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Mike BarryEye on the Island

By Mike Barry
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Lucci’s Life

Susan Lucci’s All My Life (It Books) is being released on Tuesday, March 29, and the legendary daytime TV star will promote her autobiography with an appearance on Wednesday, March 30, at 7 p.m. at Huntington’s Book Revue.

Lucci, a Garden City High School alumna who returned to her hometown after graduating from Marymount College in Tarrytown, NY and marrying Helmut Huber, a one-time executive chef at the Garden City Hotel, had this to say about their move back to Long Island after residing in Forest Hills, Queens.

“We thought about living in New York City, but Helmut helped me see that there was something special about the place where I grew up that we should pass on to our children,” Lucci and co-author Laura Morton write. “I found great comfort in Garden City because it was a community of family and familiar faces. It is common for parents to live there and for their grown children to return to raise their children there, too. My parents lived close by, making it easy for them to drop in and visit whenever they wanted.”

The former Garden City Hotel waitress also mentions how much she enjoys the fact that Hoffmann Deli, situated on Seventh Street in Garden City, offers a La Lucci panini.

Even those unfamiliar with daytime TV know Lucci portrays All My Children’s Erica Kane, a successful entrepreneur whose marital past performance chart and turbulent love life rivals that of actress Elizabeth Taylor. All My Life works, however, because you don’t need to be an All My Children aficionado to enjoy the show business and personal stories Lucci passes along.

Lucci, for instance, truly was there at the show’s beginnings, which date back to when it aired for 30 minutes each weekday starting in January 1970. ABC wanted to lock Lucci into a three-year contract at the outset, something she was reluctant to do at the very start of her career, Lucci notes, never imagining she’d spend the next four decades on All My Children. Cast initially as Pine Valley’s teenaged bad girl, Erica Kane and her mother, Mona, had been abandoned by their father/husband, who went on to become a famous Hollywood director.

Agnes Nixon, the show’s creator, receives high praise from Lucci for All My Children’s daring storylines. There are also lively anecdotes about Lucci’s long wait for an Emmy Award after being nominated for one nearly 20 times, her Broadway debut in Annie Get Your Gun, and what it was like to host Saturday Night Live and compete on Dancing With The Stars.

One of the biggest impressions you’re left with is how different Susan Lucci is from Erica Kane. Lucci has been married to the same man for more than 40 years, and they are the parents of 36-year-old Liza and 31-year old Andreas. An aside: Liza had a starring role on NBC’s Passions, a daytime TV program which went off the air a few years ago. The Hubers now have grandchildren, too. Imagine how much simpler Kane’s life would have been if she’d followed Lucci’s path?

 

Mike Barry, a corporate communications consultant, has worked in government and journalism. Email: MFBARRY@optonline.net