Kelly Ripa marks 15-year anniversary as co-host of 'Live!'

NEW YORK (WABC) -- We're celebrating a milestone for Kelly Ripa, who just marked her 15th anniversary as co-host of "Live!"

Friends and family gathered to pay tribute to the star, who achieved a feat that's rare in the fickle world of TV.

"It doesn't seem like 15 years," she said. "It seems much shorter than that."

The length and the breadth of Ripa's time on "Live!" became clear as the hour progressed -- the look back punctuated by congratulations from celebrities who dropped by in-person or sent messages on tape. Cher even called in from her bed.

But even more moving than the famous shout-outs were the tributes from co-workers. Co-host Michael Strahan expressed the sentiments of so many.

"I don't think I could see anything, because I was crying at that point," she said. "So it was like through tears."

Tears flowed too, alongside husband Mark Consuelos, as they watched their kids grow-up on this show, with Kelly's parents in the audience.

"It means a lot," Ripa said. "My dad, he wasn't well last week, so I was just very happy to see them both here and looking great."

Alongside them was Yankees great Willie Randolph and his wife, as well as one of her favorites, rocker Bryan Adams.

It was all about Kelly, a point underscored by the head of "Live's" parent company when Disney chairman Bob Iger honored her with a statue of Tinkerbell.

The last word on her anniversary belonged to Kelly.

"It's an honor I don't take for granted, even for a second," she said. "So thank you so much for being here." null
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