Regis recently released a memoir that he wrote about his life called How I Got This Way. I decided to buy the audio book from iTunes and I'm so glad I did because it was really good. The audio book was narrated by Regis himself, so that was really neat to hear the book read from his own voice. I couldn't have imagined listening to the book if it had been read by anyone else. His book shed more light into his life and his more than 50 years in show business.
Regis graduated from Notre Dame University in 1953 with a degree in sociology, however, his true desire since the time he was a young child was always to be a singer like his idol, Bing Crosby. On the day of his college graduation Regis told his parents about his lifelong dream of becoming a singer, and he even sang Crosby's hit Pennies from Heaven to parents. When he finished singing he noticed that his mother's eyes were filled with tears – tears of disappointment. When I heard this part in the book I thought it was SO sad! I can't imagine how Regis must've felt in that moment.
After that discouraging experience Regis decided to part with his dream of being a singer and instead decided to go into television. Regis' early television career had lots of ups and downs and disappointments and Regis went into detail about his feelings of inadequacy and failure. He said that for years he wondered if he had any talent at all, and if he did, what was it? I had no idea that Regis struggled so much in his early years since he's always seemed so successful to me, but I guess that's just because I've only ever known him as the older famous and accomplished Regis Philbin instead of the Regis Philbin of younger days. It just goes to show that fame and success doesn't always come naturally and just takes time/work, even for the "rich and famous."
Regis talked about a lot of famous, well-known people that he's crossed paths with over the years who have influenced him in some way or another like Bing Crosby, Dean Martin, Joey Bishop, Cary Grant, Johnny Carson and Jack Parr. He also talked about other people that he's interacted with over the years; people who have amazed and/or inspired him in some way that he's learned valuable lessons from like Jack Nicholson, Bill Cosby, Jerry Seinfeld, George Clooney, Donald Trump, Steven Spielberg and David Letterman. There were even entire chapters in the book devoted to the most special people in his life like Kathy Lee Gifford, Kelly Ripa and Joy, his wife of more than 40 years.
Regis ended each chapter in the book with "what I took away from it all" where he recapped whatever situation/person he referenced in that chapter. I really enjoyed hearing what Regis had learned from the different experiences/people in his life. It made him seem more likable to find out that Regis has experienced so many "normal" emotions and had many average or less than desirable experiences.