Remembering Philbin, who passed away in July at age 88, Gifford, 67, recalled being visited by him and wife Joy shortly before his death.
“He had been depressed in the weeks and months earlier, because of COVID,” she explained.
“Regis couldn’t perform anywhere, nobody was out and about, he couldn’t be Regis for people, you know,” Gifford continued. “And it broke his heart. One of his dearest friends had just recently died of COVID, so he was pretty much in a depression I think, his wife said.”
Being in self-isolation during the pandemic, Gifford explained, was tough on the ultra-social Philbin. who considered it his mission in life to entertain.
“Regis just lived to make people happy. He certainly made me happy for the 35 years that we were great friends,” Gifford added.
“Later after he passed, two weeks later, Joy told me that that was the last time she heard him laugh, was when he was at my house,” Gifford recalled.
“So, that was a sweet gift from God to me that he blessed that friendship even at the very end,” she said. “There was nobody like him ever, and there will never be another like him, ever.”