Plucked from the stage of a school production of The Ugly Ducking, Kelly Ripa was advised to pursue professional actingand it paid off. After scoring a role on the USA Network’s Dance Party USA, she got her big break on All My Children as the troubled Hayley Vaughan. “What I like about Hayley is that she’s not a quitter. She may sometimes feel like giving up, but I have this sense that she never will,” Ripa said back then. In addition to three Daytime Emmy nominations, Ripa found love on the set when her character was coupled with the sexy Mark Consuelos’ Mateo Santos. In real life, the two dated for a year before secretly eloping in Las Vegas. After 12 years on AMC, Kelly moved on to co-host Live with Regis & Kelly and raise a family that includes kids Michael, Lola, and Joaquin.
Bronwyn Barnes, with reporting by Maggie Chong