Regis Philbin, longtime co-host of Live! will retire on Friday, after 28 years of morning show airtime.
Philbin, 80, first announced his exit exactly 10 months ago, on an episode of Live! with Regis & Kelly.
This will be my last year on this show . . . it was the biggest thrill of my life, he said in January.
There is a time that everything must come to an end for certain people on camera, especially certain old people, Philbin added.
Before Kelly Ripa joined the popular syndicated morning talk show, Philbin had co-hosting duties alongside Kathie Lee Gifford, when the show was known as Live! with Regis & Kathie Lee. The show briefly changed its name to Live! with Regis before announcing that Ripa would be joining Philbin in 2001.
Philbin, known to many as the Reege, has been in show business for more than five decades. One of the earliest gigs for the New York native was working on The Tonight Show in the '50s and '60s, during the days of Steve Allen and Jack Paar.
Over the years, Philbin has held numerous posts as a radio show host, game show host and even New Year's Eve specials. Philbin has also written books and released music albums, including a holiday album called The Regis Philbin Christmas Album.
In 1999, Philbin began a three-year stint as host of the U.S. version of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire. He also had hosting duties of less successful game shows, including Million Dollar Password in 2008.
While Ripa and Live! viewers have yet to find out who will replace Philbin, the 41-year-old mother of three has nothing to worry about. Last week, Ripa signed a new contract with ABC that will extend her Live! gig for at least five more years, beginning in September 2012.
After the departure of Philbin, the show will be tentitivley titled Live! with Kelly until ABC finds a replacement.
I'm sure I'm going to miss it, that's almost unavoidable, Philbin recently told the New York Daily News.
Since the announcement of Philbin's retirement, names of possible replacements have been floating around the TV world and beyond. As ABC continues to search for Philbin's replacement, here are 5 suggestions for future host of Live!
Do you agree with the list? Who do you think should replace Regis Philbin's spot on the morning show? Share your thoughts below.