Kelly Ripa Lady Q mashup JPI AMC
Credit: Jill Johnson/JPI

“She was like, ‘Hold my beer. I’m gonna go be a star.’”

Though there are fewer and fewer soap operas these days, one of Hollywood’s worst kept secrets is just how many of today’s stars got their first big breaks in daytime. Live With Kelly and Ryan’s Kelly Ripa did, of course. In fact, that’s where she met her husband, Mark Consuelos!

The two played one of All My Children’s most popular couples, Hayley and Mateo, and it wasn’t long before their love bloomed off-screen as well as on. This was also the period when Erica’s rabblerousing teenage daughter Kendall first showed up.

Originally, she was played by Sarah Michelle Gellar — one of Live’s guests on the Monday, January 23 episode — and that was when Ripa revealed a little life advice that she gave her young co-star.

“You know,” she told Seacrest early in the show, “I’m so glad Sarah Michelle Gellar did not listen to me. Because many years ago, when she was on All My Children and leaving, she said, ‘I’m going out to California.’”

At the time, of course, All My Children taped in New York. It wouldn’t be until much closer to its end that it moved out to Los Angeles to join most of the other soaps.

ALL MY CHILDREN - 25th anniversary party - 1/23/95 The cast of the award-winning, top-rated ABC daytime drama ALL MY CHILDREN get together to celebrate 25 successful years on the air. There will be a special, prime-time program scheduled for broadcast in JANUARY, 1995 (Date TBA), on the ABC Television Network. Hosting the special will be long-time ALL MY CHILDREN fan Carol Burnett. Shown, front, left to right: Eileen Herlie, Tommy Michaels, Julia Barr, Pepe (dog), Amir Jamal Williams, Julia Pikus, David Canary, Sean Marquette, Susan Lucci, Ray MacDonnell, Kevin Alexander, Michael E. Knight, James Mitchell; second row, left to right: John Callahan, Eva LaRue, Christopher Lawford, Michael Nader, Cady McClain, Winsor Harmon, Richard Shoberg, Jill Larson; third row, left to right: Lynne Thigpen, William Christian, Grant Aleksander, Kelly Ripa, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Rudolf Martin, Sydney Penny, Ingrid Rogers, Keith Hamilton Cobb; top row, left to right: Margaret Sophie Stein, Kimberly Foster, Felicity La Fortune, James Kiberd, Robin Mattson, Walt Willey, Teresa Blake. Missing: Ruth Warrick, Mary Fickett. (ABC/ROBERT MILAZZO) talent: ALL MY CHILDREN CAST photographer: ROBERT MILAZZO credit: ABC/ROBERT MILAZZO keywords: AMC95, 25th ANNIVERSARY PARTY source: AMERICAN BROADCASTING COMPANIES, INC. cap writer: JY/WW

Bonus points if you can sport Ripa and Gellar in this 1995 cast photo!


“And I said, ‘What?!'” Ripa continued. “‘There’s nothing in California! What are you talking about? You don’t want to go to California as a young star! What do you think? Do you think you’re going to become a star? You’ve got to stay here in New York where the work is! Theatre! Television!’ And she was like, ‘You’re wrong.’”

And so Gellar followed her dreams, against Ripa’s advice. She left All My Children in 1995 after winning a Daytime Emmy for her work as Kendall. By 1997 she’d landed the role of a lifetime as Buffy Summers on the wildly popular Buffy the Vampire Slayer and went on to film success with movies like I Know What You Did Last Summer, Cruel Intentions, and The Grudge.

And now, of course, she got to reunite with Ripa to talk about her new Paramount+ series, Wolf Pack! In other words, as Gellar’s former co-star put it, “I’m so glad that she didn’t listen to me. She did it. She was like, ‘Tut, tut, Kelly. Watch me.’”

Catch up with the rest of the cast of All My Children with our photo gallery of its stars, then and now