Kathie Lee Gifford Opens up about Regis Philbin's 50-Year Marriage with His Wife Joy

During a candid interview, Kathie Lee Gifford talked about the 50-Year marriage of her long-term companion and former co-host Regis Philbin with his wife Joy.

In an interview with PEOPLE, the 66-year-old television presenter described Philbin as a "raconteur, a world-class talk show host, and a bon vivant." Gifford said:

"He knew he couldn't speak and interact the same way he once could. He became more and more reliant on Joy as the years went on."

Kathie Lee Gifford at the 28th Annual Movieguide Awards Gala at Avalon Theater on January 24, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. | Photo: Getty Images

Kathie Lee Gifford at the 28th Annual Movieguide Awards Gala at Avalon Theater on January 24, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. | Photo: Getty Images

Gifford, who shares son Cody and daughter Cassidy with late husband Frank Gifford, added that that is the magnificence of a long-lasting marriage and relationship based on trust, respect, and genuine love.

On July 24, Philbin passed away from heart disease in Greenwich, Connecticut, at 88. On an episode of the "Today" show, Gifford affectionately described her last encounter with Philbin. 

According to her, when she saw Philbin get out of the vehicle with his wife, she detected a lot of more fragility than she had seen in him since the last time in January out in Los Angeles.

Regis Philbin at SiriusXM Studios on October 3, 2017 in New York City. | Photo: Getty Images

Regis Philbin at SiriusXM Studios on October 3, 2017 in New York City. | Photo: Getty Images

Gifford immediately called Joy after learning of Philbin's death. She later visited her and the couple's children, J.J. and Joanna.

According to Gifford, Joy and her children were in their living room going through thousands of photos. They just reminisced for a little while.

The actress wrote that the laughter she knows her dad and Philbin are sharing together in heaven is palpable.

Kathy Lee Gifford and Regis Philbin are seen in Midtown on September 23, 2015 in New York City. | Photo: Getty Images

Kathy Lee Gifford and Regis Philbin are seen in Midtown on September 23, 2015 in New York City. | Photo: Getty Images

Meanwhile, Gifford's daughter, Cassidy, recently took to Instagram to pay tribute to Philbin. She honored him and her dad Frank, a Pro Football Hall of Famer, with a touching message that showed her love for them.

The actress wrote that the laughter she knows her dad and Philbin are sharing together in heaven is palpable. Cassidy recently tied the knot with her fiancé Ben Wierda in an intimate setting in his backyard in Michigan.

Joy and Regis Philbin at Alice Tully Hall on June 1, 2011 in New York City. | Photo: Getty Images

Joy and Regis Philbin at Alice Tully Hall on June 1, 2011 in New York City. | Photo: Getty Images

In 1985, Gifford and Philbin began working together when she turned into his co-host on WABC-TV's "The Morning Show." Three years later, the pair went into the national broadcast as "Live! With Regis and Kathie Lee."

Regis is not the only Philbin who's showed up on the screen. Joy has made a few movies and television appearances of her own.

Frank Gifford, Kathie Lee Gifford, Cassidy Gifford and Cody Gifford at Neil Simon Theatre on November 15, 2012 in New York City | Photo: Getty Images

Frank Gifford, Kathie Lee Gifford, Cassidy Gifford and Cody Gifford at Neil Simon Theatre on November 15, 2012 in New York City | Photo: Getty Images

In 2006, she had an appearance in the ABC sitcom "Hope and Faith," which was headlined by Kelly Ripa. Joy played herself in the hit comedy film "Miss Congeniality 2" and an episode of "Mad About You."

She showed up on "The Late Show With David Letterman," "Rachael Ray," and "Live! With Regis & Kelly." She also hosted "At Home With....," an HGTV series.

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