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Who Is Regis Philbin’s Son Daniel Philbin? His Education, Marriage, Divorce, & Career

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  • Post last modified:August 6, 2021
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Daniel Philbin is the late son of actor and television personality, Regis Philbin. Daniel is the second child between Regis and his first wife, Catherine Faylen. Danny was born with a severe defect in the spinal cord which led him to have both of his legs amputated.

Despite being physically disabled, Daniel Philbin went on to achieve everything he might have wanted from his life. Danny extensively worked for the Department of Defense during which he dealt with the extreme condition during the 9/11 attack. Danny also received an award for his heroic work.

Here’s all you need to know about Daniel Philbin.

Daniel Philbin is the Second Child of Regis Philbin

Daniel Philbin was born to Regis Philbin and Catherine Faylen as their second child. When it comes to his birthday, there are several different details in the media. While some sources have mentioned Danny was born in 1967, some have reported it to be 1965.

Well, talking about his grandparents, Daniel’s paternal grandparents were Filomena “Florence” Bashia and Francis “Frank” Philbin. Likewise, his maternal grandparents were Frank Faylen and Carol Hughes. As a matter of fact, both of Danny’s maternal grandparents were very well-known actors.

Amy Philbin's brother, Daniel Philbin
Regis Philbin and Catherine Faylen’s son Daniel Philbin

Daniel was of mixed ethnical background as his grandparents were from different parts of Europe. His maternal grandmother Carol Hughes had roots in Germany. Likewise, his paternal grandfather was of Irish descent and his paternal grandmother was a member of an Albanian-Italian immigrant family from Greci.

He was Born with a Severe Defect in Spinal Cord

Daniel Philbin was born with a severe defect in the spinal cord. The issue later led the star kid to have both his legs amputated. Following the amputation, Danny spent most of his childhood days at the Angel View Crippled Children’s Foundation in California.


Even though Danny was disabled, his physical defect didn’t affect his educational endeavors at all. Rather he was motivated to aspire higher in life. He was a scholarly person who completed a master’s degree in political science. Danny graduated high school at Quartz Hill High School in Los Angeles.

After high school, Danny went to the California State University followed by The Catholic University of America in Washington D.C. where he pursued his master’s degree.

Daniel Had Three Siblings

Daniel Philbin had three siblings, one biological and two half-siblings. His biological sister, Amy Philbin is his older. Besides, he has two half-sisters from his father’s second marriage to Joy Sense. His two half-sisters are Joanna Philbin and J.J. Philbin.

Joanna was born on March 19, 1973, and his youngest sister, J.J. was born on August 30, 1974. Joanna is an author while J.J. is a producer and screenwriter professionally.

Daniel Philbin's father with his second wife and daughters
Daniel Philbin’s father with his second wife and daughters

While talking about their education, Joanna is a graduate of Brown University where she studied BA. She later earned a JD and MFA from the University of Notre Dame. On the other side, J.J. is also a graduate of the University of Notre Dame.

Daniel Philbin’s Professional Works

Despite being born to one of the greatest actors, Daniel Philbin never wanted to pursue a career in acting. Maybe he might have pulled himself off due to his physical condition. However, he did well in his career, we must say.

Daniel worked for the US government in the department of defense. According to the Department of Defense’s 2002 article (since deleted), Danny worked as a writer-editor in the Secretary of Defense Public Affairs Office’s Directorate of Public Inquiry and Analysis.

Daniel’s work with the defense department remained a secret until he received an award for his heroic work in 2002. He received the honor for helping the department deal with the media following the September 11, 2001 attack at the Pentagon.

Daniel, then-37, was on his desk when the hijackers crashed the Boeing 757 into the western facade of the building. As per the report, Danny got out of the building soon after the crash and dealt with the media.

He received an Award for His Bravery

In 2002, a year after the attack, Daniel Philbin received an award for helping the department. The award said,

“That evening, while the building was still in flames, he returned to the Pentagon to help with the secretary of defense’s press conference. He came back on September 12 to perform additional duties. The bravery and dedication were not without cost, as he was hospitalized later for several days.”

Here is a photo that shows Daniel receiving the award from Charles S. Abbell, the principal deputy undersecretary of defense for personnel and readiness, and F. Du Bois, the director of administration and management.

Catherine's late son, Daniel Philbin receiving award
Catherine’s late son, Daniel Philbin receiving award for his bravery during the 9/11 attack

Daniel Philbin’s Personal Life-His Marriage and Divorce

Well, many of you might not know, Daniel Philbin was married and divorced once. Danny was married to Judy Philbin. There isn’t much info on their marriage, however, several sources suggest Danny and Judy divorced around four years before Danny’s death.

Meanwhile, there aren’t many photos of Daniel and his ex-wife Judy, however, we have found a photo that seems to be of Danny and his ex-wife. In the photo, the ex-pair is holding their pet dog together. Have a look.

Daniel Philbin and his ex-wife Judy
Daniel Philbin and his ex-wife Judy

Meanwhile, we don’t have any info on why the ex-husband-and-wife split up. Daniel didn’t talk much about his love life while he was alive. On the other hand, his ex-spouse once hinted that their financial situation was very bad at one point in time which might be the cause, however, it has not been made official as of yet.

Judy Slammed Her Ex-Father-In-Law and His Wife After Daniel’s Death

Around four years after Danny’s death, his wife criticized actor Regis Philbin and his second wife, Joy Sense in a conversation with¬†Radar Online. Judy told the outlet of Regis and Joy as: “They’re evil. What Joy and him did to those two kids because they were not her children was despicable!”

She continued,

“They didn’t want to have the responsibility of caring for a disabled child – so they put Danny in a home for mentally challenged kids!”

Judy also noted that during 2009, she and her then-husband Daniel were in such a condition that they had to borrow money to feed themselves. Judy also said that Regis Philbin and his son Daniel didn’t have a good relationship until the time of his death.

Even though Regis had told media outlets his relationship with Danny was good, she said they weren’t even talking. It was “nothing more than a public relations stunt to make Regis look like a caring dad,” added Judy.

Daniel Philbin’s Death-He Died More than Five Years Before His Dad

Daniel Philbin, the only son of late actor and television presenter, Regis Philbin passed away on November 7, 2014. Even though Danny died in fall 2014, his death news only came to the media in March 2015.

Several online sources reported Danny died of natural causes. In the meantime, his family didn’t say anything about Danny’s death publicly.

Amy's father Regis Philbin was an iconic TV presenter
Daniel Philbin’s father, Regis Philbin died in 2020, five years after his death

Daniel Philbin died more than five years before his father Regis passed away. Regis Philbin died on July 24, 2020. His family confirmed Regis Philbin died of natural causes while some online outlets speculated he died of a heart attack.