What You Don't Know About Regis Philbin's Wife, Joy

Regis Philbin's death, just one month shy of his 89th birthday, leaves behind his bride of 50 years, Joy (via People). As an occasional guest on Live! with Regis and Kathie Lee and Live! with Regis and Kelly when his co-hostesses were unavailable, Joy Philbin is no stranger to the public eye. The spotlight may have always shined brighter on Regis, but their relationship as one of Hollywood's few long-married couples was the stuff of legends. The chemistry between the two was obvious just months ago, when the couple was spotted out and about on a date, Joy wearing a sexy black leather dress (via Instagram). "Regis worships the ground Joy walks on," a family friend told Closer Weekly in January. In fact, when he retired in 2017, he said that he was simply looking forward to spending time with her (per AJC).

We know for a fact that Regis was crazy about Joy, but here's some things you might not know about the 79-year-old New York City native.

Joy and Regis Philbin's relationship was one for the ages

In 2011, married for 41 years at the time, Parade asked Joy and Regis their secret to a long and happy marriage. Regis, always quick with a joke, replied, "What is the secret, Joy? My fear of you?" 

Joy's response? "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." Aw... now that's a true Hollywood love story.

Together with Regis, Joy raised two daughters who are successful writers. (Regis also had two children from his first marriage to Catherine "Kay" Faylen, according to The Washington Post.) Their oldest, 46-year-old Joanna Philbin, is the author of four novels geared at teenage readers, while J.J. Philbin, age 45, has been a writer and producer for New Girl, Single Parents, and The O.C., and is married to writer and producer Michael Schur of Parks & Recreation fame (via Just About Write).

Inside Regis and Joy Philbin's 50-year marriage

Married since 1970, the couple recently celebrated their golden anniversary in March of this year. "Regis and Joy are always celebrating their marriage, but 50 years is a long time," Closer Weekly reported. The two certainly defied the odds for successful showbiz marriages, remaining committed to each other for half a century. 

The two even performed in a show together onstage after Regis retired from television in 2011, according to CTPost. At the time, Joy said the audience could expect: "Some singing and amusing stories. Regis has lived a long life and has lots of funny tales to tell. I join him midway and we sing together." However, when they were once asked if they would ever consider a reality show, Joy knew where to draw the line in terms of what she was willing to share of her life, telling Parade: "You mean where the camera follows you around all day? Where you get up in the morning and they're in your kitchen waiting for you? I can tell you that's not going to happen!"

So, what is the secret to their lifelong love? "They truly are best friends," a source revealed to Closer Weekly. "Everyone loves Regis and Joy, they're great company, have amazing stories, and they compliment each other perfectly. It's one of Hollywood's longest lasting marriages and a true love story."

Joy Philbin had a career in TV and film

Certainly Regis was the most famous Philbin, but Joy, who was born Bette Joy Senese in 1941, appeared on a number of popular scripted TV shows and movies, including Miss Congeniality 2, Malibu Express, and an episode of Mad About You, according to IMDb. And in addition to occasionally cohosting with her husband on Live!, she's also been on other live shows, ranging from Rachael Ray to The Late Show With David Letterman.

Joy's life as a wife and mother has brought her many years of joy, and the Greenwich, Ct., mansion she and Regis recently sold — they spent $7.2 million on it when they bought it in 2008 — held countless memories. At the time, Joy noted that the couple wanted to spend more time in California with family. "We've moved around a lot and lived in many houses together, but this house will always be our favorite," Joy told Greenwich Time in December. "We celebrated many birthdays and holidays and never had to worry about inviting too many of our family and friends. There was always room for everyone."