Kelly Ripa has led the tributes following the death of iconic US TV host, Regis Philbin, who passed away on Friday. The All My Children star took to Instagram to pay tribute to her former co-host, with a joint message from her and her current co-host Ryan Seacrest. She wrote: "We are beyond saddened to learn about the loss of Regis Philbin. He was the ultimate class act, bringing his laughter and joy into our homes everyday on Live for more than 23 years. We were beyond lucky to have him as a mentor in our careers and aspire everyday to fill his shoes on the show.
Kelly Ripa worked with Regis Philbin from 2001 to 2011
"We send our deepest love and condolences to his family and hope they can find some comfort in knowing he left the world a better place. Kelly and Ryan"
On the official Live with Kelly and Ryan Instagram page, Kelly's co-stars shared their memories of working with the TV icon. The touching post featured tributes from the cast and crew of the show, who remembered stories about how Regis touched their lives.
One read: "When my dad passed away, I walked past Regis in the hallway and he stopped me. He put his arm around me and said 'sorry, that's a tough loss, kid,' and that is exactly how all of us within the LIVE family feel right now about losing him, it's a tough loss."
The Live with Kelly and Ryan crew shared memories of Regis following his tragic death
Another read: "So grateful for the opportunities he provided me, and to all the love and laughter along the way. Thanks Reege. Fly high, until we meet again."
One member of staff remembered how Regis had taken the time to let her son interview him for a school project. They wrote: "Regis never refused Grant, he treated the interview like it was a Barbara Walters special. He was gracious and kind. We will miss you so much, thank you for all the memories. I will cherish you and them forever, Rest in Peace."
Regis was an Daytime Emmy winner
Regis' former Live! co-host, Kathie Lee Gifford, also paid tribute. The star shared a picture of the pair of them in the studio together, and wrote: "There are no words to fully express the love I have for my precious friend, Regis. 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."
Regis' former co-host Kathie Lee Gifford also paid a heartfelt tribute to her friend
Kris Jenner was one of the first to comment on Kathie's message, writing: "What a beautiful friendship you two had. He will be so missed."
Today show host Hoda Kotb also paid her respects to Regis. "Heartbroken. We will miss you Regis. Nobody like you," she wrote. Ellen DeGeneres added: "Regis Philbin spent more time on television than almost anyone. And we were all better for it. Sending love to his family and his fans."
The Daytime Emmy winner passed away on Friday due to "natural causes." His family released a statement via US Weekly, which read: "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 and friends are forever grateful for the time we got to spend with him — for his warmth, his legendary sense of humour, 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."
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