• BREAKING NEWS ABC shows live and on-demand -- Download the WATCH ABC app!

Regis Philbin says farewell to morning TV

November 18, 2011 12:00:00 AM PST
Regis Philbin spent 50 years on the air, mostly as co-host of "Live! With Regis and Kellly." Friday, the TV icon signed off from his signature show.

Philbin's VIP finale included a red carpet setup at the New York studio where he has come to work every morning for the last 28 years.

Diane Sawyer, Bryant Gumbel, Donald Trump, Meredith Vieira, Tony Danza, Dr. Ruth Westheimer and Ripa's co-host predecessor, Kathie Lee Gifford were just a few of the famous faces in attendance.

Philbin has always mixed spontaneity into his TV repertoire, and Friday was no different. For the final show, producers didn't tell him which celebrities would be in the audience or sitting next to him on the set.

During the hour, past guests such as Justin Timberlake and Anne Hathaway offered brief filmed tributes.

The show was otherwise devoted to emotion-filled clip sequences of high jinks with Ripa, and such stars as Dana Carvey and Ben Affleck demonstrating their Regis impersonations.

Though Friday marked Philbin's last run on 'Live!' he has said that he's not retiring. His immediate plans include a tour to promote his new book, "How I Got This Way."

As for filling his shoes, president and CEO of The Walt Disney Company Bob Iger put it best.

"We'll take our time," he said. It won't be easy filling the shoes of a giant.

Before signing off, the 80-year-old told the audience he will remember spending his mornings with all of them.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Load Comments