Kelly was Born on October 2, 1970, in Stratford, N.J., and shares an Irish and Italian heritage with her co-host, Regis Philbin. She is the oldest daughter (of two) to Joe and Esther Ripa.
The acting bug bit Kelly while she was a high school student. She took parts in school plays and followed those with appearances in local theater before landing a spot on the now-defunct Dance Party US. on the USA Network.