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Regis Philbin is a well-known TV personality who co-hosted his own daytime talk show for almost three decades, also working in prime time and writing several books.
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Born in New York City on August 25, 1931, famed talk show host Regis Philbin grew up in the Bronx, New York, and attended the University of Notre Dame. He worked on various TV shows and eventually landed the co-hosting gig that would be known as Live with Regis and Kathie Lee, and later Live with Regis and Kelly. Philbin has also hosted the prime-time game show Who Wants to Be a Millionaire. He retired from morning TV in 2011.
"I had my years of struggling. Some of my shows failed miserably, and I was upset by it and it dented my confidence. But I never stopped. I kept going for it."
"A lot of guys really I get the feeling don't care whether you like their show or not, you know. I want people to enjoy what I do, and understand what I'm doing is for their enjoyment, it's all I can ask for."
Regis Francis Xavier Philbin was born on August 25, 1931, in New York City. Part of an Irish Catholic family, Regis Philbin was the eldest son of Frank and Florence Philbin, and grew up in the South Bronx. He was named after his father's alma mater, Regis High School, a Jesuit boys school in Manhattan.
After graduating from Notre Dame in 1953, Philbin served in the U.S. Navy. After his discharge from the military, he began his television career with several entry-level jobs in Hollywood, including a post as a film-delivery man at KCOP-TV in Los Angeles, California.
Philbin got his first big break in the business after he began writing tongue-in-cheek reviews of the station's newcasts and tacking them on up on walls—he was then hired as a news and sports writer. This led to several news and feature reporting jobs in radio and television, and then to anchoring positions. His first talk show, The Regis Philbin Show, on KGTV-TV in San Diego, spawned his now well-known style of "host chat" that has become his trademark. Without money for a writing staff, Philbin began each show sharing his own observations and opinions, and engaging the audience. This led to an Emmy-winning Los Angeles show called Philbin's People in which Philbin and popular personalities discussed current issues.
Philbin took over hosting duties from Steve Allen at a nationally syndicated late night talk show, and finally gained national exposure in 1967 as the "sidekick" on The Joey Bishop Show. Even though the job was a great a great opportunity for the host, Philbin was very unhappy during this stint. He felt constantly frustrated and humiliated by the show's star, whose jokes were often at Philbin's expense. Philbin then spent seven successful years on A.M. Los Angeles, and won an Emmy for his work on The Regis Philbin Show.
Philbin hosted the morning show Temp on KHJ-TV in Los Angeles for three years, and worked on two game shows for ABC, hosting The Neighbors and reporting for Almost Anything Goes. He also hosted a feature/magazine show for Lifetime Cable Network called Regis Philbin Lifestyles, which eventually became (another) The Regis Philbin Show on prime time.
In 1983, he joined Cindy Garvey on New York City's The Morning Show, but the show did not fare well in the ratings. Garvey was replaced by Kathie Lee Gifford in 1985, and the show was renamed Live! With Regis & Kathie Lee. The duo's on-air chemistry made the show a success, and it became nationally syndicated in 1988. Since starting the show, Philbin has received seven Emmy nominations.
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