“One of the greats in the history of television, Regis Philbin has passed on to even greater airwaves, at 88,” Trump tweeted Saturday. “He was a fantastic person, and my friend. He kept telling me to run for President. Holds the record for “most live television”, and he did it well. Regis, we love you….”
Trump and Philbin reportedly met in 1983 when he first started working on the “Morning Show,” which he co-hosted with Cydny Garvey before the show became “Live! with Regis and Kathie Lee” in 1988.
“I’ve known him [Trump] now since 1983, when I first came and they wanted me to go out and interview pretty much anyone I could get who was interesting,” Regis said in a 2016 interview with Newsday.
“I called him up and we decided to meet in the lobby of the building where he lives. I thought it was going to be three and a half minutes. It ended up being 45 minutes. We just became friends and we’ve been seeing each other ever since. I think he’s a great guy,” Regis told the publication about the relationship the two of them shared.
Eric Trump, one of President Trump’s sons, also reacted Saturday to Philbin’s death.
“Regis was an amazing man and was truly one of a kind! He will certainly be missed!” he tweeted.
Philbin regularly entertained Americans for 28 years with his daily morning talk show, and told The Associated Press in 2008 that he had a “little trepidation” at times when trying to figure out what to discuss each morning.
“You wake up in the morning and you say, ‘What did I do last night that I can talk about? What’s new in the paper? How are we gonna fill that 20 minutes?’ I’m not gonna say it always works out brilliantly, but somehow we connect more often than we don’t,” Philbin said.
Philbin also hosted “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire,” which had massive ratings at the turn of the century, where he coined the term: “Is that your final answer?”
“We are deeply saddened to share that our beloved Regis Philbin passed away last night of natural causes, one month shy of his 89th birthday,” his family said Saturday in a statement to Fox News.
“His family and friends are forever grateful for the time we got to spend with him — for his warmth, his legendary sense of humor, and his singular ability to make every day into something worth talking about. We thank his fans and admirers for their incredible support over his 60-year career and ask for privacy as we mourn his loss.”
Regis Philbin is survived by his wife and three daughters.
Fox News’ Melissa Roberto and The Associated Press contributed to this report.