Regis Philbin on Good Friends Frank and Kathie Lee Gifford

Kimberly RipleyLife

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Regis Philbin knew Frank Gifford long before Kathie Lee Gifford hosted Live! With Regis and Kathie Lee alongside him. In later years Regis and his wife Joy became close friends with Frank and Kathie Lee. In fact, the foursome enjoyed a lovely evening together just days before Frank Gifford died.

"There Frank was, handsome as ever," Regis Philbin says in an interview with People magazine. He added that Frank was "smiling and laughing."

It was just eight days later that Frank Gifford collapsed and died in the Connecticut home he shared with wife Kathie Lee and their children, Cody and Cassidy Gifford.

"I just couldn't believe it," Regis Philbin says. "Nobody could."

Shortly after Frank Gifford's death, Regis Philbin returned to the Gifford home--this time to support Kathie Lee Gifford and to pay his respects.

"She had all the people there," he says of Kathie Lee. "She's holding up well and strong."

Regis Philbin has spent many days since Frank Gifford's death remembering the good times.

"Frank had a great sense of humor," he says. "He was a happy man who accomplished a lot. These things have to happen I guess."

Regis Philbin joined Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb on The Today Show on Friday.

Fortunately for Kathie Lee Gifford, Regis Philbin and his wife Joy will continue to be good friends and a great source of support. Even though Kathie Lee relies on her faith to see her through these days of grief, good friends and their strong shoulders are no doubt an enormous comfort, too.

Kimberly Ripley
Kimberly Ripley is a freelance writer and published author from Portsmouth, New Hampshire. A wife, mom of five and 'Nana' to Lilly and Aiden, she loves cooking for her big family and watching HGTV in her spare time. Kim is guilty of starting way more home design projects than she can finish. Visit her at Twitter and Facebook.