After mastering marriage, motherhood and daytime television (as a star on All My Children), Kelly Maria Ripa stepped into a new role as co-host of Regis Philbin's popular morning show.
Ripa grew up dazzled by the lights of New York City. The oldest daughter of Joe, a labor union president and a bus driver, and Esther, a homemaker in New Jersey, Ripa and her younger sister, Linda, now a children's book author, began taking ballet and piano lessons at an early age. In her own words, Kelly also states that she is "no Barbara Streisand," but can carry a tune. The family visited Manhattan frequently to see live shows and explore the culture of the big city. The young girl dreamed of the day when she would live in - and make her mark on - the Big Apple. After graduating from high school, Ripa enrolled at Camden County community college. While attending college, she landed parts in local theater productions, including , H.M.S. Pinafore, The Wizard of Oz, and A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court. During the first week of school, Kelly auditioned for ABC's All My Children. Although she was competing against several other actresses with more experience, she won a role on the soap. In 1990, she moved to New York City to play teen wild child, Hayley Vaughan on the hit soap opera. Kelly is the first in her family to enter the acting profession. The television gig was a wonderful experience for Ripa, but it also set the stage for love. In 1996, the actress married her co-star Mark Consuelos; a year later, the couple had their first child, Michael.
While Ripa successfully navigated her career, marriage and motherhood, she couldn't have been prepared for the changes that would occur in the new millennium. After several appearances as a guest host on Philbin's morning show, Ripa was offered the co-host seat that had been vacated by Kathie Lee Gifford. When Ripa accepted the job on February 12, 2001, while she was five months pregnant with her second child, Lola. Ripa kept her job at All My Children and began her career as Philbin's sidekick.
In her first months on the Live with Regis and Kelly, she shared private information about her pregnancy and life with the show's large television audience. They adored her instantly. The program's ratings soared, and the job has catapulted Ripa into national superstardom. Viewers can relate to Ripa because she is a shining example of a contemporary working mother. She holds two jobs, maintains a great relationship with her husband, and is the mother of three young children when Ripa gave birth to her third child, Joaquin.