Over the weekend, we reported that the legendary television host Regis Philbin had passed away at the age of 88. Now, his former cohost Kathie Lee Gifford is speaking out to reveal what happened the last time she saw him.
Fox News reported that while appearing on the “TODAY” show on Monday to talk about Philbin, Gifford explained that she last saw him when she recently visited him and his wife Joy at their home in Connecticut.
“I was just so grateful the Lord gave me that final time,” Gifford said. “And it was so precious because when I talked to Joy the day that I found out right after he had passed, she said, ‘Kathie he hadn’t laughed in a long, long time.’ She said, ‘I was so worried about him.'”
“I think he was like Frank,” she added. “He was just ready, you know? … And she said, ‘The day that we came to have lunch with you was the last time I heard him laugh.’ That will forever be a precious gift the Lord gave me, that I got to laugh again with one of my best friends in all my lifetime.”
Though Gifford enjoyed this visit immensely, she could tell that Philbin’s age was starting to show.
“I sensed much more fragility than I’d seen in him since the last time in January out in Los Angeles,” Gifford explained. “We sat right here on my screened porch, and we laughed ourselves sick. We always picked up right where we left off. … After they left I just thought to myself, ‘Lord, is that the last time I’m going to see my friend?’ Because he was failing, I could tell.”
Philbin’s family confirmed his passing in a statement to the public on Saturday.
“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,” the statement read. “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.”