especially 'Who Wants to be a millionaire" that established him worldwide,as well as in America.
Now he hosts the Regis and Kelly show with Kelly Ripka and it is a huge rating success.In a young person's game the 78-year-old has been able to battle it out with the best of them
One of the genuinely nice guys of television, all his fans will lbe hoping and praying for the rabid Notre Dame fan to make it back on air as soon as possible.
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