Diana Lewis pays tribute to her old friend Regis Philbin

Diana Lewis shares memories of her mentor Regis

(WXYZ) - You know Regis Philbin as a talk show star who spent countless mornings in your living room. I know him as "Mr. President.," a man who was always so gracious and kind.

Today Regis retired from 'Live' after nearly 28 years.

When I left Philadelphia in the 70's to anchor the weekends at KABC in Los Angeles, Regis became my mentor.  At that time he anchored "AM Los Angeles."  He took me under his wing and made me part of a special group known as "The Club."   We held secret meetings in front of the men's room by the studio. Regis was the "President," and I was "The Member."

In 2004 I hadn't seen my old friend in 30 years. So I took a trip to New York to visit him on the set of "Regis & Kelly."  I brought along my Daughter Glenda, who was only 3 years old when she visited "Uncle Regis" and his wife Joy at their home in the Hollywood Hills.

We had a blast reminiscing about our L.A. days. Regis has accomplished so many things over the years. 17,000 hours of airtime and counting earned him a spot in Guinness Book Of World Records. What an astounding feat.

Any talk of retirement is taboo to Regis. If you mention that word he will simply tell you he's not calling it quits, instead he's just moving on.

In 1995, Regis wrote in his memoirs, "I am only one man."  When I visited him in New York I asked what he would add to that. Regis then took a humorous jab at his boss Michael Gelman.  "Gelman has matured," Regis said.  "He was a young boy when I met him. All of the sudden he became a man."

Regis was a star when I met him. Now he's a legend. And I'm so glad to call him a friend.

Share your memories and wish Regis well in retirement by leaving a comment below!

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