For people who have never watched soap operas the name Susan Lucci and the character she has played for more than 41 years on "All MY Children", Erica Kane, is synonymous with daytime television. Probably the most famous actress to ever grace a continuing afternoon serial, Susan was, at one point, the highest-paid actress on soaps earning a reported $1,000,000 a year.
Now her long-awaited memoir, "All My Life", has hit book stores and she discusses with candor her personal and professional life. Never a celebrity to talk about her personal affairs, "All My Life" is a revealing expose into the woman who created Erica Kane, the highs and lows she has endured, giving the reader an insight to the private life of the most beloved icon from daytime drama.
Susan talks about her early unbringing and her desires to be an actress. However, one fatal day when she was a teenager she was involved in a terrible car accident when her face went through a car windshield almost costing her an eye and her life. Through determination she persevered and made a complete recovery. She would eventually graduate from college and marry her long-time husband Helmet Huber who are still very much married and in love today, something that is very rare giving the life of any actress. In 1970 she tried out for the part of vixen Erica Kane on a new daytime soap "All My Children", created by legendary soap opera writer Agnes Nixon. She was immediately cast in a supporting capacity and was only intended to be on every other Tuesday, but due to her unique acting ability she became the star of the serial as fans couldn't get enough of the antics of Erica, and she would become the most beloved character in the show's history.
In 1973 "All My Children" made history by becoming the first television program, day or night, to dramatize a legal abortion when Erica went through the procedure. In her book Susan discusses that was one of the hardest storylines she ever took on as in real life she had suffered a severe miscarriage and was dealing with both the physical and emotional scars of losing her first child.
She writes about eventually having two beautiful children, Liza and Andreas, who are the apple of their parent's eye, her long-standing career as an 18 time Emmy loser, and how she felt that night in 1999 when it was announced she had finally won the Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress. Personally I had watched the Emmy telecast that year and can say I have never seen so much love for any performer winning an award as the audience gave her a long-standing ovation. The camera panned on several celebrities such as Rosie O'Donnell and Kelly Ripa who were in tears, and even Oprah could be heard giving Susan praise from the side of the stage as Susan held her golden statue near the microphone.
A well-written book, "All My Life" is an informative insight into the life of Susan Lucci and the history to the most famous character ever created for soaps.
An A+ read. Thank you Susan for sharing this with your fans. We love you.
UPDATE: On September 13, 2011 "All My Life" will see its softcover edition hit stores and in it Susan writes an entirely new chapter on the abrupt cancellation of "All MY Children" by ABC. On those pages Susan discusses how she was the first actor to learn of the demise of her show when the head of ABC daytime came to the "All My Children" studio in Los Angeles and how Brian frons told her the series was getting axed. Susan spares no time in expressing her true feelings about this man going so far as saying Frons is a man that has "that fatal combination of ignorance and arrogance". She discusses why "All My Children" suffered so badly in the ratings in recent years pointing the finger right where it should be pointed at: Frons. Susan states the fact he hired Charles Pratt to pen the soap, moving the series to L.A. from New York City, and shoving beloved creator and headwriter Agnes Nixon out the door as components in what killed this daytime institution. When Frons told Susan "AMC" was being replaced by a cheap reality show her opinion was and is, "An iconic show was losing out to greed...If Brian frons could show his bosses that he could save the network 40%...he could keep his job even if the rest of us lost ours." I for one say bravo to you Susan for standing up to this miscreant that has helped destroy a genre so dear to our hearts. Susan Lucci...I could not have said it any better!
Also, for fans who don't already know "All My Children" will live on in January, 2012 on the internet and hopefully a cable channel, but Susan has yet to announce her decision on resigning with the series. However, by all indications it does look like our beloved Erica Kane, played by Susan, will BE a part of the new "All My Children" in the coming year.