Talk show icon Regis Philbin always dreamt of fame and fortune, and worked his way up from being a page at NBC to becoming one of television's biggest personalities. But perhaps the former host of ABC's popular shows LIVE! and Who Wants To Be a Millionaire was destined to make it big.
In Philbin's new memoir How I Got This Way, the gregarious 80-year-old describes how celebrity astrologer Sydney Omar predicted his struggles and future success during an interview segment on one of his early talk-show gigs in the late 1960s.
"Sydney says, 'Lemme tell you something. Your name is going to become a household word in America,'" Philbin told CBC's George Stroumboulopoulos in a recent interview.
Naturally, Philbin asked him how long that would take.
"He said 20 years!"
Philbin spent much of his early career in relative obscurity, hosting local news programs and late-night chat shows. However, while hosting a morning show in New York City during the mid-1980s, he was paired with an actress/TV personality named Kathie Lee Gifford, and the rest is history. The dynamic duo became a local hit, leading to national syndication in 1988. Their show, LIVE! with Regis and Kathie Lee grew into one of the most successful day-time talk shows in television history.
Omar, it turned out, was right.
Philbin only left the show this November, telling Stroumboulopoulos that it felt like the right time to move on.
"I worked 28-and-a-half years on that show, in that studio...and before that I worked another 28 years in Hollywood, various shows, and so I feel like it's time for me to maybe try something else, and I'm still thinking about that, I don't know what that is yet."
In the meantime, Philbin is busy promoting his book, which is filled with anecdotes and stories about his encounters and conversations with his celebrity peers over the years, including David Letterman, Howard Stern, Jack Nicholson and Donald Trump.
The man has had a long career surrounded by Hollywood's stars. No wonder he still reads his horoscope.
How I Got This Way
by Regis Philbin
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From the publisher:
"Sure, he's an excitable guy.
Sure, he loves to complain.
But Regis Philbin loves life...and with the wildly unpredictable one he's led so far, who wouldn't? After five decades in show business — and nearly 17,000 unforgettable hours on television — he has a lifetime's worth of stories to share.
In this entertaining memoir, the irrepressible Reege — consummate talk-show host, man-about-town, loving husband, father, and yes, obsessive sports fan — looks back at his years in show business. How I Got This Way is filled with stories of lessons learned — and elbows rubbed — with extraordinary, and often unsuspecting, teachers: David Letterman; Donald Trump; George Clooney; Howard Stern; Jack Nicholson; legendary Notre Dame coaches Frank Leahy, Ara Parseghian, and Lou Holtz; and, of course, longtime cohosts Kathie Lee Gifford and Kelly 'Pippa' Ripa; as well as his own lovely wife, Joy — to name just a few. "