Walters was a co-host on ‘The View’ from 1997 to 2014, and Philbin was a regular guest on the show. The pair had a bit of a strained relationship over the years, causing some awkward on-screen moments.
Friends, family and former co-workers of Philbin all paid tribute to him on social media shortly after his death was announced, but Walters hasn’t said a single word.
That has led to some speculation that Walters is being sheltered from the devastating news that Philbin has died.
The Twitter account of Walters hasn’t been updated since 25 September 2017, and the star’s Instagram account has been quiet since mid-2015.
Last year, it was reported that Walters has been left wheelchair-bound and hasn’t been seen in public for over 3 years following a diagnosis of advanced dementia.
It is now feared that if Walters found out that friend Philbin has died, she would slip into a deeper state of her illness – or worse!
At the time an insider told OK! that “Barbara suffers from exhaustion and fatigue, as well as anxiety and agitation.” The sources added that she “is very frail and spends a great deal of the day napping!”
In late 2019 a source confirmed that Walters isn’t doing so well.
“Sadly, her dementia has been getting worse. Her caretakers give her the opportunity to make everyday decisions, but more often than not she’ll stare at them blankly.”
It is rumored that her dementia is so advanced that she didn’t recognize Whoopi Goldberg. So, it is very possible that Walters might have been told about Philbin’s death, but she simply didn’t know who they were talking about.
“There is a chance that Barbara doesn’t know about the passing of Regis,” a source told OK!
“A lot of her old-friends and people she once saw every day have been pushed out of Barbara's life. Who she gets to see and what she gets to hear is being controlled by the people around her. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if they have sheltered from the awful news Regis is no longer with us.”