Kelly Ripa’s Relationship with Regis Philbin was ‘Complicated’

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For Kelly Ripa, starring in the wildly popular Live with Regis and Kelly wasn’t always a barrel of laughs.

“There were good and bad days,” she told People.

Ripa, 51, co-hosted the program next to Regis Philbin from 2001-11. Philbin died in 2020 at the age of 88.

Ripa spoke about their relationship while promoting her new book, Live Wire: Long-Winded Short Stories, admitting her time next to Philbin could be a challenge.

“I don’t want to feel like I’m slamming anyone or that I’m being disrespectful. But I also want people to know it was not a cakewalk,” she told People. “It took years to earn my place there and earn things that are routinely given to the men I worked with. Including an office and a place to put my computer.”

In other words, show business may not exactly be a walk in the park.

Kelly Ripa Details Complicated Relationship w/ Regis Philbin

“The biggest misconception is that it all came easily. People think I just showed up one day and was handed a job, and I lived happily ever after, and now everything’s perfect,” Ripa said. “But it never is that way.”

Ripa replaced Kathie Lee Gifford, who co-hosted with Philbin on Live with Regis and Kathy Lee from 1985-2001. It became nationally syndicated in 1988. Once Gifford left the show, several replacement co-hosts were brought in on a trial basis. Ripa, of course, was among them, eventually winning the job.

She began as a newscaster, then moved into a role on the variety show Dance Party USA. She then portrayed Harley Vaughan on the popular soap All My Children.

Then came the guest co-hosting spot with Philbin, a spot that she won. But something was made clear once she was offered the job.

“They want you to know who your boss is,” she said, referring to Philbin. “It was very ominous, and it did not feel good.”

Nonetheless, she survived, and today continues to host alongside Ryan Seacrest.

But getting to where she is today? According to Ripa, it wasn’t always easy.

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