Ripa on the set of Live! with Regis and Kelly in 2008
|Born||Kelly Maria Ripa
October 2, 1970
Stratford, New Jersey, U.S.
|Spouse(s)||Mark Consuelos (1996–present)|
Ripa first became known for her portrayal of Hayley Vaughan on the ABC daytime soap opera, All My Children, between 1990 and 2002. She is best known as the co-host of the syndicated morning talk show, Live! with Kelly, in various formats since 2001. She also is known for her role as Faith Fairfield on the ABC sitcom, Hope & Faith, from 2003 to 2006. Additionally, Ripa and her husband, Mark Consuelos, own a New York-based production company, Milojo.
Kelly Ripa was born in Stratford, New Jersey, the daughter of Esther, a homemaker, and Joseph Ripa, a labor union president and bus driver. She has a sister, Linda, who is a children's book author. She has three-quarters Italian and one-quarter Irish ancestry. Ripa was raised Roman Catholic. Her father has been the Democratic County Clerk for Camden County, New Jersey, since June 2009. She is the first in her family to enter the acting profession. She has studied ballet since age three, plays the piano, and in her words is "no Barbra Streisand" but can carry a tune.
Ripa graduated from Eastern Regional High School in Voorhees Township, New Jersey, where she became a cheerleader and was later encouraged by her drama teacher to pursue acting. "I owe so much of my career to Jim Beckley," she said. "He thought I was a natural performer and so he gave me the lead in the next show." She starred in local theatre productions and was discovered while performing in The Ugly Duckling during her senior year. She attended Camden County College studying psychology, but dropped out and moved to New York City to become an actress.
Dancin' on Air, Dance Party USA and All My Children
Aside from local TV gigs, Ripa's first national television exposure came in 1986 when she appeared as a regular dancer on Dancin' On Air, leading into Dance Party USA. Her career goal at the time was to be a newscaster and she often did the cast news reports.
Ripa was cast in her first major acting role in 1990 as Hayley Vaughan, a troubled party girl, on All My Children. She concluded her 12-year stint in 2002, but returned for two episodes in 2010 to help celebrate the soap opera's 40th anniversary.
After co-host Kathie Lee Gifford's final show on Live! with Regis and Kathie Lee, Regis Philbin began holding on-air auditions to find her replacement. In his autobiography, How I Got This Way, Philbin says of discovering Ripa:
There was one guest we'd had on with us a few years before who had [a certain sparkle]. Hers was a natural, quick-witted, unaffected, confident, fun-loving kind of sparkle that both Gelman and I remembered very well. We decided to invite her back, this time to consider her as a possible co-host. So that was when this smiling, petite ball of fire named Kelly Ripa made her return to Live! for a test run at the rotating, up-for-grabs hot seat to my left. And my God, who knew what spontaneous combustion we'd make together?
On the day of Ripa's initial Live! with Regis tryout (November 1, 2000), psychic Char Margolis was among the guests. During this segment, Margolis guessed that Ripa was pregnant with her second child. Ripa replied, "I haven't told my boss yet!" Philbin later said that Ripa was first among the potential candidates including Jane Krakowski, Valerie Bertinelli, Dolly Parton, and Bernadette Peters: "[I]t could only be Kelly. We knew that from her memorable debut onward." Ripa was announced as official replacement on February 5, 2001. Within months the renamed Live! with Regis and Kelly's young-audience demographics increased by 80 percent with Ripa credited for bringing "a new life to the show."
The chemistry between Philbin and Ripa (or "Pippa" as he nicknamed her), their banter, interviews, and conversations about their families, personal lives, and New York City attracted a successful, strong, and loyal viewership averaging 6 million viewers daily. In January 2011, Philbin, 80, announced that he would be retiring from Live! at the end of the year. His final show aired Friday, November 18, 2011, during which Ripa tearfully reminisced about her first day, the 43 steps they walked together from her dressing room onto set each day for 11 years, and how those 43 steps changed her life. "Thank you for everything! It's been just great my Pippa," Philbin told her in an embrace. Ripa responded, "Thank you for everything. I love you." "I love you, too," said Philbin.
Ripa replaced Philbin as the head of the show and returned the following Monday, November 21, 2011, to continue the show, which was re-titled Live! with Kelly. In a process similar to the one in which she was selected to replace Gifford, a rotating lineup of co-hosts auditioned on-air with Ripa to take over her former co-hosting duties, including: Michael Strahan, Seth Meyers, Josh Groban, Nick Lachey, Neil Patrick Harris, Chris Harrison, Jerry O'Connell, Joel McHale, Carrie Ann Inaba, Bryant Gumbel, Jerry Seinfeld, Mike Greenberg, Boomer Esiason, Dan Abrams, Martin Short, Howie Mandel, Pat Kiernan, Jesse Palmer, D.L. Hughley, Derek Hough, Sam Champion, Taye Diggs, Ben Mulroney, Kevin Jonas, Randy Jackson, Michael Bublé, Peter Facinelli, Rob Lowe, Dana Carvey, Reggie Bush, and Mario Lopez. In the end, Strahan was announced as the new co-host and Live! with Kelly and Michael premiered September 4, 2012.
Live! won its first Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Talk Show on June 23, 2012.
Hope & Faith
Ripa ventured into primetime in September 2003 on Hope & Faith, playing Faith Fairfield, an unemployed ex-soap star. The half-hour sitcom, co-starring Faith Ford, Ted McGinley, and Megan Fox, gave ABC its best Friday premiere score since 1996. The show ended in May 2006 with Ripa declaring she "never wanted to work that hard again."
Best known for her television work, Ripa also has several feature films to her credit. She appeared in the acclaimed Miramax feature Marvin's Room in 1996 alongside Meryl Streep and Leonardo DiCaprio. In 1999, she won the Best Actress Award at the New York International Independent Film and Video Festival for her work in The Stand-In.
Named among People's Most Intriguing People and one of the Most Powerful People in Media according to The Hollywood Reporter, Ripa serves as a spokesperson for several companies. In the past, she has partnered with Tide, 7 Up, Pantene, and TD Bank, but currently works primarily with Electrolux and Rykä.
Rykä announced Ripa as the spokesperson for the brand's footwear and sporting apparel in 2008. Showcasing her commitment to an active, healthy lifestyle; Ripa oversees the design of her own fitness-inspired active wear line, The Kelly Ripa Collection.
Ripa stars in the Electrolux television and print advertising, and her image is used on point of sale materials and extensively online. Tom Coulman of Electrolux says "Her dynamic personality and on-the-go lifestyle really resonate and create a powerful brand connection."
Ripa is a supporter of the ovarian cancer cause, and has teamed with Electrolux to raise funds for The Ovarian Cancer Research Fund. Every summer, she hosts an event called Super Saturday, a day-long fundraising event. 2011's event raised over $3.5 million for OCRF. Ripa attributes her dedication to the experience of losing a friend to ovarian cancer. In 2001, she appeared on a celebrity version of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?, hosted by Philbin. She won $250,000 for Tomorrow's Children's Fund, a non-profit organization dedicated to speeding the healing of children with cancer and serious blood disorders.
Ripa is also an active participant in Mothers Against Drunk Driving. According to Ripa, her involvement with MADD is motivated by her sister, Linda, who was almost killed by a drunk driver in 1999.
In 2007, Ripa and her husband Mark Consuelos founded Milojo, the highly successful production company, named for their children Michael, Lola, and Joaquin. It began with the Emmy-nominated feature documentary The Streak, which told the story of the Brandon High School wrestling team and its 34-year winning streak. It premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2008. In addition, Milojo launched a first look development deal with Discovery Channel for non-scripted series' including Homemade Millionaire, hosted by Ripa, and the docu-series Masters of Reception. Their next film, Off the Rez, was also accepted to the Tribeca Film Festival and premiered on TLC in May 2011. In 2012, the company premiered its first short film, a collaboration with Will Ferrell's Funny or Die entitled "The Bensonhurst Spelling Bee" featuring Ripa, Consuelos, and their son, Michael. The video went viral and quickly exceeded 1,000,000 views.
Awards and honors
In 2007 and 2012, Ripa hosted the TV Land Awards to very positive reviews. She, herself, is an award winner, garnering five Soap Opera Digest Awards and three Daytime Emmy Award nominations for playing Hayley Vaughan on All My Children.
Ripa was also recognized for her work on the Disney Parks Christmas Day Parade, which she co-hosted from 2001–2009, with the Emmy Award for Outstanding Special Class Special in 2006. She and co-host Regis Philbin have also twice won the Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Talk Show Host for Live! with Regis and Kelly, for which they also received 12 Emmy Award nominations and 4 People's Choice Award nominations. Subsequently, for Live! with Kelly and Michael, She and co-host Michael Strahan won the Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Entertainment Talk Show Host for their work in 2015 and 2016.
In 2008, Cowboy Mouth, a New Orleans, Louisiana-based rock band, honored Ripa by writing a song in tribute, entitled Kelly Ripa, that appeared on their album Fearless. The band performed the song on Live! on March 13, 2008.
On September 15, 2006, Ripa broke the Guinness World Record as twenty-four banana-cream pies were tossed at her mouth in one minute, as part of a Guinness World Record Breaker theme week on Live!. On September 16, 2011, Ripa broke the Guinness World Record for Most Grapes Trodden in 1 Minute, of 5.4 litres, as she extracted 8.4 litres. However, her competitor, Martina Servaty of Germany, extracted even more (8.6 litres), preventing Ripa from holding the new record.
The Broadcast Pioneers inducted Ripa into their Hall of Fame for her tremendous success in the television industry on November 19, 2010 and also honoured her as their Person of the Year.
On October 12, 2015, the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce honored Kelly Ripa with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
In 1995, she met Mark Consuelos, her new co-star on All My Children. The two eloped on May 1, 1996. The couple have three children: Michael Joseph (born June 2, 1997), Lola Grace (born June 16, 2001), and Joaquin Antonio Consuelos (born February 24, 2003).
- Milojo Productions.
- Abramson, Jill; Carr, David; Scott, A.O. (April 16, 2014). "The Hollywood Reporter's 35 Most Powerful People in New York Media 2014". The Hollywood Reporter
- "Kelly Ripa Biography (1970–)". Filmreference.com. Retrieved September 23, 2011.
- "Kelly Ripa's religion and political views The religion and political views of Kelly Ripa". Retrieved 13 June 2016.
- "Italian American ONE VOICE Coalition Says Kelly Ripa is Denigrating Italian Americans". Retrieved 13 June 2016.
- "Kelly Ripa Biography". celebritywonder.com. Retrieved January 2, 2008.
- Kelly Ripa in town to shoot Live with Kelly.
- From All My Children to Regis Philbin.
- Heading to Pine Valley.
- How I Got This Way.
- "A Revealing Audition".
- "'Live' Takes Top Talk Show Honors".
- "Regis Philbin: I'm Going Out a Pretty Proud and Happy Guy".
- Gelman: Moving Forward Day By Day.
- "Tout". Tout. Retrieved 10 March 2016.
- Having Faith.
- Leveraging Spokesperson Kelly Ripa.
- Electrolux and Kelly Ripa team up.
- Giving Back.
- About Milojo.
- 'The Bensonhurst Spelling Bee'.
- Kelly Ripa Hosts 10th Annual TV Land Awards.
- "LIVE! with Regis & Kelly – Guinness World Record-Breaker Week on LIVE!". Dadt.com. Retrieved 2012-04-13.
- Kelly Ripa getting broadcasters' honor.
- "Kelly Ripa". PEOPLE.com. Retrieved 10 March 2016.
- Silverman, Stephen M. "Kelly Ripa: 'All My Children,' Indeed". People.
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