Susan Lucci, 76, looks half her age at the American Heart Association’s Go Red event as she talks about her heart attack: ‘Women helping women’
Susan Lucci does not seem to age. This week the soap opera actress looked sensational at 76 on the red carpet.
The diva lit up the American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women Red Dress Collection Concert in New York City.
She had on a scarlet red strapless gown that came in at the waistline and had a mermaid finish.
‘Telling my heart story at yesterday’s beautiful GO Red for Women luncheon at Tavern On The Green! Such passionate leaders and survivors—so inspiring to hear their stories!❤️❤️❤️,’ she wrote on Instagram on Friday.
She then said it was all about ‘women helping women.’
Susan Lucci does not seem to age. This week the soap opera actress looked sensational at 76 on the red carpet
The diva lit up the American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women Red Dress Collection Concert in New York City
One night in January, discomfort was radiating around her rib cage. She was short of breath. Something definitely wasn’t right.
But it was late in the evening, and she didn’t want to bother her doctor. At first, she didn’t even tell her husband. She went to bed.
‘I was just going to let it all go,’ Lucci said to the AHA. ‘Then I felt a sharp pain in the left side of my jaw. I had read that can be a symptom for women having a heart event as well. It really kind of woke me up.’
Urged by her husband, she finally called her cardiologist at home. He didn’t hesitate.
‘He said, “I’ll meet you at the ER. Call me when you’re close,”‘ she said.
By morning she had a stent implanted in a coronary artery that was 80% blocked, potentially avoiding a serious heart attack.
‘You can never really tell how quickly it could have happened, but certainly within a year,’ said Dr. Richard Shlofmitz, chairman of cardiology at St. Francis Hospital in Roslyn, New York. He diagnosed the problem and performed the procedure. ‘It’s like if you have a log in a river and some twigs get attached. It just builds up.’
Years earlier, the actress had her first cardiovascular episode, when doctors discovered that two other arteries were blocked, one 90% and the other 75%.
Lucci had ignored mounting symptoms for a couple of weeks until crushing chest pain finally sent her to the hospital. Two stents – small wire mesh tubes that widen clogged arteries and ensure adequate blood flow to the heart – quickly fixed the problem, and probably saved her life.
‘Life returned to normal very quickly,’ said the actress who lives on New York’s Long Island. ‘I was on stage two days after I was discharged, and life continued to be wonderful.’
Here she was seen playing with a small dog while on the red carpet
The actress, best known for her role as Erica Kane on the long-running soap opera All My Children, began her speech by raving that it was ‘the icing on the cake’ that her and Susan Lucci’s son, Andreas, 36, was in the audience.
‘It means so much to me to have you here with me,’ she said as she accepted the honor,’ she said to him from the stage. ‘I feel your dad’s presence here with us tonight too.
She continued: I thank my husband, Helmet Huber, because he has everything to do with me standing up here tonight and receiving this incredible award.’
She had on a scarlet red strapless gown that came in at the waistline and had a mermaid finish
‘Telling my heart story at yesterday’s beautiful GO Red for Women luncheon at Tavern On The Green! Such passionate leaders and survivors—so inspiring to hear their stories!❤️❤️❤️,’ she wrote on Instagram on Friday. She then said it was all about ‘women helping women.’ Also at the event were Mira Sorvino and Demi Lovato
Lucci’s husband of nearly 53 years passed away in March 2022 at age 84. The two met while they were both working at a hotel and got engaged after three weeks of dating. They tied tied the knot in September 1969.
She and the Austrian-born writer and producer shared two children Andreas, 36, and Liza, 48.
Huber acted as Lucci’s manager throughout much of her career and was the CEO of their production company, Pine Valley Productions, named for the fictional town where All My Children took place.
Lucci played Erica Kane beginning in 1970 and continued to portray they spunky character until All My Children ended in 2011.
Erica was popular with the fans, and Lucci was nominated for 19 Best Actress awards until she finally received one in 1999.
Shemar Moore, 53, who opened the envelope when Lucci finally won the long coveted honor, was there Friday, to present her with the Lifetime Achievement Award.
‘She’s been in TV series as well as film and stage… she’s been ranked as one of the 50 greatest television stars of all time and I couldn’t agree more,’ the S.W.A.T. star said.
When Lucci won in 1999, Moore excitedly announced ‘the streak is over,’ before calling her name.
Lucci was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 50th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards in New York City on December 15
Lucci began her run as Erica Kane on All My Children in 1970. She continued to portray’ ‘naughty girl in town’ until the soap opera ended in 2011
The actress met her husband of nearly 53 years, Helmut Huber, when both were working at a hotel. They got engaged after three weeks of dating and married in September 1969 and remained together until his death in 2022 at age 84 (Pictured in New York in November 2017)
The couple had two children, Liza, 48, and Andreas, 36 (seen in Los Angeles in January 2005)
In her acceptance speech, Lucci said ‘I thank my husband Helmet Huber because he has everything to do with me standing up here tonight and receiving this incredible award’ (Pictured in New York in February 2020)
A tribute video included clips from both of her children, All My Children alums Kelly Ripa and Mark Consuelos, pal Andy Cohen and Carol Burnett, 90, who has appeared on the show several times as different characters.
As she accepted her statuette, the veteran actress, who looked stunning in a strapless orange and silver gown told the audience, ‘How lucky am I to dream my dreams of becoming an actress and grow up and have my dreams come true? There were obstacles and there were roadblocks — they were wannabe obstacles and roadblocks — but tonight’s a night to celebrate.’
When she received her 1999 award, Lucci recalled she began her speech ‘began by thanking God for the many blessings, I begin there again tonight, starting with my parents for their love.’
‘I thank them for the example they set for me,’ she continued, ‘for telling me I could shoot for the moon and the stars, and to never be afraid.
She also expressed her gratitude to her her teachers for ‘giving me the tools to be the kind of actress I wanted to be,’ and singling out All My Children creator Agnes Nixon, who died in 2016.
Shemar Moore, who opened the envelope when Lucci finally one her only Daytime Emmy in 1999, was there to present the Lifetime Achievement Award Friday
‘She was a trailblazer, visionary storyteller who gave me the part of the lifetime, the fabulously flawed Erica Kane,’ whom Lucci called the ‘naughty girl in town,’ saying, ‘she had spirit.’
Of course, Erica would not have had that long a life in TV land if it were not for the fans and the beloved actress thanked them for their support.
‘I am eternally grateful to the fans for loving Erica Kane, even when she wasn’t so lovable,’ she continued. ‘Thanks to them, I got to continue to play her again and again.’
Fans can stream the Daytime Emmy Awards on CBS.com or Paramount+