In the weeks before his death earlier this year, Regis Philbin was suffering from a form of “depression” because of the coronavirus pandemic, which prevented him from doing what he loved most, his former co-host Kathie Lee Gifford said.
“He had been depressed in the weeks and months earlier, because of [COVID-19],” Gifford said during an appearance on “The Talk” on Friday. “Regis couldn’t perform anywhere, nobody was out and about. He couldn’t be Regis for people, and it broke his heart.”
The legendary TV host, who co-starred with Gifford on ABC’s daytime talk show “Live! With Regis and Kathie Lee” for 15 years, died in July of natural causes.
“One of his dearest friends had just recently died of COVID, so he was pretty much in a depression,” Gifford said, citing Philbin’s wife, Joy. “Regis just lived to make people happy. He certainly made me happy for the 35 years that we were great friends.”
She also shared the story of the last time she saw Philbin, when he came over to her home for lunch a few weeks prior to his death.
“Later after he passed, two weeks later, Joy told me that that was the last time she heard him laugh, was when he was at my house,” she said. “So, that was a sweet gift from God to me that he blessed that friendship even at the very end. There was nobody like him ever, and there will never be another like him, ever.”