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Erika Slezak Posts Annual Holiday Letter! Shares Heartfelt Words On Turbulent Times Of Revival's Of OLTL & AMC!

Courtesy/ABC

Courtesy/ABC

You may need a hankie for this one, folks, because it comes from the icon of One Life to Live, Erika Slezak!  Today, Erika posted her 2013 holiday letter on her website, which has become an annual tradition for her fan club.   In the 2013 version, the six-time Daytime Emmy winner addresses the hopes and the despair we all went through with the revivals of One Life to Live and All My Children online and the sad quick ending, that as of now has left both shows shelved.

What made this letter so poignant is that Erika shared how wonderful it was to be back with her OLTL family again, and stepping into the shoes of Viki, even if for a very short time.  Erika also pays tribute to the fans for making this all possible in the first place.   Read Erika’s letter below, that we are sure long time fans of Llanview will want to check out!

ERIKA:  “Dear Friends: Well, this year has certainly been one of ups and downs; we started last January with such high hopes for the revivals of One Life to Live and All My Children and things seemed to be going so well when we started production in March. Unfortunately we produced only 8 weeks of shows, and then everything fell apart. Our boss, Jeff Kwatinetz, is still trying to bring both shows back, but personally I think that will be a very difficult feat to pull off. As things stand now, production on both shows has been shut down, so there will be no more OLTL or AMC, at least not in the near future. But we never give up hope! In any case, I loved being back at OLTL; I loved being back with all my friends on the show and we had a wonderful time although it was short lived. Still, I am very grateful for that brief opportunity to have played Viki once more.

Personally my life has been very busy and very good. It’s wonderful to be home and enjoy all the pleasures of home life. I am hoping that in the next year I will be able to find work elsewhere but if that doesn’t happen right away, I will be grateful for what I had.

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Once again, I want thank Walter Miller for his unflagging support and for keeping this little club afloat. I also want to thank AJ, Kit Williams and Stephen Schofield. Walter and Stephen spent a lot of time in correspondence with Jennifer Pepperman, our most recent producer, and were invaluable in assisting her with photos and background information on OLTL and Victoria Lord. And in particular, I would like to thank all of you for your incredible support during our online phase. This would never have come about if it hadn’t been for you, and the entire cast and crew of OLTL is extremely grateful.

I wish all of you a very happy and healthy holiday season and all good wishes for the New Year. We never know what the future holds, so perhaps I will see you all again from the screen or the stage or wherever.  Merry Christmas! With Love, Erika”

What did you think about how Erika shared her excitement and disappointment at the ups and downs of bringing OLTL back from the dead if not for just a short time? What would you like to see Erika do next, if playing Viki on OLTL is no longer an option? What were your thoughts when you read her letter?  Comment below!

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CharTom Wellesjimh(leave it to beaver)brianLisa Recent comment authors
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Lew S
Lew S

Such a classy lady and I can see her on The Bold & The Beautiful as a Forrester relative or maybe a cousin of Stephanie & Pam. Just wishful casting!

LeeH
LeeH

I always thought ABC was nuts to let her go. How many Emmys and how big a following? She’s be a natural for an American remake of the British show New Tricks or a judge/attorney on one of its many crime shows. Sad.

jimh(leave it to beaver)
jimh(leave it to beaver)

I always thought she kinda resembles Susan Flannery!

janice
janice

she’s a class act. I adore her. ….and I miss her and OLTL

SUSAN M.
SUSAN M.

Me Too!!!

Charday
Charday

Beautifully written letter.

su0000
su0000

It was wonderful to have OLTL back, even if for a short time, better then not at all.

(( life is not always fair ))

Harry
Harry

“Life is not always fair”? Um, you act as though Miss Slezak was whining or complaining when she was actually being the gracious class act that she is.
Thank you Miss Suooo for that insensitive comment.

Margie
Margie

su0000000 – still the master of defending ABC and Ron and sniping at OLTL stars and fans.

mgb357
mgb357

Love you too Erika…
Your class and dignity (and some great acting skills) always brought me enjoyment.

I miss seeing your TV family every day and even watch OLTL 2.0 on HuluPlus.

I’m not giving up hope for your return.
Thanks for all the memories.

Char
Char

There is only one solution to this problem… OPRAH!!! She has a network, connections, money, and she is a soap fan. Our soaps never belonged on the internet.. they belong on t.v.! Even if you made them a half hr. each… they belong on a network. Let’s all make a plea to Oprah to revive our precious soaps the old fashioned way and put them on her network!!! PLEEEEEEEEEEEEASE Oprah! We miss them!

moshane58
moshane58

I don’t think these soaps are dead. We have to many fans who expressing their loyalty and now believe more see how valuable they really are. Really believe its not over and we need to keep reminding networks this too. don’t watch anything were they should and did have soaps. Networks need to see how valuable they are.

Talisyn Tali(not Smith)
Talisyn Tali(not Smith)

I would be thrilled and so proud to see Erika both onstage and onscreen. So sad that OLTL is gone again… but if Jeff K can pull off the seemingly impossible, truly, power to him. Until then look sharp entertaiment industry-there is a superb amount of talent here.

Margie
Margie

I will follow Erika, Kassie and most of the OLTLers anywhere, but I’m still hoping for more Llanview.

Sue
Sue

Such a wonderful lady miss the soaps every day. I cancelled Hulu and am so sad. I heard that Opeah was interviewing the soaps stars. Do you know a date and time for that .

Carolyn
Carolyn

I think Erika is pure class and style. I look forward to seeing her in her next venture.

Torrey
Torrey

She truly is the classiest woman out there. Love her, and hope that I can see her lighting up the screen again soon. Whether it be online, daytime, prime-time or big screen.

Keri
Keri

Erika is such class. I miss OLTL, sad to think it may never live again.

Libby
Libby

OLTL and the uber- talented, Erika Slezak are the best. PP WAS DISAPPOINTING to be sure. However, cast and crews gave it their all.

Mark in FLA
Mark in FLA

For a long time I have thought that Erika Slezak and Robin Strasser should do the Neil Simon stage play “The Odd Couple” the female version. I see Erika as Olive Madison and Robin as Florence Ungar. If I was rich, I would put my money up for that!(if they were willing)

I would love to see them together on stage in either a comedy or a drama.

Harry
Harry

That’s a really good idea.

heidi
heidi

Such a lovely lady!!! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year Erika!!!

JSB
JSB

I’m dry-eyed, but that was a great letter. Like alot of the OLTL and AMC actors, she’s walking the fine line between having hope that the shows will be revived again some day, and realizing how slim those chances are. That’s not an easy position to be in and it doesn’t erase the fact that right now, the shows are not in production and she’s out of a job, like alot of her colleagues. I wish her well and hope we will see her again on our screens again soon.

Carol Bryan
Carol Bryan

Erica, you and the rest of the cast of OLTL will be so missed,I pray the show comes back and if not it has been a great ride growing up with you all. XOXO

Cathy
Cathy

Erika is a class act. She always has been and always will be.

SUSAN M.
SUSAN M.

DITTO!

ricardo
ricardo

Cast erika slezak as the new dina abbott , on the young and the restless. she would be great as dina.

Iakovos
Iakovos

That is lovely idea, ricardo. I like it, but would such a New Yorker/East Coaster relocate to LA? Still, I wonder if a short-term front-burner storyline for the Dina Abbott character is possible… perhaps a secret terminal lillness and she returns to Genoa City to make amends with her children, or to drop a bombshell secret on the city’s upper crust that shifts alliances somehow?

My hunch is Miss Slezak will be on the Broadway or off-Broadway stage. She would be a delight to see on the boards.

It was a dear letter she penned to us. I miss ONE LIFE TO LIVE and her character, the grace for the program all these years. Even at its lowest times, Miss Slezak and her alter ego Viki shone brightly.

Janet
Janet

I personally think it’s time to say good bye to AMC and OLTL as we knew them. PP will never be able to run them on a long term basis. The only who can is ABC but they don’t want to have anything to do with daytime soaps except for GH.

I would like ABC to get the rights back from both soaps and merged them into a weekly primetime series with key actors of both shows. Llanview and Pine Valley are sister towns in PA. They would very well blend into an unified TV show. It would something like Revenge or Nashville which are quite successful.

su0000
su0000

PP was creating a soap opera for TOLN and when AMC and OLTL were canceled PP took them over instead of creating their own soap..
Perhaps they will gather actors from both the soaps and continue on with creating the soap they were working on.. 🙂

I’m grateful for the many decades of both soaps that had ..
all things come to an end, even or lives on earth will end..

Margie
Margie

OMG, suoooooooo, that is sooooooo profound.
It’s one thing to lay down and die of old age, but in OLTL’s case they were MURDERED at their peak. I’m not grateful for that AT’ALL.

David
David

Llanview and Pine Valley are sister cities in PA. Port Charles is in NY. In any event, let the AMC/OLTL characters be on GH! But things need to be worked out.

Cathy Boever
Cathy Boever

Yes would love to see her on bold and beautiful too but will always be oltl for me

Llanviewer717
Llanviewer717

Thank you Erika for this beautiful letter and for always being such a beautiful and gracious lady. We miss you and the entire OLTL family.

Barb3843
Barb3843

Love her and still hoping both iconic soaps return. They deserve it. Erika is definitely a class act! Adore her!

matthew surenko
matthew surenko

As always a class act , I hope and pray we will see her back as Vicky and both shows will live on !

Mary Moore Fergen
Mary Moore Fergen

Yes, I had tears while reading Erika’s lovely letter. I love and admire this woman so much, and it truly hurts my heart to think we will not see her playing Viki anymore. I’m still holding onto the hope that someday OLTL and AMC will be back in production, and that we’ll be able to enjoy and appreciate all the hard work that the talented cast and crew on both shows are known for. Merry Christmas Erika!

Brian
Brian

Always a treasure to hear her thoughts. Thank you so very much Erika

MARY ARSENAULT
MARY ARSENAULT

Wish I could seen those episodes…secretly wished Oprah would have picked up those shows…sure would have boosted ratings for all!!!!

jaybird369
jaybird369

W-O-W…a totally beautiful and heartfelt letter!!!!! Thank You Miss Erika…you will ALWAYS BE A CLASS ACT in my book!!!!! Good Luck to you in all of your future endeavors!!!!!!

Peace.

louisa
louisa

Is there anybody better than Erika Slezak? She is one of a kind. A great actress, graceful lady, and major team player. ABC needs to do some serious soul-searching and admit they made a big mistake and bring Erika and One Life to Live back to ABC where they belong!

OLTL SoapFan
OLTL SoapFan

Dearest Erika,
Words cannot express how thankful I am for the joy you and the other Llanview residents have given me for more than 40 years. I was blessed to have OLTL in my life since the age of 8!!! I will NEVER forget the years of your lives you all gave to bring OLTL into my home and family. It was such FUN :o)
Sincerely and with much Gratitude,
Phyliss

gloria
gloria

I could cry all night. I think of the last few episodes of OLTL in Jan. 2012 & am still just absolutely floored that the show was ripped away from us in the middle of such fantastic stories-there was so much to look forward to. My days have never been the same without my Llanview friends. Love Erika & everyone else from the show. Miss you all.

Anita
Anita

As always, very gracious. She is such an awesome lady, inside and out. I hope to see her again on OLTL soon!

Jeff Pearlman
Jeff Pearlman

Ms. Slezak is wonderful and her letter, like her interviews over the years, addresses everything with intelligence and class. She and Viki Buchanan have meant so much to me over the years. I really, really, hope someone again rewards the cast, crew, and fans of these two incredible shows with another, permanent resurrection. What’s happened is baffling and painful. Best wishes to Erika and all at AMC and OLTL.

Doug
Doug

I wish Days would write a part just for her, hopefully a long term front burner one. She could play a heroine or villain-perhaps a nemesis of Stephano. Too much talent for one of the other soaps not to pick her up. The tragedy is OLTL should never have been cancelled, I will never get over it. THE ABC BOYCOTT CONTINUES!

lorraine
lorraine

Maybe they can bring one more new soap back and have all the people from both shows in it!

Debbie Hamilton
Debbie Hamilton

I dearly loved Erika (Vicki) I will miss OLTL and AMC terriably.Fingers crossed that someday we will see the permanant return of our iconic soap operas.

ethel
ethel

you can feel the love coming thru her words in the letter – such a gracious woman!

Mark
Mark

She is so classy there just isn’t anyone like her on daytime anymore

SUSAN M.
SUSAN M.

Maybe Erika could come on GH… As a different character or not. She will always be Viki to me! Erika was always my #1 favorite on OLTL…RV & RC should put her on GH it would be an added bonus to the show.. That’s just an idea that crossed my mind…I will miss her a lot. She was the heart & soul of OLTL!!!!

Lisa Z.
Lisa Z.

Erika: I still miss OLTL and especially “Viki”. I hope that someday OLTL will come back in some form. There are still a lot of fans out there who are waiting for this. I watched OLTL for years, but I have not bothered to get into another soap as OLTL was the only one that I cared to watch. I am still waiting for Viki and Clint’s remarriage…Thanks for sharing the holiday letter with your fans.

Joe
Joe

The best actress in daytime ever…hands down! Erika is missed! Hello Ron? Hello Frank?? Why not bring her on to GH? She could be Heather’s sister and then she could be Franco’s Aunt and this way she could be back with RH. Imagine the fun of putting her up against the Q’s…there’s so much they can do with her! Just a thought 🙂

Margie
Margie

I don’t know….. Look what they’ve done to Roger. I want my favorites on TV and in great roles.

Joe
Joe

She could be more Nikki Smith then Viki 🙂

DzzDee
DzzDee

I believe that there will never be a replacement for the original OLTL, and Vicky.. Erik was the best at what she did, and the original cast made OLTL what I remember.. I am happy the online is over with, it could not meet my standards. I loved to see OLTL brought back on ABC or any network with most of the original cast members.

brian
brian

I so agree…. the online vesion was nothing but an embrassment in my opionion…it only picked up in the last few episode…. just could not stand all the loud techno music in the Shelter scenes.. it just drowned out all the dialogue.

Please ABC do us right and bring them back properly.

Tom Welles
Tom Welles

I’m ALL for that – those stupid endless “Shelter” scenes were annoying and tried to take the place of true storyline which they did not. I am hoping both One Life to Live and AMC return, somehow, but my secret wish is that ABC will take them back and either present them as half hour programs (Like “Bold and the Beautiful”) or combine them into one show, called Pine Valley or Pineview or Landview or Scooby Doo I don’t care I just want the shows back. I don’t know if I can honestly say I want them in the hands of Prospect Park as I did not think the online inceptions were that enthralling or compelling, but in fairness they weren’t given proper time On-line to truly prove themselves.

JJ
JJ

She is so wonderful! Classy lady. Still shocked everyday with the soaps that are left on tv while OLTL is gone.

Lisa
Lisa

She is a class act all the way! Would watch her on any show she appeared on but would love to see her on General Hospital.

Tom Welles
Tom Welles

I love her, she was the very best thing about the On-line version of ONE LIFE TO LIVE to me, and brought life to every scene she was in. I don’t think either One Life or ALL MY CHILDREN got a fair chance to find their footing as on-line presentations. I too am hoping against hope that both shows can return (I’m all for combining both shows into one creation since Landview and pine Valley are near each other anyway) – right now, it seems only a dim possibility though.

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Joining Younes in the other lead roles in the pilot will be Braeden Cook (Industry) and Ruby Cruz (Castle Rock).

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According to her children, William James Bell, Brad Bell (EP and head writer, B&B) and Lauralee Bell Martin (Christine, Y&R), Lee passed away on February 25th at the age of 91.

Photo: JPI

They shared: “Our mother was a loving and supportive wife, mother and grandmother.  Gracious and kind, she enriched the lives of all who knew her. We will miss her tremendously.”

Born in Chicago, Illinois on June 9, 1928, Bell was co-creator, along with her late husband William J. Bell, of two of daytime television’s most successful dramas: The Young and the Restless (Y&R), and The Bold and the Beautiful (B&B).

Bell’s career as a broadcast journalist began in Chicago, where she hosted and produced her own show, The Lee Phillip Show, for CBS TV for over 30 years. A pioneer in the evolution of the afternoon talk show format, Bell was a trailblazer in the exploration of timely social issues and concerns.  Additionally she produced and narrated numerous award-winning specials and documentaries covering social concerns such as foster children, the subject of rape, children and divorce, and babies born to women in prison, to name a few.. Bell interviewed heads of state such as Presidents Gerald Ford and Ronald Regan; film actors Judy Garland, Clint Eastwood and Jerry Lewis; musicians such as The Rolling Stones and The Beatles; television and stage stars such as Lucille Ball, Jack Benny and Oprah Winfrey; and many other politicians, authors, journalists, fashion designers and rock stars.

Photo: JPI

She was awarded 16 regional (Chicago) Emmy awards and numerous Golden Mike awards. Bell is also the recipient of the Alfred I. Dupont/Columbia University Award for the special The Rape of Paulette, the first program in Chicago to explore the issue.  In 1977, she was the first woman to receive the coveted Governors Award from the Chicago chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences.  In 1980, she was named “Person of the Year” by the Broadcast Advertising Club of Chicago and the “Outstanding Woman in Communications” by the Chicago YMCA.  She also received the Salvation Army’s William Booth Award for her distinguished career in communications and social service. Bell won the Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Drama Series as co-creator of The Young and the Restless in 1975 and was recipient of the Daytime Emmys’ Lifetime Achievement Award in 2007.

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In addition to her children, Lee Phillip Bell is survived by her daughters-in-law Maria Arena Bell and Ambassador Colleen Bell, her son-in-law Scott Martin and eight grandchildren.

Since the news of Lee’s death, many stars from daytime have been sharing their remembrances and condolences of this great woman and what she meant to them.  We will share more on this story later today.

For now, share your condolences for the Bell family and your thoughts on the passing of this icon, Lee Phillip Bell in the comment section below.

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Kerr will be playing a doctor, not much else is being shared as to what kind and who she may be involved with on the ABC daytime drama series.

Photo: JPI

Passions fans remember that in story, Kerr’s character Whitney was in a relationship with the character of Chad (Donn Swaby and later, Charles Divins).  Chad was believed to be Whitney’s half-brother, but later it was revealed to not be the case, and the duo ended up tying the knot.

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