Kathie Lee Gifford says Regis Philbin was "failing" when she saw him two weeks ago.
The pair co-hosted 'Live with Regis and Kathie Lee' together for 15 years and remained close friends but Kathie Lee, 66, revealed that on her last catch up with Regis, two weeks before he died, she sensed it would be their last time to see each other.
She told the 'Today' show: "I said, 'Can we get together? Can we have some lunch?' So they came over about two weeks ago. I saw Reg get out of the car with [his wife] Joy and I sensed much more fragility in him than I'd seen in him since the last time in January out in Los Angeles.
"We sat right here on my screened porch and we laughed ourselves sick - we always just picked up right where we left off.
"We had the best time, and after they left, I just thought to myself, 'Lord, is that the last time I'm going to see my friend?' Because he was failing, I could tell."
Kathie - who lost her husband Frank in 2015 - has visited Joy to offer her condolences.
She said: "I didn't want to intrude on their private family time because I remember what that was like. It's been five years, almost, since Frank passed, and you love your friends reaching out but you also desperately need that private time as a family.
"Anyway, I was just grateful to have the time with them and comfort them a little bit and let them know that I believe with all my heart that I know where Regis is and I know who he's with, because I had many, many conversations with him over the years about faith and where we go when this life is over, and he was very curious, as always."
Philbin walked away from 'Live!' in 2011, but hosted a string of other well-known shows during his career, including 'Who Wants to Be a Millionaire' and the first season of 'America's Got Talent'.
He was inducted into the Television Hall of Fame in 2006 and received a Hollywood Walk of Fame star in 2003.