Regis Philbin

Rege has been hamming it up on TV for close to five decades. He left his day job on Live! With Regis & Kelly in 2011, but he shows no signs of slowing down.

Philbin grew up in the Bronx and attended Notre Dame before heading west to make it big in broadcasting. After a stint as a TV writer, he found his way in front of the camera in 1961 with a local show in San Diego called The Regis Philbin Show; national fame followed a few years later when he was tapped to serve as sidekick on The Joey Bishop Show. Philbin eventually returned to the local airwaves, hosting a series of talk and game shows around the country including Philbin's People, A.M. Los Angeles, Regis Philbin's Saturday Night in St. Louis, and Regis Philbin's Health Styles. In 1983, he moved to New York to host The Morning Show. The program was only mildly successful until Kathie Lee Gifford was added as a co-host in 1985; three years later, the program, which had been renamed Live! With Regis and Kathie Lee, went into national syndication thanks to corny banter and puff celebrity interviews that earned Regis and Kathie the adoration of millions of housewives. Gifford left the show in 2000 and was replaced by perky soap actress Kelly Ripa, but the program has continued to perform well in the ratings.

In addition to his cushy gig on Live, he's had a handful of other gigs to keep the coffers filled. He hosted Who Wants to Be a Millionaire during its initial heyday before handing off the reins to Meredith Vieira in 2002; Fox hired him to emcee their annual New Year's telecast, pitting him head-to-gelled head with Ryan Seacrest; and in 2008, Rege reprised his role as game show host with CBS's Million Dollar Password. But even when he's not hosting a show, Rege is usually an inescapable presence on the air: He often serves as a last-minute fill-in when scheduled guests flake out on The Late Show with David Letterman and The View. Perhaps not surprisingly, Philbin holds the Guinness World Record for most hours on camera.

Philbin married his first wife, Kay Faylan, in 1955. They had two kids, Amy and Daniel, before divorcing in 1968. Philbin remarried married Joy Senese in 1970 and had two more children, Joanna and Jennifer (J.J.). [Image via Getty]