Party of five! After meeting on the set of All My Children, Kelly Ripa and Mark Consuelos soon found a real-life romance and began to grow their family.
The Live With Kelly and Ryan host and the Riverdale alum wed in 1996, and eldest son Michael was born one year later. Daughter Lola and son Joaquin followed in 2001 and 2003, respectively.
“We wound up giving Joaquin Michael’s name. Michael was supposed to be Joaquin,” Ripa recalled during a January 2022 episode of her eponymous talk show. “Michael was named after Mark’s two grandfathers who passed away right before he was born, so that’s how we came up with his name. Joaquin, we knew we were naming him Joaquin.”
While it was relatively easy to choose monikers for their boys, the couple took a little more time to fine-tune their selection for their daughter.
“Lola was supposed to be Sophia, but on the way to the hospital in the taxi, the driver was listening to the radio — the ‘70s station — and ‘Copacabana’ by Barry Manilow was playing,” Ripa added during her ABC talk show. “I heard that [lyric] when he said, ‘Her name was Lola,’ and I said to Mark, ‘Lola Consuelos would be a really cool name.’ And he said, ‘If she’s a girl, let’s name her Lola.’ And that was it.”
The former soap stars’ three children have since grown up, attending college away from home and starting their own careers. Michael graduated from New York University in May 2020, studying film, while his younger sister has pursued music at the same institution. Joaquin, for his part, started at the University of Michigan in 2021, where he committed to play wrestling for the school’s collegiate team. Through it all, Ripa and the Kingdom alum have remained proud parents.
“We blinked, unfortunately, and now they are grown adults,” the Generation Gap game show host told Entertainment Tonight in September 2021. “I think that’s really the worst part is that we didn’t slow down in real time to appreciate that aspect of them when they were small, because we were so busy protecting them and making sure they were turning into good people and getting things done on time.”
Ripa also went on to joke that there was one reason she liked having an “empty nest” at home. “I will say the best part is there’s no laundry in our house,” the Daytime Emmy winner teased to ET at the time. “There’s no dishes. There’s like, nothing! Nothing! There’s nothing.”
In February 2023, Us confirmed Ripa and Consuelos would be spending even more time together as the actor is replacing Ryan Seacrest as her new cohost. The show will be rebranded as Live With Kelly and Mark.
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Scroll below to see Ripa and Consuelos’ sweetest family memories with their brood through the years: