Does Regis Philbin Have Dementia? Check Out The Truth

Does Regis Philbin Have Dementia

Regis Philbin got tagged the “hardest working man” in showbiz. The TV legend worked in the industry for over five decades, cupping some of the biggest hosting gigs in the industry and holding it down for many years. 

His legendary status got sealed when he was given a spot in the Guinness book of record for the most hours on television. There were many questions about the state of his health after he stopped presenting. 

So, let’s answer the question. 

Does Regis Philbin have dementia? 

There were speculations that Regis had either Dementia or Alzheimers. This rumor never got confirmed, and after he died in 2020 from a different condition, many people stopped dwelling on the dementia rumor. 

This post contains valuable information on this topic. Please read on:

Who Is Regis Philbin? 

Regis Philbin was an American presenter, actor, game show host, singer, talk show host and an overall powerhouse. He was born on the 5th of August 1931. 

Philbin started on television In the 1950s as a page for The Tonight Show. He co-hosted the United States’ Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, America’s Got Talent and Million Dollar Password. Philbin died at the age of 88 after what people describe as a legendary career. He left behind his wife and three children.

How Did Regis Philbin Die? 

Philbin, who had previously undergone heart surgery years back, died of a heart attack on the 24th of July 2020. 

The heart attack report rested the rumors of dementia and Alzheimers and the story that he died of Covid 19. The Covid 19 talk came from the fact that he died during the Covid 19 global pandemic.

Did Regis Philbin Have Other Health Issues? 

Philbin had heart surgery twice. He had surgeries in 2007 and 2009. He had a procedure to remove a blood clot from his calf in 2010. Philbin reportedly went back to work the day after his doctors completed the process. Also, he had surgery for a hip replacement. 

Regis Philbin As A Talk Show Host 

Regis Philbin hosted a show that got published at the same time in newspapers and magazines in 1964. The show was known as the Regis Philbin show, a replacement for the Steven Allen show after Allen refused to renew his contract with the Westinghouse Broadcasting. 

The audience who enjoyed and loved Steve Allen did not accept Philbin as a suitable replacement for him. As expected, the appearance didn’t last long. It ended after four months due to poor ratings. Do you still doubt the power of Fandom? Guess not. 

A few years later, in 1963, Regis Philbin got his first proper network TV gig. He was on the Joey Bishop show as Joey bishop’s sidekick, where he received much teasing and distasteful jokes from Joey on screen. 

In his 1995 book, I’m Only One Man!, Philbin shared that They planned the show. According to him, it was a publicity stunt to boost their ratings and to beat their competitors. Both he and Bishop planned the show before they went on air.

Regis Philbin went on to co-host Tempo on Los Angeles station KHJ-TV currently, KCAL-TV. This co-hosting gig was from 1975 to 1981. 1982-1983 he was the co-host (with Cyndy Garvey) of a morning variety series named after him. 

Philbin had great expectations for the show, but it didn’t do well. It ended after 18 weeks. 1982 to 1988 saw Philbin host the shows Lifestyle and HealthStyles on the Cable Health Network.

In 1982, after Garvey moved from Los Angeles to New York City, Philbin went with her, and they were on WABC-TV from the 4th of April, 1983. 

As Philbin has anticipated, the show got nationally syndicated in 1998 (the 5th of September). The name of the show then became Live! with Regis and Kathie Lee. (after Cyndy Garvey left, again) 

Again, his co-host left him, and he did the show alone for a while. Then Kelly Ripa became the show’s permanent co-host, and their onscreen and offscreen chemistry was undeniable. 

Philbin In 2001 won a Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Talk Show Host. Then he took it up a notch; a few years later (2004), He set a Guinness World Record for “Most Hours on Camera” in one of his live shows.

Regis Philbin As A Game Show Host 

Philbin was the host of The Neighbors.

The Neighbors was a game show from the 70s that didn’t last for a long time. It was on ABC. 

He was also the original host of the United States version of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire. His hosting in the Who wants to be a Millionaire show won him his 2001 Daytime Emmy. 

In 2005, ABC unveiled Philbin as the host of the This Is Your Life revival. His contract expired in mid-2006, and he didn’t want to renew it. 

Philbin also hosted the first season of Simon Cowell’s Americans got talent but couldn’t continue the year after because of the distance and his health. 

He had to fly between Los Angeles and New York to host Live, and the Americans got talent. Later on, he hosted the Password franchise revival-themed Million Dollar Password.

Regis Philbin As An Actor

Philbin got a role in Kelly Ripa’s sitcom Hope & Faith as car salesman Handsome Hal. In Shrek the Third, he was cast as Mabel, the sister of the Ugly Stepsister. Jack and Jill was his final film.

Regis Philbin Guest TV Appearances 

Philbin was on David Letterman’s late show frequently. Letterman many times introduced him as Regis Lee Philbin because of his previous colleague, Kathie Lee Gifford. Later on, he would appear on Craig Ferguson’s The Late Late Show, Late Night with Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Falcons’ Late Night and Jimmy Kimmel Live.

Philbin made appearances on sitcoms too. The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Spin City, How I Met Your Mother, Hope & Faith, Seinfeld, Mad About You etc. He also was in an episode of The Big Valley in 1968.

In 1991, Philbin made an appearance as a celebrity guest at Wrestle Mania in Los Angeles. A few years later, he was in Hercules as the voice of Typhoon, the mythical monster. 

In 2000 ESPN invited him to be a panelist in their show, two minutes drill. 

Philbin’s presence was in high demand in some shows. Therefore, it wasn’t a surprise when he appeared three times in the space of one year in the deal or no deal show. And on each of the three occasions, he appeared he won $50,000. In 2007, he also was on “Celebrity Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?”

In September 2008, Philbin acted as himself on How I Met Your Mother. He was searching for the best burger in New York. On Christmas day in 2009, he went to Christmas Mass with the well-known Timothy Dolan, the current Archbishop of New York and Father Edward L. Beck. 

In February 2011, Philbin was on Taking Two with Ferb and Phineas. He was also a celebrity guest on Susie Morgan and Tracy Ref’s The Marriage Ref. In 2020, he made an appearance as himself in the single Parents sitcom by ABC. 

What Happened After Regis Philbin Quit Live? 

Philbin quit Live in 2011. After he left, he didn’t just go into extinction. He was here and there for a while. One of his first notable appearances was on guest hosts week on CNN’s Piers Morgan Tonight. He brought his long-time friend and colleague David Letterman to the show. 

For five years between 2012 and 2017, he was a co-host officially on Rachael Ray. 

In 2013, the co-hosted crowd went wild for Fox sports 1. He was on the daily panel for a while. He again worked with his who want to be a Millionaire producer, Michael Davies. In 2014, he decided that he was leaving the show. He quit in February of 2014. However, he came back to host (on and off) from March till it got canceled inMay 8.

Philbin kept at his hosting job for a while. He didn’t commit to any long-term projects, but he was an on-and-off presence in many shows. Philbin was a guest host for two episodes of The Late Late Show and was on Today with Kathie Lee and Hoda. He made an appearance on Kathie Lee and Hoda’s show at least once a month. 


Regis Philbin was a TV legend, and people would say he lived a fulfilled life, at least career-wise. But his life wasn’t all glitz, glam and career success. He had some family challenges, health issues and had to deal with bad press. 

This post is an overview of the health challenges he faced and his many achievements and setbacks. 


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