Fr John Jenkins, president of the University of Notre Dame in Indiana has paid tribute to Catholic talk- and game-show host Regis Philbin for his “unfailing support” of the university.
Philbin, whose career in television spanned six decades, died on 24th July at the age of 88 of cardiovascular disease at a hospital in Greenwich, Connecticut, where he lived.
Philbin is credited by Guinness World Records as having been on air more than anyone else on TV, putting the figure at more than 17,000 hours.
Philbin was a 1953 graduate of the University of Notre Dame in Indiana, and an avid supporter of his alma mater. He also graduated from Cardinal Hayes High School in New York, and was a generous benefactor there as well.
“Regis regaled millions on air through the years, oftentimes sharing a passionate love for his alma mater with viewers,” said Holy Cross Fr John Jenkins.
“He will be remembered at Notre Dame for his unfailing support for the university and its mission, including the Philbin Studio Theater in our performing arts centre. He likewise was generous with his time and talent in support of South Bend’s Center for the Homeless and other worthy causes. Our prayers are with his wife, Joy, and their daughters and Notre Dame alumnae Joanna and J.J.”
In 2002, Philbin had given $2.75 million for the construction of the Regis Philbin Studio Theater on the campus. It is home for lab and performance art productions in Notre Dame’s department of film, television and theatre. The 100-seat facility was designed for maximum technical and seating flexibility.
Picture: Regis Philbin waves goodbye during his final show on ABC’s Live With Regis and Kelly in New York, on 18th November 2011. The popular TV host died on 24th July 2020. He was 88. (CNS photo/Brendan McDermid, Reuters).