The special meaning behind Regis Philbin’s final resting place
It’s heartbreaking news that beloved TV host Regis Philbin died on July 24, 2020 at the age of 88, according to CNN. Born in the Bronx on Aug. 25, 1931, Philbin went on to attend the University of Notre Dame, where he graduated with a degree in sociology, per the outlet. Following this, Philbin made his way as a TV host — starting out in San Diego, gradually working east, stopping in St. Louis, and finally returning to New York in 1983, where he landed The Morning Show. The show, which Philbin hosted alongside Kathie Lee Gifford, became so successful that it was renamed Live! with Regis and Kathie Lee.
After that, Philbin hosted Live! alongside Kelly Ripa, though they unfortunately lost touch after he left the talk show.Philbin has also brought his talent to game shows, like Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? and America’s Got Talent, according to People. Beyond his career, Philbin was married twice. First to Catherine “Kay” Faylen and then Joy Philbin for 50 years. He shared children with both women.
While we grieve the Emmy Award-winning legend, news has broken about where Philbin will be laid to rest. It’s a really touching story that has everything to do with his alma mater, the University of Notre Dame. Keep reading to learn more.
Regis Philbin was a Notre Dame superfan
Regis Philbin graduated from the University of Notre Dame in 1953, per People. While he moved on from the campus in South Bend, Ind., Philbin’s heart never left the school. Philbin was a devoted alum, and in 2001, he donated a whopping $2.75 million to the university. The money was used to build the “Philbin Studio Theater, a performance art venue on campus,” per People. In fact, Philbin loved the university so much that he sent two of his daughters, J.J. and Joanna, to attend the school as well.
Philbin was also a major fan of the Notre Dame football team, as well as every other sports team affiliated with the university, according to TMZ. The President of Notre Dame, Rev. John I. Jenkins, said of Philbin in a statement (via The University of Notre Dame website): “Regis regaled millions on air through the years, oftentimes sharing a passionate love for his alma mater with viewers. He will be remembered at Notre Dame for his unfailing support for the University and its mission, including the Philbin Studio Theater in our performing arts center.”
Jenkins went on, “He likewise was generous with his time and talent in support of South Bend’s Center for the Homeless and other worthy causes. Our prayers are with his wife, Joy, and their daughters and Notre Dame alumnae Joanna and J.J.” Given his connection to the school, it’s no surprise Philbin’s burial has to do with Notre Dame.
Regis Philbin will be laid to rest at his beloved alma mater
Regis Philbin’s final resting place will be at the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Ind. Philbin will be buried at Cedar Grove Cemetery, which is located on the campus itself, according to People. In addition, a spokesman for the university, Dennis Brown, told the South Bend Tribune that Philbin’s funeral service will also be held at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart, a Roman Catholic church located on the campus. However, as of this writing, the date for the service has not yet been set.
Philbin was such a fan of Notre Dame and South Bend that at a conference in 1998, he admitted that his work brought him all over the world and he had visited many different locations. However, he said (via the South Bend Tribune), “Nothing excites me like coming back to South Bend-Mishawaka.” Philbin also used his influence for the good of the area. According to the outlet, not only did he return to South Bend for ND sports games, he also frequently hosted or attended benefits to care for the area’s homeless population.
Not only that, but Philbin occasionally brought some famous guests along with him.
Regis Philbin once told Larry King that Notre Dame's campus 'feels like heaven'
Regis Philbin didn’t keep his love for the University of Notre Dame to himself. He even brought famous host Larry King to campus. King and Philbin were really close friends for years, with Philbin often making guest appearances on Larry King Tonight. According to Extra. King said of the experience, “He was as good a guest as he was a host. We would sing songs back and forth together. Such fun to be with him. He was self-deprecating.”
In October 2002, Philbin, after learning that King had never been to the Notre Dame campus, said to his friend, “Oh my goodness, I’d love to show you Notre Dame. I go to a game every now and then. Why don’t you come with me?” according to the South Bend Tribune. Sure enough, King joined Philbin on campus, and later, King recalled to Extra how much Philbin loved it there: “One weekend I went out as his guest. We walked the stadium… He loved Notre Dame so much. He said, ‘Notre Dame feels like heaven.’ He’s going to be buried there.”
As sad as this loss may be, it sounds like Philbin’s resting spot meant the world to him.
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