Kelly was Born::
... on October 2, 1970, in Stratford, N.J., and shares an Irish and Italian heritage with her co-host, Regis Philbin. She is the oldest daughter (of two) to Joe and Esther Ripa.
Growing up with Kelly:
The acting bug bit Kelly while she was a high school student. She took parts in school plays and followed those with appearances in local theater before landing a spot on the now-defunct Dance Party US. on the USA Network.
Kelly's First Job:
Kelly's Dance Party experience caught the eye of soap opera producers, and the then 20-year-old actress was cast as teenager Hayley Vaughan on All My Children.
The Early Years:
Kelly continued work on All My Children, and her character grew more and more popular. A fictional romance turned into a real romance with co-star Mark Consuelos, and the two were married in 1996. Today they have two children.
Becoming a Talk Show Host:
In 2000, Ripa was one of several co-hosts to lend Regis a hand after Kathie Lee Gifford retired from the program. Her spunk, self-deprecating wit and spontaneity (and, to some degree, being the complete opposite of Kathie Lee Gifford), landed her the co-host role permanently.
And after co-host Regis Philbin's departure on Nov. 18, 2011, Ripa became the lead host of what is now titled Live with Kelly.
Key Moment in Her Career:
Winning audiences over with her New Jersey girl next door attitude. Without question, her comfort in front of the camera and her willingness to make fun of herself has fueled an ever-growing fan base. It's what landed her in the co-host chair next to Regis and sparked ABC to cast her in the family-friendly sit-com Hope & Faith. On the show, she played a former soap opera star/diva whose come home to live with her sister. Almost like Kelly Ripa's Evil Twin. The show was cancelled in 2006.
What Does the Future Hold?:
Ripa's bound to be a television staple. Her ability to win audiences over and connect with guests and fans alike will assuredly keep Kelly on our television screens for years to come -- both as an actress and a talk show host. No doubt when Regis retires, the show with go on as Live with Kelly and Co-Host To Be Determined -- if she doesn't get a show of her own.
And Just for Fun:
- Kelly was performing in her high school play, "The Ugly Duckling," when she was scouted by her current manager, who encouraged her to pursue acting.
- Often chooses to host episodes barefoot.
- Ranked as #85 in FHM magazine's "100 Sexiest Women in the World 2005".
- Regularly lends her voice to animation, including Batman, Kim Possible and the animated Fly Me to the Moon.