Regis Philbin is a media personality, actor and singer, known for hosting talk and game shows since the 1960s. Philbin is often called (somewhat tongue-in-cheek and alternately attributed to James Brown) “the hardest working man in show business” and holds the Guinness World Record for the most time spent in front of a television camera. His trademarks include his excited manner, his New York Bronx accent, his wit, and irreverent ad-libs.
Regis Philbin is most widely known for Live! with Regis and Kelly (which rose to fame as Live! with Regis and Kathie Lee), Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, Million Dollar Password, and for hosting the first season of America’s Got Talent.
After Regis Philbin’s contract with Live! with Regis and Kelly was not renewed, his final episode of Live aired on November 18, 2011.
In addition to being a television personality, Regis Philbin is also an author and singer, drawing on the success of his talk show.
Regis Philbin’s two autobiographies (with co-author Bill Zehme), I’m Only One Man! (1995) and Who Wants To Be Me? (2000), are written in the conversational or anecdotal style of his host chats. The former book follows a year (1994–1995) in his life recalling, among other things, his personal life, his memories with celebrities, and work on Live with Regis and Kathie Lee. The latter book is a response to the success of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire and deals with more antics about the show and his life.
As a singer, Regis Philbin can best be described as a crooner in the style of his favorite singers: Dean Martin, Perry Como, and Frank Sinatra. He tested the musical waters with his 1968 pop vocal release, It’s Time For Regis! After receiving poor reviews, Philbin was reluctant to record another studio album, but he occasionally sang on Live, usually duetting with another person. After 36 years, he recorded When You’re Smiling (2004), a more mature-sounding pop standards album.
The Regis Philbin Christmas Album was released September 2005 according to Amazon.com but was made widely available that November in time for the holiday season. This album features several duets, with close friend Donald Trump (“Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer”), Steve Tyrell (“Marshmallow World”), and wife Joy (“Baby, It’s Cold Outside” and “Winter Wonderland”). A special edition of the album was produced with tracks recorded with the Notre Dame Glee Club. He is said to enjoy the music recording experience more now than on his first recording. Philbin is signed on to Hollywood Records.
How Regis Philbin Made His Money – Media Personality
Estimated Net Worth: $92 Million
Birthday: August 25, 1931
[image via David Shankbone]