- Kelly Ripa found fame on the soap opera ‘All My Children’ in the 1990s.
- The actress won the coveted role of ‘Live’ co-host in 2001, taking over for Kathie Lee Gifford.
- After Kelly’s co-host Regis Philbin retired in 2011, she worked alongside Michael Strahan and then Ryan Seacrest.
- Kelly began co-hosting her show with her husband, Mark Consuelos, on Apr. 17, 2023.
Kelly Ripa, 52, has been waking up with America and making them smile on Live for over 20 years! The New Jersey native, born in October 1970, parlayed an incredible acting career into the morning talk show hosting gig, and eventually claimed the title of one of the “most powerful people in media,” per The Hollywood Reporter. Kudos to Kelly for playing Hayley Vaughan on All My Children and receiving producer credits on the #1 syndicated morning talk show!
In February 2023, Kelly’s co-host on Live with Kelly and Ryan, Ryan Seacrest, announced he would be leaving the job. “Working alongside Kelly over the past six years has been a dream job and one of the highlights of my career,” Ryan said on the show. “She has been an amazing partner, friend, and confidant, and although we will always be a part of each other’s lives, I will miss our mornings together.”
Kelly and Ryan said goodbye to each other on Ryan’s final episode on Friday, April 14. “This has, without question, been the fastest six years of my life,” Kelly said to Ryan, as she got teary-eyed. “Although you and I have been friends for decades and decades, I feel like I’ve gained, through this process, a younger brother slash oldest son. That’s how I feel about you. I’m so grateful that our success together on this show has led to us developing an even closer, yet also co-dependent relationship.” Kelly also told Ryan, “From the bottom of my heart, from the bottom of all of our hearts, we just want to thank you for being wonderful. For being an original, authentic addition to this show. You are forever our family. We will never say goodbye to you. We will only say see you soon. And I love you!”
Kelly’s husband of 27 years, Mark Consuelos, whom she met on All My Children, was announced as Ryan’s replacement and has now joined the show full-time as her co-host. The show has been retitled Live with Kelly & Mark, and he made his debut on Apr. 17, 2023. With the big shakeup on the show, fans want to know more about Kelly’s future on it. Keep reading to find out everything she’s said about her exiting Live, below.
Kelly Ripa Joined ‘Live’ In 2001
In the midst of her successful stint on All My Children, Kelly auditioned to be the Live co-host with Regis Philbin after the departure of his longtime co-host Kathie Lee Gifford. “There was one guest we’d had on with us a few years before who had [a certain sparkle],” Regis wrote of Kelly in his memoir How I Got This Way. “Hers was a natural, quick-witted, unaffected, confident, fun-loving kind of sparkle that both [Live producer Michael Gelman] and I remembered very well.”
With such a glowing review, Kelly was announced as the official replacement on February 5, 2001. Within months the morning talk show was renamed Live! with Regis and Kelly.
However, her early days were no walk in the park. “I always go back to this a really long time ago, and it was one of these dark times at work where the job was riddled with insecurity,” she recalled to People in Oct. 2022. “There was a lot of insecurity for all of us, not just myself. I was really contemplating whether or not I should leave the job, and it was a constant drumbeat.”
Kelly Ripa’s ‘Live’ Co-Hosts Through The Years
When Kelly first started, she had big shoes to fill with Kathie Lee’s exit. However, she fit in very well alongside Regis, up until he retired in 2011, which left a huge seat to fill. A rotating lineup of co-hosts auditioned on-air, including Nick Lachey, Neil Patrick Harris, and Jerry O’Connell. However, former NFL player Michael Strahan won the role.
After Michael left abruptly and moved to Good Morning America, American Idol host Ryan took over as Strahan’s permanent replacement in 2017. The pair were a hit. However, Ryan announced he would be leaving the job after six seasons.
Kelly Ripa & Mark Consuelos Hosting Together
At the same time Ryan called it quits, the show announced Kelly’s husband Mark would be taking his place! The adorable couple already have a built-in fan base after they met on All My Children in 1995, married a year later and welcomed three children together: Michael, 25, Lola, 21, and Joaquin, 19. And the Live audience has been introduced to Mark in the past many times over, as he has guest-hosted alongside his wife several times.
“As a fan-favorite guest host for years, Mark is no stranger to the ‘Live’ family,” executive producer Michael Gelman said in a statement. “Having him join the show is so special for us and we’re sure that viewers will feel the same.” The show will be rebranded Live With Kelly and Mark.
Is Kelly Ripa Leaving ‘Live’?
With Ryan’s exit, fans want to know if Kelly has plans to follow him out the door. With her husband being Ryan’s replacement, it looks like Kelly might be in the seat a little while longer, but she has previously hinted at when she might quit. “Oh, gosh! I think about it all the time,” she dished to Extra in September 2022. “I’ve been quiet quitting for at least 10 years, maybe 15,” she added.
Kelly even suggested when she might introduce a new host to take over. “I do believe in shepherding in somebody new,” she said to the outlet. “I would like to — in the not-too-distant future — see that somebody gets to ingratiate themselves into our audiences’ life.”
She shared the same sentiment during a chat with Variety that was published on March 28, 2023. “I don’t want to put a timeline on it, but I do believe there is a great opportunity to get two younger people and start training them, because I like seamless transitions,” she noted. “However long it takes to get two people up and ready is how long we’ll be there.”
Most recently, Kelly delivered a similar sentiment once more during an interview with Entertainment Weekly on Apr. 16. When asked if she is ready to retire for good, the blonde beauty made it clear that it is on her mind. “It’s so funny. Every time you get a new cohost, it’s like a little jolt of energy. But to be clear, I am always thinking about retiring. It is my favorite topic of discussion,” she said amid her husband’s debut on the show. Despite this, she did explain that Mark coming in as her new co-host adds a reason for her to stay longer. “A daily morning live talk show is nothing without its consistency and continuity. And Mark provides that, not just for our audience, but for me, for our producers. And so if anybody could make me stay, it is definitely Mark,” Kelly added.
Kelly also continued to explain that she eventually sees a “future” of the show without her. “But make no mistake, I do see a vision of the show without me. I am not one of these people that is like, ‘The show can’t go on without me.’ I am a fan of Live since before I got there,” she said. “It is a franchise show; I don’t believe the show begins and ends with any one host — I think it’s collaborative.” When asked if she would want to break the 31 year record for having a show, Kelly professed, “I do not.”
Kelly Almost Quit ‘Live’
The TV host and actress admitted in the same profile that she once almost quit ‘Live’ — until ABC coughed up more money. “I don’t think they wanted to pay me. I think they had to pay me,” she told Variety. “I was trying to walk out the door and close it behind me. And I think they really figured out rapidly that they had screwed up in a major way, and it was not a good look. I think that was really the impetus behind paying me fairly. They had no choice.”
She also admitted that her ignorance helped her through some of the hardest times as a Live co-host, namely when Michael left the show abruptly without warning her that he was seeking new deals. “It was very tough,” she recalled. “Had I known how difficult it would have been, I don’t know that I would have gone for it. I just think my ignorance in that situation wound up being my blessing and my superpower. I did not have an easy time.”Click to Subscribe to Get Our Free HollywoodLife Daily Newsletter to get the hottest celeb news.