Kelly Ripa has spent 22 years as the host of a single daytime talk show, now earning a salary in the range of $20 million a year.

She not only got movie-star rich as the co-host of “Live!”;

she’s part of TV history, in a league of legends — Regis Philbin, Phil Donahue,

Jerry Springer and Oprah Winfrey — who changed TV as they greeted millions of stay-at-home moms and dads each day.

Following in Winfrey’s footsteps wasn’t a path that the actress born and raised in New Jersey dreamed for herself.

When Ripa joined Philbin on “Live!” in February 2001, after a fierce nationwide search to replace Kathie Lee Gifford,