Philbin has been married twice and has four children. He was married to Catherine "Kay" Faylen, daughter of actor Frank Faylen, from 1955–1968, and he has been married to interior decorator Joy Senese since 1970. His children are Amy, Daniel (both with Faylen), Joanna, and Jennifer "J. J." (both with Senese). Joy Philbin occasionally co-hosts with her husband Regis. On Live, he often mentions Joy, and to a lesser degree, Joanna, J.J. and Danny. When Danny was born, he didn't have some vertebrae and he was missing some muscles in his leg. He had to spend his childhood at the Angel View Crippled Children's Foundation in California. During the September 11 attacks, Philbin noted on air that he was very worried about Danny, who worked at The Pentagon and uses a wheelchair. Danny emerged from the terrorist attack safe, and since the tragedy Regis has joined Danny at Walter Reed Army Medical Center to visit injured troops. In August 2007, Regis and Joy Philbin announced that their daughter J. J. and her husband,Michael Schur, were expecting their first child in February 2008. William Xavier Schur was born on February 18, 2008. He weighed 6 lb 5 oz, and was 19 inches in length. William Xavier is named after Regis, Xavier being his confirmation name. He is also nicknamed "Mr. Trouble" by Regis and often referred to as such on Live. At 7:54 p.m., on July 14, 2010, J.J. gave birth to a daughter, Ivy Elizabeth, in California. Philbin spends his time between his new home in Greenwich, Connecticut, and his apartment on the Upper West Side of Manhattan near the WABC-TV studios.
Philbin follows the professional sports world extensively, enjoying baseball as well as football. He is an avid fan of the New York Yankees and a proud supporter of his alma mater, the Notre Dame Fighting Irish – so proud, in fact, that Philbin narrated the two audio CDs that accompanied Joe Garner's book, Echoes of Notre Dame Football: Great and Memorable Moments of the Fighting Irish. Philbin played on the Notre Dame tennis team, (putting his recent statements in an ad where he claimed to have learned tennis from second wife Joy, in doubt). Notre Dame football coaches, such as Charlie Weis, Tyrone Willingham, and Lou Holtz have appeared on Live. Along with being a Yankees fan, Regis is also "keeping an eye on the Florida Marlins." On May 5, 2009 he delivered the first pitch at a Marlins game. He has also supported the Pittsburgh Pirates in recent years as well. During his Southern California years, he was a regular at parties at Hugh Hefner's Playboy Mansion.
In March 1984, Philbin opened a Ford dealership in Gilbert, Arizona, as a side investment during his career in television. The dealership, Philbin Ford, suffered due to the already over-saturated auto market in the area, and was closed in late 1988.
He is known to have trouble handling new technology and is frequently confused when operating electronics (such as remote controls and DVD players). He does not usually use computers (although he did use one for an episode of Live during summer 2008, demonstrating how to find homes online) and did not own a cell phone until Sept. 10, 2008. It is often noted, however, that Philbin does not completely reject the technology; he simply has Joy make calls and send e-mails for him.
On March 12, 2007, during an episode of Live with Regis and Kelly, Philbin announced that he would undergo triple bypass surgery later that week, as he had experienced chest pains and shortness of breath the previous two weeks and doctors found plaque in his arteries. He said, "Darn it, I don't want to do it. Nobody wants to do it, I guess. But they tell me. And I had a second opinion, I did all those things [tests for heart disease], and so they [the doctors] are all in agreement that it should be the bypass. And so that's what I'm going to do." In addition, Philbin talked with David Letterman, for whom Philbin substituted for on Late Show with David Letterman during Letterman's own quintuple bypass surgery. Philbin's heart surgery at Weill Cornell Medical Center on March 14 was successful and he returned to the show on April 26. He previously had an angioplasty in 1993.
On the November 23, 2009 Live with Regis and Kelly show, Philbin announced that he intended to take some time off to undergo hip-replacement surgery. "I'm allowed to announce I'm going into hip surgery. I'm going to have my hip replaced. I've been limping around here. It's really painful," he said on Live, which was broadcasting from Las Vegas that week. The surgery was performed on December 1. Philbin was expected to take four to six weeks off to recover. It was announced that Regis would return on Monday, January 4, 2010, to his regular hosting duties to kick off the new year.
On May 14, 2010, it was announced that Philbin would undergo surgery to have a blood clot removed from his calf. He returned the next day.
He was cast as car salesman, Handsome Hal, on Kelly Ripa's sitcom Hope & Faith.
He was chosen as the voice of a minor female character in Shrek the Third: Mabel, the sister of the Ugly Stepsister (played by Larry King).
In the Animaniacs episode "Pigeon on a Roof" (a Goodfeathers musical parody of Fiddler on the Roof), a key plot element involves toppling a statue of Martin Scorsese—and replacing it with one of Philbin.
Also, several Hey Arnold! episodes would feature a talk show that parodied Regis and Kathie Lee. The male host, in addition, would always get extremely excited in a parody of Philbin.
He is mentioned in Christian artist Steven Curtis Chapman's song "Live Out Loud."
During the successful first run of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, Philbin popularized the monochromatic look in men's formalwear that emphasizes color rather than pattern in ties and dress shirts. His look was a suit, shirt and tie coordinated in solid, slightly varying shades of the same, usually dark or muted, color. A Van Heusen clothing line based on this look, called Regis, was short-lived.
When Philbin hosted Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, he used the phrase "Is that your final answer?" whenever he had to verify a contestant's answer. Adopted fromChris Tarrant, this became Philbin's catch phrase during his tenure with the show.
In August 2009, Philbin returned for a 2-week stint as host of Millionaire. The 11 shows (Sunday-to-Thursday twice, plus one extra Sunday) started airing August 9 on ABC primetime.
Philbin (along with Steve Harvey and John Henson) were named the 2009–10 guest hosts of the daily Millionaire. Philbin's episodes aired November 30-December 4, 2009 and debuted new rules on the show.
In October 2007, Philbin was featured in the 100th anniversary issue of the Neiman Marcus Christmas Book. He was a host of the Classical Superstars Fantasy Concert, which included piano virtuoso Lola Astanova with Russia's Kirov Orchestra led by conductor Valery Gergiev. The super concert for 500 guests was offered for sale at $1.6 million.