American actress, dancer, talk show host, and television producer. Ripa portrayed Hayley Vaughan on the ABC daytime soap opera, All My Children, between 1990 and 2002. In 2014, The Hollywood Reporter named her one of the Most Powerful People in Media. Kelly Maria 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 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. 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! Regis and Kathie Lee, Regis Philbin began holding on-air auditions to find her replacement.
There was one guest we’d had on with us a few years before who had . 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! On the day of Ripa’s initial Live! Char Margolis was among the guests. During this segment, Margolis guessed that Ripa was pregnant with her second child.