Information About Regis Philbin

Where can I find information about Regis; read this biography on our favorite TV host.

"I started small. I learned to keep it small.

Small is friendly and more real. Small lasts longer. It wears well. I guess that's why I'm still around."

If most people were asked to guess who spoke those words, the last person they might think of is Regis Philbin, because he is not known for small things. Instead, he is known for giving away large amounts of money on his popular game show, "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire." In fact there are a few new millionaires who have him to thank.

Philbin wasn't writing about his game show, however, when he penned those words. In fact he wrote them in his book, "I'm Only One Man," before his popular game show debuted.

He was instead writing about the formula he has used to become one of the most popular talk show hosts on his, " Live With Regis and Kathie Lee." After co-host Kathie Lee Gifford left the show earlier this year after being with Regis on morning television since 1989, it was renamed "Live With Regis." A new co-host is being sought.

Last year before the debut of his game show, ABC was in a slump and number three in the ratings. Network executives originally planned on having the show on for three weeks only. The three weeks, however, became permanent and, phrases such as, "Is that your final answer," "phone a friend" and "poll the audience" became part of American culture. The network topped the ratings.

Maybe we each think what we might do if we were playing for so much money. Would we go on or play it safe if we had won a large amount? Would we know the answers?



Philbin was popular because of his show with Gifford before the game show started. Gifford quit the show last month to pursue singing and acting. Eighteen million people watch the show daily.

Before the game show or his talkshow, Philbin did indeed start small. He's come a long way. According to an interview in Go.Com, Philbin may have signed a contract for doing "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire" for $20 million annually earlier this year. He had reported said on an interview with David Letterman before that he wasn't well paid when the show debuted.

According to an article in Biography.Com, he started out as a delivery man for a local television station in Los Angeles. He wrote toungue-in-cheek reviews of the station's news and posted them on the wall. He was hired to write news and sports. He had a number of jobs including "The Regis Philbin Show" in San Diego, in which he wrote his own opinions and observations, because he couldn't afford writers. He was also on AM Los Angeles for seven years. He got his first national exposure as the sidekick on the "Joey Bishop Show" in 1967, although he has reportedly said he never liked that job.

In 1983 he joined New York's, "The Morning Show." The show never was very popular until Gifford joined in 1985. Because of the chemistry between the two, the show grew more popular and was syndicated nationally in 1989 as, "Live With Regis and Kathie Lee." At one time it was the fastest growing talk show.

The show is known because of the ability of the hosts to talk about anything, sometimes little things, with their guests.

"We have a lot of fun talking about nothing all that important," Philbin said in Go.Com. "We just cover the little incidents and minutiae of life."

The formula has proven popular. Philbin and Gifford have also co-authored, "Entertaining With Regis and Kathie Lee" and hosted the Miss America pagent.

Philbin who had his own angioplasty in 1993 for heart problems has also acted as a spokesman for the American Heart Association. After that he created his own exercise video: "Regis, My Personal Workout."

It's been quite a career for someone who once started out so "small."

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