Regis Philbin has been pretty quiet lately. His protege and former co-host, Kelly Ripa, is flourishing alongside her new partner. Ryan Seacrest, who got his start as a host on American Idol, replaced Philbin on the morning talk show, Live with Regis and Kelly.
It was hard to imagine the show without Philbin, especially since it was called Live with Regis and Kelly. Now the name has been updated to reflect the new host, and Live with Kelly and Ryan is rolling along fine.
The transition to retirement probably wasn’t easy for Philbin. He had been on television for more than 50 years by the time he retired. In fact, he holds the Guinness World Record for most hours on TV.
How old is Regis Philbin?
Surprisingly, Philbin is a whopping 88 years old. We knew he was getting on in years, but we had no idea he’s actually pushing 100. It seems kind of hard to believe, especially considering he was a staple of daytime television in the not so distant past.
The talk show host recently corresponded with Closer Weekly about what life is like at 87. He spoke to them in March, before his 88th birthday in August.
So what is it like to retire after a half-century of work on television? It’s great. Philbin is loving his newfound freedom, and spending time with his family.
Regis Philbin had a health scare
A lot of Philbin’s time is dedicated to staying healthy. He had triple bypass surgery in 2007 and now tries to stay on top of his cholesterol. Staying physically and mentally healthy at his age is almost a full-time job. According to Closer Weekly, the star told them: “I’m doing everything I can to stay healthy in my retirement, and thanks to my diet and exercise regimen and daily statin medication, I’m able to enjoy life without the worry of having high cholesterol.”
What is Regis Philbin doing now?
Philbin probably isn’t going to make many public appearances in the near future. It seems like he’s satisfied with his new retired lifestyle.
He can be spotted walking around in LA or New York. He has homes in both cities and travels between them. He also has more time for his family.
He told Closer Weekly: “Staying healthy allows me the freedom to travel between my home in New York and California, where [my wife Joy Philbin] and I travel frequently to spend time with our two daughters. I also continue to play tennis, and I follow the stock market to keep my mind sharp.”
For Philbin, staying healthy is the name of the game at 88. He works hard at it, and it shows. The former Who Wants to Be a Millionaire doesn’t look much older than when he hosted the popular game show in the early 2000s.
Even though he’s not taking regular gigs, don’t count Philbin out completely. He still has a lot to say, and he sometimes does interviews and may take on other small projects in the future.
In 2016, for example, he gave an interview to a Canadian TV channel about his long-time friend Donald Trump. The president actually sang a song with Philbin on his Christmas album. It makes sense that Philbin and Trump would be friends, considering they are both long-time residents of New York and veterans of the television industry.
Since his retirement from Live in 2011, Philbin has taken on a handful of guest roles on sitcoms and occasionally pops up on Rachel Ray’s talk show. He also spends a lot of time advocating for heart disease research, considering his personal connection to the issue.
One thing that may surprise fans: despite how chummy they seemed on TV, he and Ripa do not keep in touch. She hasn’t said why, but Philbin suspects she took his retirement personally.