Broadcaster and record-setting TV host Regis Philbin visits the Hilltop Tuesday, Oct. 9 as part of SMU’s 2012-13 Tate Distinguished Lecture Series. He will give the Tolleson Lecture at 8 p.m. in McFarlin Auditorium.
Since Philbin first stepped in front of a camera more than 50 years ago, he has earned acclaim as a talk and game show host. Early in his career, he took “A.M. Los Angeles” from the bottom of the ratings to number one, where the show remained throughout his seven-year tenure. On national television, he served as Joey Bishop’s sidekick on “The Joey Bishop Show” and helmed “The Regis Philbin Show,” a daily 30-minute program that received an Emmy for Outstanding Daytime Variety Series.
Philbin created his popular “Live” show format in 1983 with “The Morning Show” for WABC in his native Manhattan. It quickly became the number one program in the market. Kathie Lee Gifford joined him in June 1985, and in September 1988 the program debuted in national syndication with a new title, “Live with Regis & Kathie Lee.” In 2001, Philbin was joined by Ripa, and the program entered a new era as “Live with Regis and Kelly.”
In May 2001, the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences honored him with a Daytime Emmy as Outstanding Game Show Host for “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire,” and another Emmy as Outstanding Talk Show Host for his syndicated program, “Live with Regis.” He and Kelly Ripa also received the Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Special Class Special for hosting the 2005 “Walt Disney World Christmas Day Parade.”
By the time Philbin stepped down as co-host of “Live with Regis and Kelly” in November 2011, he had earned a place in The Guinness Book of World Records for Most Hours on Camera by any person. He returned to morning television in September 2012 with the first of a series of once-a-month appearances with celebrity chef Rachael Ray on “The Rachael Ray Show.”
In 2001, Philbin received a TV Guide Award as Personality of the Year and a Broadcasting & Cable Lifetime Achievement Award. Other accolades include the Walter Camp Distinguished American Award and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Philbin was the 2006 inductee into the National Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame, and in December 2006 was selected by the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences to be inducted into the Television Academy’s Hall of Fame.
A recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, Philbin is also is the author of several bestselling books, including his latest, How I Got This Way.
Philbin is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame and received an honorary doctor of law degree for his contributions to Notre Dame and South Bend. He and his wife, Joy, have two grown daughters, Joanna and Jennifer.
The evening lecture is sold out, but SMU students may attend for free with their University ID if seats become available. Philbin will answer questions from University community members and local high school students in the Turner Construction/Wells Fargo Student Forum at 4:45 p.m. in the Hughes-Trigg Student Center Ballroom.
The Forum is free, but seating is limited. SMU faculty, staff and students are encouraged to attend; RSVP online to ensure a place. To ask Philbin a question via Twitter, send a tweet with the hashtag #SMUtatePhilbin. A moderator will ask some of these questions during the event.