Catherine Faylen: The Life and Career of Regis Philbin’s First Wife and Hollywood Royalty

Catherine Faylen is an American actress best known for her roles in the 1950s television shows. She appeared in several popular TV shows, such as The Man Called X, Highway Patrol, and Perry Mason. She is popular as the first wife of the late TV host and personality Regis Philbin, with whom she had two children. She is also the daughter of the late actor Frank Faylen and the late actress Carol Hughes. 

Wiki/Bio Facts

Full nameCatherine Frances Ruf
Date of birthJuly 9, 1929
Place of birthChicago, Illinois, USA
NicknameKay Faylen
Sexuality Straight
Zodiac signCancer
Eye colorBlue
Hair colorBlonde
OccupationFormer actress
Years active1953-1957
Notable worksPerry Mason, Science Fiction Theatre, Highway Patrol
ParentsFrank Faylen (father), Carol Hughes (mother)
SiblingsCarol Jones (sister)
Spouse(s)Regis Philbin (m. 1955; div. 1968)
ChildrenAmy Philbin (daughter), Daniel Philbin (son)
GrandchildrenNone known
Father’s birth nameCharles Francis Ruf
Father’s date of birthDecember 8, 1905
Father’s place of birthSt. Louis, Missouri, USA
Father’s date of deathAugust 2, 1985
Father’s place of deathBurbank, California, USA
Father’s cause of deathPneumonia
Father’s occupationActor
Mother’s birth nameCatherine Mabel Hukill
Mother’s date of birthJanuary 17, 1910
Mother’s place of birthChicago, Illinois, USA
Mother’s date of deathAugust 8, 1995
Mother’s place of deathBurbank, California, USA
Mother’s cause of deathUnknown
Mother’s occupationActress
Mother’s notable worksFlash Gordon Conquers the Universe, The Miracle Kid, She’s for Me
Sister’s full nameCarol Diana Ruf
Sister’s occupationUnknown
Regis Philbin & his first wife Catherine Faylen

Early Life and Family: How did Catherine grow up and who were her parents?

Catherine Faylen was born on July 9, 1929, in Chicago, Illinois. Her birth name was Catherine Frances Ruf. She was the daughter of Frank Ruf, a radio announcer and actor, and Carol Hughes, a singer and actress. She had a younger sister named Carol Diana Ruf. Catherine grew up in a show business family and developed an interest in acting from an early age. She attended the Hollywood Professional School and later studied at the Pasadena Playhouse.

Acting Career: What were some of the roles that Catherine played in television and film?

Catherine Faylen’s acting career was short-lived but memorable. She appeared in two episodes of Science Fiction Theatre in 1955 and 1956, playing different roles in each episode. She showed her versatility and talent in the sci-fi series. She also had roles in crime dramas: Highway Patrol, and Perry Mason. In Highway Patrol, she played the role of Jenny Crane. In Perry Mason, she played the role of Dixie Dayton. She displayed her skills in portraying suspense and drama. She has not acted since 1957 and has been living a low-profile life for years.

Marriage to Regis Philbin: When and how did Catherine meet Regis and what was their relationship like?

Catherine Faylen met Regis Philbin in 1955 when he was a page at NBC Studios in Hollywood and married the same year. They lived in Los Angeles and San Diego for most of their marriage, as that was where Regis worked as a TV host and Kay as an actress. Catherine also supported Regis’s ambitions when he left his job at KCOP, Los Angeles, in 1957 to make his fortune in New York City. They had two children: Amy Philbin, born in 1961, and Daniel Philbin, born in 1967.

Divorce and Aftermath: Why did Catherine and Regis split up and how did they cope with the separation?

Catherine Faylen and Regis Philbin’s marriage lasted 13 years. They split up because they realized they wanted different things in life. They had grown apart over the years and felt they were no longer compatible. They decided to divorce amicably in 1968. Following the divorce focused on raising them as a single mother in Los Angeles.

Regis Philbin moved on with his life and married his second wife, Joy Senese, in 1970. He also became a successful TV host and personality, hosting shows such as Live! with Regis and Kathie Lee and Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?. He had two more children with Joy: Joanna Philbin, born in 1973, and Jennifer Philbin, born in 1974.

Children and Grandchildren: Who are Catherine’s offspring and what are they doing now?

Catherine Faylen had two children with Regis Philbin: Amy Philbin and Daniel Philbin. Amy Philbin is a singer, but she has not achieved much fame in her career. She prefers to stay away from the media spotlight and live a low-key life. She is married to Dan Ferguson, who is a musician. They have a son named Mack, who lives with them in Studio City, California. She was very close to her father, who passed away in 2020.

Daniel Philbin was born with a spinal cord defect that left him wheelchair-bound. He had a remarkable career as a writer-editor in the Secretary of Defense Public Affairs Office’s Directorate of Public Inquiry and Analysis. He was recognized for his bravery and outstanding contributions during the 9/11 attacks, when he helped his office deal with the media after the Pentagon was hit by a hijacked plane.

Daniel Philbin was married to Judy Philbin, but they divorced four years before his death. He did not have any children.

Relationship with Regis Philbin’s Second Wife: How did Catherine get along with Joy Philbin and what did they have in common?

Catherine Faylen had a cordial relationship with Joy Philbin, Regis Philbin’s second wife. They respected each other and maintained friendly communication for the sake of their children and grandchildren. They also had some things in common: they both were actresses who supported Regis’ career, and they both shared a Catholic faith.

Death of Regis Philbin:

He died on Friday, July 24, 2020, of natural causes, one month shy of his 89th birthday. The Chief Medical Examiner Office in Connecticut revealed that he died of heart disease (natural). He had a history of heart problems and underwent a triple bypass surgery in 2007.

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