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Greg’s Celebrity Encounters Pt 2: Susan Lucci!

What a thrill it was to meet Susan Lucci at last year’s Daytime Emmys pre-party. I can honestly say that she is one of the classiest and gracious stars I have ever met.

Sometimes, nice people really do finish first.

During all the years that Susan was nominated for – and famously lost – the Daytime Emmy Award for her performance as Erica Kane on All My Children, she handled the result each time with extraordinary grace.

So when she finally won her Emmy in 1999 – on her 19th try – there was something akin to a palpable sense of nationwide relief even if it meant she wouldn’t be able to spoof her losing streak on Saturday Night Live and in commercials.

“When I did win, I got the key to the city of New York and New York City firemen would stop on their trucks and give me a big thumbs up, and beggars would sing (laughs),” Susan told me last year. “It was wonderful. It’s much better to win but it’s great to be nominated.”

The night of her win, Susan vowed that she would return to the set of Children the next day and play Erica “for all she’s worth.” She kept her word and is now in her 38th year on the show playing the most famous character in soap opera history.

“I love the part of Erica Kane,” she said. “I walk into the studio in the morning and I’m smiling, I’m happy. I work with great actors and I’ve got one of the best parts ever written for a woman as far as I’m concerned.”

Remarkably youthful at 62, Susan has managed to juggle her role as the larger-than-life Erica with many other ventures including a series of well-received television movies (Mafia Princess, Between Love and Hate and Ebbie).

“I love that the fans and the public has really responded to (Erica) so much that I also have had the chance to go on Broadway in Annie Get Your Gun and have a line of jewelry and lingerie and all of that on HSN,” she said. “I enjoy it all. But it’s all because of Erica Kane.”

Here is video of her long-awaited Emmy win:


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