"Is that your final answer?”
Perhaps no question is more unnerving than the one Regis Philbin asked contestants before they locked in their answers on the game show Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? That question went on to become a touchstone of both the famous game show and its host during the years that the program was on the air.
And now the iconic show is set to return for a special run of episodes to celebrate its 20th anniversary. ABC announced that the eight-episode run will feature celebrity contestants, and that all prize winnings will go to charity. However, there will be one small change.
At the helm of the rebooted special edition of the show will be late-night host Jimmy Kimmel, taking the place of legendary OG game show host Regis Philbin. While Jimmy Kimmel is a funny guy and sure to do a great job, we can’t help but wonder what happened to Regis.
Where is Regis Philbin now?
Regis Philbin’s 50 years on television—hosting shows like Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? and Live with Regis and Kelly—earned him Daytime Emmy Awards, an induction into the Television Hall of Fame, and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. The hardworking host even holds the Guinness World Record for most hours a person has appeared on TV.
However, since his surprising retirement announcement, Regis has been out of the public eye with only a few on-air appearances, mostly to advocate for heart disease research (more on that later).
Regis has said that “while there are days I do miss working, it’s been a nice change of pace to focus more on relaxing and spending time with my wife, Joy, our kids and grandkids.”
The couple have been spotted walking around New York and Los Angeles, where they frequently travel to so they can spend more time with their daughters and grandkids.
These days, Regis is taking care of Regis.
As wonderful as it would have been to have Regis hosting the reboot of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?, the television host just isn’t taking any regular gigs right now.
Much of Regis’ free time revolves around maintaining his health. The TV host has battled heart disease for many years: he had his first angioplasty in the early '90s and a triple bypass surgery in 2007.
These days, the personality dedicates a lot of time and effort staying on top of his cholesterol and staying physically and mentally healthy. And at 88 years of age, that’s almost a full-time job in and of itself.
Regis does make some semi-regular TV appearances to promote issues relating to heart disease. As someone who’s dealt with the issue for over 30 years, he feels strongly about educating others on the importance of heart health.
He’s been open about the various procedures he’s been through and details how medication, along with positive lifestyle choices, are keeping him healthy enough to spend time and keep up with his grandkids.
Catch the reboot of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?, which premieres Wednesday, April 8th at 10 p.m. ET on ABC.