“I had a really a bad weekend this weekend,” Ripa said. “A very dear friend of mine for many, many years, almost 30 years, passed away over the weekend.”
She continued, “He was a great actor, a really good friend, one of the funniest people I’ve ever met. He was the ex-husband of my first-born son’s godmother, Eva LaRue. His name was John Callahan. He was 66 years old — way too young to be taken from us.”
Callahan was survived by LaRue and their daughter, Kaya.
“A gentleman of, I mean, Ryan [Seacrest], you two would have loved each other,” Ripa told co-host Seacrest, 45.
She continued: “He would say the funniest things and we were all going through our brains about all of the funny, like the funny Callahan-isms over the years. He was just one of these guys and, you know, and he just died way too soon.”
Ripa went on, “His daughter and my daughter are good friends, they’re the same age, and I just want everyone to know, Eva and Kaya, that we are thinking of you and we are just so sad and so devastated. So, I apologize in advance if I seem out of it. I really actually am, I’m terribly out of it. You know, forgive me for it.”
Doctors said Callahan’s death wasn’t related to coronavirus but the family revealed that because of current regulations in place at hospitals around the country, Kaya and LaRue had “limited time” with the actor before they left the facility.
“We are extremely sadden (sic) and distraught over the loss of John. He was my great friend, co-parent and amazing father to Kaya. The absence of his bigger than life, gregarious personality will leave a hole in our hearts forever,” LaRue said in a statement. “Words cannot express the shock and devastation we are feeling at this time. The Yankees just lost one of their greatest fans.”
Callahan and LaRue got married in 1996 and split in 2004.
Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., in 1953, Callahan landed his first television role in 1982 as a reporter in an episode of “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers,” Deadline reported. In 1986, the actor secured a recurring role on “Falcon Crest,” on which he appeared for two years.
The actor was best known for his portrayal as Edmund Grey on “All My Children,” which began in 1992. He also appeared on “Days of Our Lives,” “The Bay,” “General Hospital” and “Desperate Housewives,” among other television dramas.
Fox News’ Melissa Roberto contributed to this report.