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Regis Philbin (1931)

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  Summary  

Regis Francis Xavier Philbin is an American media personality, actor and singer, known for hosting talk and game shows since the 1960s. Philbin is often called (somewhat tongue-in-cheek and alternately attributed to James Brown) "the hardest working man in show business" and holds the Guinness World Record for the most time spent in front of a television camera. His trademarks include his excited manner, his New York Bronx accent, his wit, and irreverent ad-libs. He is most widely known for Live with Regis and Kelly , Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, Million Dollar Password, and for hosting the first season of America's Got Talent.

On January 18, 2011, Philbin announced plans to leave Live with Regis and Kelly at the end of his contract. His final episode of Live aired on November 18, 2011.

  Biography  

 early life and career
Philbin was born in New York City. His father, Francis "Frank" Philbin, a U.S. Marine who served in the Pacific, was of Irish heritage. His mother, Filomena "Florence" (née Boscia), was of Arbëreshë heritage. They lived at 1990 Cruger Avenue in the Van Nest section of The Bronx. Philbin was raised Roman Catholic. It was long believed that Philbin was an only child, but on the February 1, 2007, broadcast of Live with Regis and Kelly, Philbin announced that he did have a brother, Frank M. Philbin (March 1, 1951 – January 27, 2007), who had died from non-Hodgkin lymphoma several days earlier. He said that his brother, 20 years younger than he, had asked him to not speak of him on television or in the press.

Philbin attended Our Lady of Solace grammar school in the Bronx. He went on to graduate from Cardinal Hayes High School in the Bronx in 1949 before attending the University of Notre Dame, where he graduated in 1953 with a sociology degree. He later served in the United States Navy as a Supply Officer, then went through a few behind-the-scenes jobs in television and radio before moving into the broadcasting arena.

In his earliest show business work, Philbin was a page at The Tonight Show in the 1950s. Later, he wrote for Los Angeles talk show host Tom Duggan, and nervously filled in one night when the hard-drinking Duggan didn't show up. He also was an announcer on The Tonight Show in 1962.

His first talk show was The Regis Philbin Show on KOGO-TV in San Diego, California. For budgetary reasons, he had no writing staff, leading him to begin each show with what has become his hallmark, the "host chat" segment , where he engages his audience (and later on, his co-host) in discussions about his life and the day's events. Infamous wrestler Classy Freddie Blassie was a frequent guest on the KOGO show.

Philbin gained his first national exposure in 1967 as Joey Bishop's sidekick on The Joey Bishop Show on television (1967–1969). In a Johnny Carson-Ed McMahon vein, Bishop would playfully tease Philbin and Philbin would take the barbs in stride. Philbin, however, got his feelings wounded when he learned from the network grapevine that ABC executives were dissatisfied with his work and his thick accent. In response, Philbin, during the opening of one of the programs in 1968, suddenly stopped the show with an unplanned diatribe about 'not being wanted and letting down" the program and abruptly quit on air. A few nights later, assured by Bishop that all was well and the barbs were not personal, Philbin returned, in perhaps one of the oddest developments in live late night television history. When The Joey Bishop Show was canceled, Bishop returned the favor and walked off the show on the air unannounced, leaving Philbin to successfully carry the night on his own.

 personal life
Philbin has been married twice and has four children. He was married to Catherine "Kay" Faylen, daughter of actor Frank Faylen, from 1955–1968, and he has been married to interior decorator Joy Senese since 1970. His children are Amy, Daniel , Joanna, and Jennifer "J. J." . Joy Philbin occasionally co-hosts with her husband Regis. On Live, he often mentions Joy, and to a lesser degree, Joanna, J.J. 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 his time between his new home in Greenwich, Connecticut, and his apartment on the Upper West Side of Manhattan near 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 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. Philbin played on the Notre Dame tennis team, . 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 over-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 . He does not usually use computers and did not own a cell phone until Sept. 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.

 Health
On March 12, 2007, during an episode of Live with Regis and Kelly, Philbin announced that he would undergo triple bypass surgery later that week, as he had experienced chest pains and shortness of breath the previous two weeks and doctors found plaque in his arteries. He said, "Darn it, I don't want to do it. Nobody wants to do it, I guess. But they tell me. And I had a second opinion, I did all those things are all in agreement that it should be the bypass. And so that's what I'm going to do." In addition, Philbin talked with David Letterman, for whom Philbin substituted for on Late Show with David Letterman during Letterman's own quintuple bypass surgery. Philbin's heart surgery at Weill Cornell Medical Center on March 14 was successful and he returned to the show on April 26. He previously had an angioplasty in 1993.

On the November 23, 2009 Live with Regis and Kelly show, Philbin announced that he intended to take some time off to undergo hip-replacement surgery. "I'm allowed to announce I'm going into hip surgery. I'm going to have my hip replaced. I've been limping around here. It's really painful," he said on Live, which was broadcasting from Las Vegas that week. The surgery was performed on December 1. Philbin was expected to take four to six weeks off to recover. It was announced that Regis would return on Monday, January 4, 2010, to his regular hosting duties to kick off the new year.

On May 14, 2010, it was announced that Philbin would undergo surgery to have a blood clot removed from his calf. He returned the next day.

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Whole or part of the information contained in this card come from the Wikipedia article "Regis Philbin", licensed under CC-BY-SA full list of contributors here.