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Kathie Lee reveals what Regis told her after she announced she's leaving TODAY

Kathie Lee Gifford received an outpouring of love after she shared the news of her upcoming exit — and that included a moving message from one old friend.
/ Source: TODAY

On Dec. 11, Kathie Lee Gifford revealed that her 11th season on the fourth hour of TODAY will be her last one, and her pal and co-anchor, Hoda Kotb, was clearly moved by that news.

But there was another on-air partner — from Kathie Lee's past — who had a special message for the beloved member of the TODAY family.

Image: Kathie Lee Gifford Regis Philbin at the desk in Studio 1A
Kathie Lee Gifford and Regis Philbin share a laugh during one of his many visits to Studio 1A. Samantha Okazaki / TODAY

Regis Philbin can certainly understand how Hoda must be feeling, because he had to face a TV future without KLG by his side when she left "Live With Regis and Kathie Lee" in 2000 after more than a decade.

So, it's no surprise to learn he called up his former co-host to offer his thoughts on her upcoming departure.

"He said, 'Kath, I'm so happy for you,'" Kathie Lee recalled Wednesday morning. "He said, 'There's not a day that goes by that I don't think about the 15 years we spent together and how much I loved you.' ... He said, 'It was never the same after you left,' because it isn't."

With that line, she offered Hoda a knowing glance and added, "That doesn't mean it can't be good and better in some ways."

Regis also told her that what she and Hoda have had together "has been just unbelievable."

Over the years, Regis has been a frequent visitor to the fourth hour, and Kathie Lee hopes he'll visit again before she says goodbye during her farewell next spring.

And if he does, he'll likely be among long line of famous faces who'll want the chance to wish her well before she signs off. After all, shortly after her big announcement, many of her star-studded friends and colleagues immediately took to social media to celebrate her.

Kathie Lee responded to all of that adoration with her signature humor.

"It's really lovely to not have to die before you get some nice press," she joked. "Usually, you have to!"