One of daytime TV's most recognizable faces has Jersey roots: Kelly Ripa was born on October 2, 1970 in Stratford. She grew up in Berlin and attended Eastern Regional High School in Voorhees where she was a cheerleader and acted in school productions; she attended Camden County Community College while acting in local theater productions, but dropped out to move to New York to pursue acting full time.

In 1990, she got a big break, being cast as Hayley Santos on the soap opera, All My Children. But her biggest break came ten years later; when Kathie Lee Gifford left Live with Regis and Kathie Lee, a nationwide, protracted audition process resulted in Ripa being named her successor.

Kelly Ripa took over full time in 2001, co-hosting with Regis Philbin and the pairing was immediately successful. When Philbin retired in 2011, another lengthy audition process ensued with former New York Giant Michael Strahan picked to fill the seat. In 2016, Strahan announced he was leaving to join Good Morning America; Ripa was said to have not been informed about the departure until the day of the announcement which resulted in a rather tense and awkward final month. Strahan left four months earlier than planned. Strahan’s replacement was the ubiquitous Ryan Seacrest and that is the pairing currently airing as Live with Kelly and Ryan.

She also starred in the sitcom Hope and Faith from 2003-2006. She lives in New York now with her husband, Mark Consuelos and their three children.

The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Bill Doyle. Any opinions expressed are Bill Doyle's own.

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