Regis was a beloved television host, having set the Guinness World Record for the most hours on U.S. television. He is most widely known as the co-host of the New York City-based nationally syndicated talk show Live! with Regis and Kathie Lee, starting in 1988, which became Live! with Regis and Kelly in 2001 until his departure in 2011. He also debuted and hosted the US version of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire and the first season of America's Got Talent.
A 1953 graduate of the University of Notre Dame and member the tennis team, he often returned to campus for football games, concerts, pep rallies, banquets, and other events. He donated $2.75 million to the University to build the Philbin Studio Theatre for performance arts productions. He was also known for hosting local philanthropic events such as fundraisers for the Center for the Homeless or scholarship nights for the Moose Krause Chapter of the College Football Hall of Fame.