Kelly Ripa and Regis Philbin cohosted Live With Regis and Kelly together for a decade, but their relationship off camera wasn’t the same as it appeared in front of the camera.
The actress was starring on All My Children when she was tapped to replace Kathie Lee Gifford as Philbin’s cohost on the morning talk show. She got the gig after a memorable appearance as a guest host in 2000 — when a psychic named Char Margolis revealed she was pregnant on air.
“I haven’t told my boss yet!” Ripa admitted at the time.
During her 10th anniversary special in 2011, the Hope & Faith alum credited Margolis for why she got the job. “Char, of course, is the reason that I got my job here, I’m convinced. I really am convinced that you’re the reason I wound up getting this job,” she said.
Philbin shared a similar sentiment in his 2011 book.
“In the end, it could only be Kelly,” he wrote. “We kind of knew that from her memorable debut onward. She was the right choice and really the only choice.”
After more than 20 years on Live, the former Who Wants to Be a Millionaire host left in 2011. Five years later, he made waves for his appearance on Larry King Live, revealing he and Ripa were no longer in touch — and alleging that he was never asked to appear on the talk show again.
“Never once did they ask me to go back,” Philbin claimed about Live in 2017. “[Kelly] got very offended when I left. She thought I was leaving because of her. I was leaving because I was getting older and that wasn’t right for me anymore.”
WABC President Dave Davis responded to Philbin’s comments at the time: “It was wonderful to have Regis on the show for our 2015 Halloween special. He’s also been invited back several times as a guest and, in fact, was confirmed for a date but was not able to make it at the time.”
Ripa stayed mum about her former cohost’s remarks for years but was asked about the drama while promoting her memoir, Live Wire: Long-Winded Short Stories, in September 2022. “I was steadfast in my attempt at communication. You can’t make a person befriend you,” she told People.
She also opened up about the early days of Live in her book.
“I want people to understand that joining Live, from my perspective, was a terrifying venture,” Ripa told Haute Living in September 2022. “It was entering into a work environment that I did not understand. I think had I gone in there now, I would have been fully equipped to handle it, but back then, I was not equipped in any sense of the word. And therefore, I did not protect myself the way I probably should have. It was a different time, back then. It was a tabloid, journalistic, free-for-all, and there were systems in place there for a long time at the talk show that were not necessarily there to protect me.”
Scroll through for a complete timeline of their ups and downs: