Kelly Ripa has been a near-constant presence on our television screens for over 30 years. Even so, it’s easy to forget just how far she’s come. So, from the star’s early days on All My Children right up to her starring role on Live! with Kelly and Ryan, let’s take a look back at the many highlights of Ripa’s life and career. We think you’ll agree: she has changed quite a bit over the years!
Ripa’s early life – 1970s
Ripa began life in Stratford, New Jersey, in October 1970. The future star’s mother was a stay-at-home mom, while her dad worked as a bus driver and the president of a labor union. In 2015 she shared this flashback picture on Instagram in a mother’s day tribute. And in case you couldn’t tell, Ripa is the one rocking the pigtails!
Dancin’ On Air – 1986
While her upbringing was fairly conventional, Ripa had her heart set on the stage from an early age. According to The Things, she started ballet at just three years old and appeared in Dancin’ On Air – later Dance Party USA – aged 19. Take a look at this early still: clearly, the youngster took this first taste of show business in her stride!
Ripa joins All My Children – 1990
Biography.com notes that Ripa studied at New Jersey’s Camden Community College, where she starred in small theater productions. But her career was destined for bigger things, and she picked up a role on the long-running ABC soap All My Children in 1990. Ripa would play the punky Hayley Vaughan – later Santos – who arrived in Pine Valley to crash with her uncle and aunt, Trevor and Natalie Dillon.
Daytime Emmy Awards – 1993
It’s fair to say that All My Children made Kelly a star. In 1993 she was nominated for a Daytime Emmy Award in the Best Supporting Actress category. While Kelly entered the soap as somewhat of a goth girl, in real life she epitomized the blonde bombshell look. And you can see that style here as the star is dressed in a daring thigh-slit gown on the Emmy red carpet.
The Soap Opera Digest Awards – 1993
In 1993 Ripa took home the prize for Outstanding Younger Leading Actress at the Soap Opera Digest Awards. Now a regular at TV award shows, it was clear the talent’s star was also rising off-screen, too. And in keeping with the glitzy occasion, she wowed on the red carpet in this sparkly, form-fitting number.
Mark Consuelos joins All My Children – 1995
Fate intervened in Ripa’s romantic life in 1995 when Mark Consuelos auditioned for the role of Hayley’s husband in All My Children. The actress was apparently involved in the casting process for the character. And Kelly later revealed that she knew that Consuelos was the man for her as soon as she saw his photograph!
Ripa and Consuelos’ first screen test together – 1995
Ripa recalled the moment she first saw a picture of Consuelos on an episode of the Radio Andy podcast in 2018. She explained, “When I saw him, the photograph of him, I saw my entire future with him flash before [my eyes]. And I don’t believe in any of that, and now I do because of that moment.”
Soap Opera Digest Awards – 1996
Given Ripa’s strong feelings towards Consuelos, it didn’t take long for romance to blossom between the pair in real life. Here, you can see them cozying up at the Soap Opera Digest Awards in 1996. Ripa’s bombshell style is on full display in a slinky red dress, while Consuelos looks dapper in a collarless black suit.
Ripa and Consuelos’ wedding – 1996
Ripa and Consuelos decided to elope after a year-long romance. But who popped the question? Well, in a 2018 episode of Live with Kelly and Ryan, the actress-turned-TV-host revealed that her husband had proposed over wine and pizza! She explained, “I said, ‘Ask me when you’re serious.’ And he said, ‘I am serious. Let’s go to Vegas tomorrow and get married.’”
Ripa and Consuelos welcome their first child – 1997
After just over a year of marriage, Ripa gave birth to her and Consuelos’ first child Michael Joseph in June 1997. He would then be joined by sister Lola in 2001 and brother Joaquin two years later. Throughout Ripa’s career, she has spoken openly about family life and is not afraid of embarrassing her kids! In fact, when the star posted this snap to Instagram in 2017, she wrote, “Fun fact: one of us is pooping their pants in this photo.”
Hayley and Mateo tie the knot – 2000
Ripa and Consuelos had been enjoying their marital bliss for years before their characters ultimately tied the knot on All My Children. Hayley and Mateo headed down the aisle in 2000 in what was to be a fairytale wedding. The nuptials marked the beginning of a happy ending for the fictional couple, who would go on to become parents in real life when they welcomed son Lorenzo together!
Daytime Emmy Awards – 2000
Stepping into a new decade, Ripa amped up her red carpet look with this signature noughties look. She wowed onlookers at the 2000 Daytime Emmy Awards – showing off her toned back in a bright pink, rhinestoned number. And the nostalgia doesn’t stop there. That’s because the blonde beauty also sported a crimped hair-do, which became a style synonymous with the decade.
Live! with Regis and Kelly – 2001
In 2001 Ripa replaced Kathie Lee Gifford as the co-host of ABC’s morning talk show Live! with Regis and Kelly. The actress’ upbeat attitude and a warm sense of humor counterbalanced her co-star Regis Philbin’s cranky approach to entertainment – making them an unlikely yet popular pairing.
American Cancer Society Fundraiser – 2001
The star looked positively glowing when she attended this fundraiser for the American Cancer Society in 2001. And it’s little surprise given that Ripa was pregnant with her second child at the time! In 2014 she told Women’s Health that having children had motivated the star to take care of her body. She explained, “I need strength and stamina because raising kids is the toughest job there is.”
Daytime Emmy Awards – 2002
Ripa took the meaning of “red” carpet style to new levels in 2002. Yep, she attended that year’s Daytime Emmy Awards wearing the daring hue from head to toe! The slinky gown highlighted her svelte figure, as did the rope belt hanging from her slender hips. Ripa finished the look with a sparkly clutch bag, though the star’s biggest accessory that night was her enormous, gleaming smile.
Ripa leaves All My Children – 2002
For a time, Ripa balanced her new job as a talk show host with the role on All My Children. But in 2002 her character left Pine Valley for California. The decision put Hayley and her husband Mateo at loggerheads, though the couple eventually decided to relocate together.
Working mom – 2003
Since 2003 Ripa has juggled being a working mom with caring for her three children. But in 2015 she told Today.com that she doesn’t always get this right. The host explained, “I always feel like a failure. I don’t know if I’ll ever find balance. It’s human nature. You’re always thinking about what you’re doing or not doing at that time. And sometimes one child needs more attention than the other and that’s just a part of life.”
Ripa joins the cast of Hope & Faith – 2003
In 2003 Ripa began starring in the sitcom Hope & Faith alongside Faith Ford. The pair played chalk-and-cheese sisters who wind up living together when one of them loses their job as a soap opera starlet. Yet the show only ran until 2006 when ABC announced it had been canceled after just three seasons.
The Tonight Show with Jay Leno – 2004
In 2004 Ripa swapped her role from host to guest during an appearance on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. Taking up a spot on the sofa, the TV personality looked at ease in a classic LBD as she opened up to her interviewer. Over the years she’s appeared on a number of talk shows – including those fronted by David Letterman, Jimmy Fallon and Seth Meyers.
City of Hope’s Woman of the Year – 2005
In 2005 Ripa was named as the City of Hope’s Woman of the Year at the Spirit of Life Luncheon in New York City’s Waldorf Astoria. According to the former’s website, the event celebrates those “who exemplify the ideals and values that have guided City of Hope for a century…”
Ripa and Consuelos celebrate 10 years of marriage – 2006
In 2006 Ripa and Consuelos celebrated a decade of marriage, and they marked the occasion in a very special way. Talking on Anna Faris’ Unqualified podcast 12 years later, Ripa revealed that the couple hadn’t exchanged rings at their original nuptials. As a result, Consuelos finally put a ring on it in celebration of their 10-year anniversary!
Ripa and Consuelos launch Milojo – 2007
Ripa and Consuelos launched their own production company – Milojo – in 2007. The business got off to a flying start, and its opening project was the ESPN documentary The Streak. The feature premiered in 2008 at the Tribeca Film Festival and went on to gain an Emmy nomination. Not too shabby for a first effort, right?
Met Gala – 2007
In 2007 Ripa received one of the hottest invites in the New York social calendar when she attended the Met Gala. That year’s event was in celebration of the “Poiret: King of Fashion” exhibition, which honored Paul Poiret. And in a nod to the esteemed designer, the blonde beauty rocked a simple, unstructured statement dress.
Ripa returns to All My Children – 2010
In celebration of the soap’s 40th birthday, Ripa and Consuelos made a brief, two-episode return to All My Children in 2010. The comeback saw her character Hayley reconnect with old friends in Pine Valley. She had returned to make a documentary about the locale which had been recognized as “The Best Town In America.”
Philbin’s final Live! with Regis & Kelly show – 2011
In January 2011 Ripa’s co-host Philbin announced he was retiring. His final Live! show aired in November of that year, after which Ripa fronted it under her own name but with a series of guest hosts. This period was successful for the show, which won its first Emmy in 2012.
Michael Strahan joins Ripa on Live! – 2012
Following a slew of guest hosts, it was decided that retired football star Michael Strahan would join Ripa as her Live! co-host. Naturally, the pair were all smiles at the series’ launch. Though their apparent frosty relationship came to a tumultuous end in 2016 when Strahan announced he was leaving the show for Good Morning America.
TV Land Awards – 2012
Ripa brought the fun to the 10th Annual TV Land Awards in 2012 and underwent a number of outfit changes throughout the event. In the show’s opening segment, she emulated a number of TV icons – including Daisy Duke and Wonder Woman – before settling on a skin-tight Catwoman costume. After landing on the look, Ripa joked that it was “purrrrfect.” And we couldn’t help but agree!
CNN Heroes – 2013
Ripa’s skin looked dewy as she attended the CNN Heroes event at the American Museum of Natural History in 2013. Though how does she maintain that youthful look? Well, that year the star told Elle that she used botox every “seven or so months.” She explained, “I feel like it makes my makeup artist’s life easier, and it makes my eyes look a little more open on TV, which is where I happen to work right now.”
Hollywood Walk of Fame – 2015
Did you know that Ripa was honored with her very own star on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame in 2015? Yes, at her side for the unveiling was her husband Consuelos and their three children. Celebrating the occasion with a post on Instagram, the proud recipient wrote, “The official star. Thank you to everyone for this extraordinary honor.”
Ryan Seacrest joins Live! – 2017
Ryan Seacrest stepped in as Strahan’s full-time replacement a year after the latter’s acrimonious departure. And in 2017 Ripa addressed her co-host’s appointment in an interview with The New York Times. She said, “Ryan Seacrest – who is a seamless broadcaster and a kind human being – is the one who can take this show into the future.”
Vanity Fair Oscar Party – 2017
Ripa dared to bare with her outfit choice at this post-Oscars bash in 2017. She paired a classic tuxedo with a flesh-flashing lacy top that left little to the imagination! The star has credited her toned figure on the alkaline diet she follows, which involves upping your veggie consumption and ditching acidic food like red meat and sugar.
New Jersey Hall Of Fame – 2017
When Ripa was inducted into the New Jersey Hall of Fame in 2017, director of the Hall of Fame Foundation Steve Edwards said of her, “She is, to me, a quintessential Jersey girl. [Ripa has] reached the pinnacle of her profession and is known not just nationally but internationally. Still, she hasn’t forgotten her roots. She talks on-air about how much she loves the state. If anyone should be inducted, it’s someone like that.”
Ripa and Consuelos celebrate their 22nd anniversary with a honeymoon throwback – 2018
Consuelos marked his wedding anniversary with Ripa in 2018 by reminiscing about their honeymoon on the Italian island of Capri. Sharing an image of the newlyweds, the actor wrote, “Happy 22nd anniversary, Boo. [It] seems like yesterday to me, I’m sure it feels a lot longer to you.” He added, “Honeymoon photo [from] Capri, Italy… we’re still banned from that hotel… it was worth it.”
Oscars – 2019
Ripa and Consuelos were the picture of happiness as they walked the red carpet together at the 2019 Academy Awards. That year, Consuelos gushed over his wife in an interview with Us Weekly. He said, “I’m crazy about her. She’s an extremely patient and tolerant woman, and I think that’s the true secret to our marriage.”
CNN Heroes Gala – 2019
Ripa normally favors Consuelos as her red carpet date, but she was actually accompanied to the 2019 CNN Heroes Gala by her daughter Lola. By that point, the latter had left home to study at New York University. Though she seemed happy to support her mother’s hosting duties at the annual TV special.
Sarah Michelle Gellar throwback – 2019
Sarah Michelle Gellar took us on a walk down memory lane back in 2019 when she shared this throwback snap of her and Ripa on Instagram. The pair have been friends since appearing on All My Children together in the 1990s. And while neither of them appears to have aged a day, they weren’t fans of their former look! Ripa remarked on the social media platform, “Did I ever have a good hair day?”
Ripa and Consuelos reunite on TV – 2019
In January 2019 Ripa appeared alongside Consuelos on Riverdale, in which she starred as her husband’s character’s mistress. She confirmed the news in an Instagram post in November 2018. Alongside an image of her brandishing what looked like a whip, the actress wrote, “It’s a family affair… Hiram’s mistress. Twenty-three years of auditioning for a role I was born to play.”
Thanksgiving – 2019
Ripa and her brood squeezed in for a family photo on Thanksgiving 2019. She then opened up about her experiences as a parent a year later in an interview with People magazine. The star revealed, “As you get older and you learn more, that youngest kid hopefully benefits from a little bit more wisdom – and hopefully fewer nerves.”
Academy Awards – 2020
Ripa and Consuelos put on a very public display of affection when they walked the red carpet together at the Oscars in 2020. Revealing the secret of their marriage, that year Ripa told Yahoo Entertainment, “Relationships, marriages are not sprints, it’s a marathon.” She added that, while they may have disagreements, “There’s really nothing that’s that insurmountable…”
Ripa turns 50 – 2020
In October 2020 Ripa marked a milestone birthday when she turned 50. So, how did she celebrate the occasion? Well, the star appeared on Live with Kelly and Ryan and received messages from her husband, kids, and Oprah Winfrey on-air. The latter even invited Ripa to her Santa Barbara home, where she promised they would “raise a glass to [her] 50th birthday.”