Kathie Lee Gifford says Regis Philbin was 'depressed' about COVID-19 before his death

October 4, 2020
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Kathie Lee Gifford is sharing details about her former co-host and close friend Regis Philbin, who passed away in July.

The former co-host of Today made an appearance on “The Talk” and shared that the 88-year-old was depressed during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“He had been depressed in the weeks and months earlier, because of the COVID,” she said. “You know, Regis couldn’t perform anywhere, nobody was out and about, he couldn’t be Regis for people, you know? And it broke his heart.”

Gifford revealed that one of Philbin’s friends died of COVID-19 before his death, which added to his mental struggle during his final weeks.

"He was pretty much in a depression, I think. Regis just lived to make people happy," she said. "He certainly made me happy for the 35 years that we were great friends."

Today reached out to Philbin’s family for comment, but has not received an answer.

Over the summer, Gifford shared details about her last visit with her longtime friend. She recalled how fragile Regis looked when he visited her roughly two weeks ago with his wife, Joy.

“We laughed ourselves sick. We always just picked up right where we left off,” Gifford said. However, she added that she “sensed much more fragility in him since the last time I had seen him.”

She remembered thinking, “‘Lord, Is that the last time I’m gonna see my friend?’ Because he was failing, I could tell,” she explained. “I then called, of course. I don’t know, something told me the other day when I was in Tennessee, ‘Get on a plane and go home. Get on a plane.’ I didn’t know why, but I had learned to listen to that voice.”

Gifford and Philbin’s adventures first began in 1985 when they began hosting the local daytime series, “The Morning Show.” When it was syndicated in 1988 by Disney, it was rebranded as “LIVE with Regis and Kathie Lee.”

Regis passed away on Saturday, July 25 at the age of 88.

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