Most couples would want to keep their relationship as drama-free as possible, but Kelly Ripa and Mark Consuelos can thank a soap opera for bringing them together. The golden couple has been together for 24 years and with three kids and a Las Vegas wedding in their love story, you know it's anything but ordinary.
All My Children producers went looking for an actor to play Ripa's character Hayley Vaughan's husband.
"I auditioned him," Ripa said during an August 2018 interview on SiriusXM's Radio Andy. "They'd been looking for this character for some time […] They didn't want a dark-haired guy, they wanted a Latino actor. So, I had auditioned every Latino actor in the city and around the city and then California."
When the casting director showed Ripa a photo of Conseulos, she says she fell in love right then and there.
"At that point, I was not a hopeless romantic. I never thought about getting married, it never occurred to me that I would grow old with someone," Ripa added. 'When I saw him, the photograph of him, I saw my entire future with him flash [my eyes]. Like, I saw it. I [didn’t] believe in any of that and now I do because of that moment."
Consuelos snagged the role of Mateo Santos and together, the couple was on All My Children until 2001.
"I thought she was adorable, hot and sexy and all that stuff," Consuelos told HuffPo Live of his first impressions. "But I was very focused — I didn't really think I had a chance with her, so I wasn’t really focused on that."
Ripa and Consuelos's red carpet debut was at the Soap Opera Digest Awards on Valentine's Day.
It didn't take long for Conseulos to pop the question. He proposed to Ripa over pizza and wine.
"I said, 'Ask me when you're serious,'" Ripa said on Live With Kelly and Ryan back on the couple's 20th anniversary. "And he said, 'I am serious. Let's go to Vegas tomorrow and get married.'" They did just that on May 1, 1996. An Elvis impersonator officiated the wedding.
"I didn't buy it as a wedding dress. I just bought it because it was really pretty, and I wanted to buy something from the Barney's Warehouse sale," she said of the $199 dress.
"Listen, I've got to tell you, [Mark and I] had a Vegas wedding, and I firmly believe in the power of Vegas weddings," Ripa told co-host Ryan Seacrest in May 2019. E! News notes that the impromptu was followed by a romantic honeymoon in Rome and Capri.
Michael Consuelos, the couple's first son, arrives on June 2, 1997. Riverdale fans may recognize him, since he played a younger version of his dad's character, Hiram Lodge.
On June 16, 2000, their on-screen characters got married.
Ripa gets her first chance to co-host Live alongside Regis Philbin. She officially gets the gig in February 2001.
Lola Consuelos, the couple's second child and first daughter, is born on June 16, 2001. Ripa said that Barry Manilow's "Copacabana" inspired the name. The song was playing in the taxi that the parents took on their way to the hospital. After the lyrics said, "Her name was Lola," both Consuelos and Ripa decided "Lola" would be their daughter's name.
The couple's third child, Joaquin Consuelos, arrives.
Consuelos appeared on 10 episodes of Hope & Faith, Ripa's ABC sitcom. In addition to working together, the couple also founded a production company, Milojo, which is an homage to their three kids.
"It's funny, we were talking about it last night with our kids. You know, we've been working together since '94, so almost 21 years in close capacity, and I think at the end of the day we really, really get each other," Consuelos told E! in 2015.
Ripa received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Naturally, Conseulos and the whole family were there to celebrate with her.
"It all began with All My Children," Ripa said at the unveiling. "All My Children is where I met the man that I've been married to for almost 20 years, the love of my life, the man who taught me how to be a person — really, a real person — and we have three of the most beautiful children, that I'm so proud of, on the planet."
Ripa also opened up about her marriage, telling AOL that it takes work.
"There's going to be times where you look at each other like 'I can't believe I live with you,'" she said. "But open communication and strong listening skills can help carry you through hard times. That's what you want in life, to have a good companion, somebody that loves you, that listens to you and is your equal in every way."
Consuelos was a frequent co-host on Live With Kelly as the show looked for a replacement for Michael Strahan. According to the Hollywood Reporter, Consuelos was being seriously considered for the co-hosting job, alongside Anderson Cooper, Andy Cohen, and Jerry O'Connell. Ryan Seacrest ended up getting the gig in May 2017.
Ripa teased an appearance on Riverdale, playing Hiram Lodge's mistress. It aired on January 30, 2019.
Consuelos told Us Weekly that the show's creator actually approached him about casting his wife. "[Riverdale creator] Roberto [Aguirre-Sacasa] called me and said, 'Hey, I've got a question to ask you. Do you think she'd want to do it?' And I said, 'You know, yeah. Give her a call!' They spoke and they figured it out," Consuelos said. "Roberto's awesome, man. No one knows this world better than him. He just made it happen. I definitely did not ask for him to do that. I think he thought it would be so much fun."
"I'm crazy about her," Consuelos told Us when the episode premiered. "She's an extremely patient and tolerant woman, and I think that’s the true secret to our marriage."
The two attend the 2020 Academy Awards awards together.
The couple opened up about their sex life during the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent quarantine. During an appearance on Radio Andy's Quarantined With Bruce, they brought up the various struggles that came with having the whole family back together again.
"We found each other at the right time in our lives, we were really young," Ripa said. "We learned each other well. And with that comes a certain level of comfort and confidence and experimentation. We have fun. We enjoy [each other]."
Consuelos noted, "You check off all the boxes for me."
The couple celebrated 24 years of marriage. That's a long time by Hollywood standards and normal ones, too. It was so long, in fact, that neither of them remembered just how long they'd been together.
"I thought it was 26 [years]; she thought it was 23," Consuelos said during an episode of Live. "It takes the pressure off having to get a present."
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