The couple shares many interests together, including tennis, and have a sweet secret to their successful marriage.
Veteran talk show and game show host Regis Philbin, who had once set a Guinness World Record "Most Hours on Camera in 2004, has been taking it slow since retiring in November 2011. The former host of Live! had left his beloved show after 28 years in the hands of his co-host Kelly Rippa, who continues to host it with Ryan Seacrest now. Since retiring he has been spending time with his family and most importantly with wife Joy, whom he married in March 1970. They have two daughters, Joanna, 46, and J.J., 45, together.
"I had a great run with Live! and was fortunate to retire on a high note with a lot of support from the show and from fans. 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 and our kids and grandkids. I also continue to stay physically and mentally active by playing tennis and keeping up with the stock market," he told AOL. Regis has hosted many television and game shows over the years, including the popular Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, for which he's won an Emmy.
While the 88-year-old has had to change his lifestyle for better heart health, there is one thing about his heart that hasn't changed for him over the years. The woman who captured his heart. Bette Joy Philbin, or Joy, as he calls her, and Regis have been married for more than 50 years now.
In 2011, the couple talked about the secret of their long and successful marriage. "What is the secret, Joy? My fear of you?" Regis joked with Joy during an interview, which took place before his retirement, with Parade magazine. To this, Joy responded sweetly, "There’s just something about Regis. There’s always something new on the horizon and it keeps our lives active and fun. I’d rather be with Regis than any other person in the world." An incredulous Regis said, "Really?" and Joy responded, "You keep it interesting and I think that’s one of the secrets. That’s why I don’t think you should ever retire!"
As a couple, they have a couple of interests in common too and know how to keep each other engaged. Joy told Parade, "If we win at tennis, then we're totally in love for the rest of the day, but it can really trigger an ugly evening if one of us isn't playing well." Regis jokingly chimed in, "We're not as bad as we used to be. It used to destroy an evening dinner if we played poorly — and one of us, of course, played poorly a lot of times."
Their ability to laugh with each other is another common point binding them together. But, apart from that, they also shared a love for showbusiness. Joy has made a few appearances on films and TV shows over the years too. She had done a 2006 cameo on Hope and Faith, the ABC sitcom headlined by Regis' former Live! co-host, Kelly Ripa. She also played herself in Miss Congeniality 2 and an episode of Mad About You, and has appeared on Rachael Ray, Live! With Regis & Kelly, and The Late Show With David Letterman.
When discussing co-hosting with Regis, she told Parade, "When I do the show with him it's like going to a party. It's fun because we don't do it often!"
After sharing many wonderful years together, they celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary together in March 2020. "Regis and Joy are always celebrating their marriage, but 50 years is a long time," a source close to the couple exclusively revealed to Closer. "Regis worships the ground Joy walks on. They truly are best friends. Everyone loves Regis and Joy, they’re great company, have amazing stories and they compliment each other perfectly," the source added. "It’s one of Hollywood’s longest-lasting marriages and a true love story."