"I Wish It Were Me": Regis Philbin, Kelly Ripa's Ex Co-Host, Reflected On Pain Over The Loss Of His Disabled Son

September 9, 2019 17:02

Regis Philbin is a popular American media personality, actor, and singer. He is best known for hosting initial TV show Live! with Regis and Kathie Lee (1988-2001), which later became Live! with Regis and Kelly (2001-2011).

Philbin also debuted and hosted such TV shows as Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, Million Dollar Password, and the first season of America's Got Talent.

Apart from his thriving and glorious career path, Regis Philbin still carries pain inside his heart after having lost his disabled son Danny.

Danny Philbin was born with a spinal cord defect that required both his legs to be amputated. According to Radar's 2014 report, the young man passed away due to natural causes at 49.

The former Live! with Regis and Kelly co-host keeps his son's demise under the hat, but he once opened up about Danny's struggles and his trauma over his challenging life.

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In a 1994 interview with Esquire's Bill Zehme, Regis Philbin called his late son a "hero."

He's my hero in life. For him to overcome all this disability, to graduate from college, work on his master's program — he's just dynamite, a remarkable kid.

Despite Danny's physical challenges, he embarked on a successful career with the U.S. government, working for the Department of Defense’s Public Affairs Office.

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During an online interview with Paul Harris in 1997, the media personality candidly opened up about Danny's experience at Children's Hospital in Los Angeles.

I guess both of us will never forget that. It just broke my heart not to be able to take him out. And this would go on day after day, and week after week, and month after month.

Regis also said that anytime his late son had to be back to the hospital, it was like a knife in his heart.

I wish it were me, not him.

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Back in 2004, he was shamelessly accused of not providing assistance to his disabled son, but these speculations were nothing but a lie — Regis Philbin never left his child alone until Danny's sudden demise.

Danny Philbin is Regis' son from the first marriage to Catherine "Kay" Faylen, daughter of actor Frank Faylen. Albeit, the host never stopped supporting his kid.