TV fans are still mourning the death of Regis Philbin, after the host and bonafide pop culture icon passed away at the age of 88. Nearly a week after his passing, Philbin's cause of death has officially been revealed. According to a spokesperson for the Chief Medical Examiner's Office of Farmington, CT (via E! News), Philbin's passing was caused by a myocardial infarction - also known as a heart attack - due to coronary artery disease. A previous statement from Philbin's family had cited the death to be due to natural causes.
"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 reads. "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."
Philbin is survived by his daughters J.J. Philbin, Joanna Philbin, and Amy Philbin.
Philbin became a household name in 1988 when he became host of Live! with Regis and Kathie Lee, which he hosted for 15 years alongside Kathie Lee Gifford. After Gifford stepped away from the series, it became rebranded as Live! With Regis and Kelly in 2001, with Philbin co-hosting alongside Kelly Ripa. Philbin continued to host the show until 2011. He also served as the original host of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire from 1999 to 2002.
"There are no words to fully express the love I have for my precious friend, Regis," Gifford said on social media shortly after his passing. "I simply adored him and every day with him was a gift. We spent 15 years together bantering and bickering and laughing ourselves silly—a tradition and a friendship we shared up to this very day. I smile knowing somewhere in Heaven, at this very moment, he’s making someone laugh. It brings me great comfort knowing that he had a personal relationship with his Lord that brought him great peace. I send all the love in my heart to Joy, to his children, to the rest of his family and to the innumerable people he touched over his legendary life. There has never been anyone like him. And there never will be."
Our thoughts are with Philbin's family, friends, and fans.