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Born in Stratford, New Jersey in 1970, Ripa initially studied psychology at Camden County College before leaving for New York to pursue an acting career. Then, in 1990, she was cast as party girl Hayley Vaughan on the television soap opera All My Children. During her 12 years on that series, Ripa also appeared in the 1994 Seinfield episode “The Stand In,” 1996’s film drama Marvin’s Room and the TV movie Someone to Love in 2001.

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