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It's Erika Slezak Day! OLTL honors her with 40th Anniversary Surprise Party!

Courtesy/ABC

Courtesy/ABC

Yes, it is St. Patrick’s Day throughout the land, but in the soap world, there was, and is,  an even bigger celebration going on.  One Life to Live’s six-time Daytime Emmy winner, Erika Slezak (Viki) celebrated today her 40th anniversary milestone with the east coast sudser.

Think about it. What would One Life be without Viki and Erika’s brilliant performances over the last four decades?  Erika, who embodies such grace and class, and is one hell of a phenomenal performer has brought us to tears time and time again, as we have gone through Viki’s  joys and sorrows.

So the cast and crew in Llanview this afternoon brought Erika to a secret gathering!   She thought they were having a St. Patrick’s Day luncheon on set… needless to say she was completely surprised.  Later, a highlight reel and video tribute featuring some of her OLTL cast members including Castle’s Nathan Fillion (Ex-Joey) and the series creator, Agnes Nixon was shown to all in attendance.

According to Soap Opera Digest. Slezak was said to be overwhelmed with emotion at the party, saying, “I’ve been here for 40 years because I love it.  I’m so grateful for the job and to you, my family.  It’s been just magical.”

View our photo gallery from the celebration below.  There are eleven shots, so for the last one, make sure to hit the NEXT GROUP icon next to the + symbol or just simply wait for the slideshow to play through. Then, check out the emotional video clip of the moment Erika joined her surprise celebration!

One Life will continue Erika’s celebration with a special episode devoted to Viki next month! So we ask, what is your favorite Erika Slezak performance over the last 40 years? There are so many it’s hard to choose, right?  But, let us know.

Exclusive Photos

[slidepress gallery=’erika-slezak’]

Photo credits: Courtesy/ABC

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guilty pleasure
guilty pleasure

HAPPY 40th ANNIVERSARY TO YOUR YEARS ON OLTL, ERIKA!!!!!!!!!!!!

Brian Greene
Brian Greene

Dear Erika,

We love you madly here in Evanston, Illinois! 🙂 Happy Anniversary! 🙂

ERNIELPRINCE
ERNIELPRINCE

Ms. Slezak: You are one of the 3 remaining actresses with class left on the Soaps today!!!!!!! You are simply the best dramatic actress of your generation……I love watching you everyday…as I have when I started watching OLTL 40 years ago……..Congrats……………

todd
todd

I love any scene with Erika in it. My favorite moments were when Viki was in a wheelchair after the stroke and managed to get up the stairs as one of her alters to kill Johnny D. Also loved when she locked Dorian up in the secret room. Also loved her as a waitress in Paris, Texas. Too many to choose from. I look forward to her kicking Charlie to the curb. That will undoubtedly be her Emmy reel for next year.

ethel
ethel

happy anniversary erika!!! you go girl!!

Stephanie
Stephanie

I’ve been able to view the photo slideshows on this site in the past, but this one doesn’t work for me at all. It says “Error: Slideshow data cannot load due to security issue”.

Please fix this since I’m anxious to see the photos from the celebration. Congrats to Erika!!

Bina
Bina

Happy Anniversay Erika, May God Bless You with many more years.

Doe
Doe

Erika deserves this tribute more than any actress because of her consistency and unwavering performances for so many years. The fact that she can embody her character of Viki after so many marriages and personalities proves that she is the grande dame of soaps.. I really liked her multiple personas,especially Niki the floozie. She can do no wrong by me. Congratulations Erika. Onward and Upward….

Sylvia
Sylvia

Congratulations on 40 years to a WONDERFUL actress! Your portrayal of Viki is simply amazing!

Sue
Sue

Congratulations Erica! One Life to Live was my first soap. I started watching because of Gillian Spencer’s Vicky/Nicky performance. Split personalities was a new thing then. I remember when Erica took over the role of Vicky. It was a seemless transition.

Tip of the hat to a performer that spent her career in daytime.

Kim
Kim

To a consummate performer, we love your work and are wishing for many more years of the same!!!

Shelley
Shelley

Thanks Michael for another great piece of Soap history your have shared! I love Erika and so glad that she is being appreciated! I have watched since Viki had to choose between Joe and Steve!!! I am glad she and Dorian are going against Echo! Great Stuff!

vicki H.
vicki H.

She looked shocked. So glad they did this for her. TY for the pics.

mike
mike

The class act of Daytime TV and it’s best actress

Barbara
Barbara

I have been watching you on OLTL for 40 years and you get better and better. I just think you are the best.

Larry
Larry

Erika has been the reason I have stuck with OLTL thru thick and thin. She is classy and an amazing performer and after all these years feels like family.

I recognize amazingly few faces in that group photo. Where was the majority of the cast? Perhaps the younger members of the cast don’t realize how lucky they are to be working with such a talent.

bridget deturk
bridget deturk

just want to be amoung the many fans of yours that we r grateful to have such a fine actress grace our television screens for so many fine years here is to 40 and many more to come. i have watched u since i was a young girl of 10 and i have always enjoyed the show and u so good luck and happy 40th anniversary

Patrick Trubia
Patrick Trubia

Happy 40 years on O.L.T.L. Erika. I have been enjoying watching you perform since 1978, and I have to say you have kept me mesmerized and entertained and you are the only reason that I have been watching for so long. so here’s to many more great years to come.
God Bless.

Tony
Tony

I also have to congratulate Erika on this accomplishment. She is truly an icon and matriarch of One Life to Live, as well as all daytime TV. I remember back when I first started watching ONTL. It was in the late 70’s, and Vicki’s husband at the time, Joe Riley was missing, if I remember right. Then he was in the hospital. Vicki was right there by his bedside, in anguish over his condition. I also remember that she was wearing a very lovely navy blue dress with white lace trim in that scene. It is so very sad that OLTL and AMC have been canceled.

tim
tim

i will miss you and all the cast its all about money

tim
tim

what?

Brian Anthony
Brian Anthony

This wonderful woman has NO IDEA how many lives she has touched. God Bless You ALWAYS Erika. My only regret is that I never met you face to face to tell you this myself. -Your Fan of over 35 years Brian in New York.

Michael B
Michael B

I have had you in my life since I was 12. I will not have the same kind of a day with out you in it. I love you and OLTL.,

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Broadway Legend Carol Channing Dies At 97; B&B Remembers Her Time On The Soap

The beloved and iconic star Carol Channing has passed away at age 97.  Best known for her performance as Dolly Levi in Hello Dolly, the Tony Award-winning actress also picked up a Golden Globe for her role in Thoroughly Modern Millie, and was nominated for an Academy Award for it as well, throughout her enduring career.

Reports on Tuesday detail that Channing died at her home in Rancho Mirage, California, of natural causes.

While Channing did so much in her illustrious career, she also appeared as herself back in 1993 on CBS’ The Bold and the Beautiful.  That’s when the Forresters staged a celebrity-filled fashion show with plenty of glitz.

In a tweet with a photo of B&B’s enduring star, John McCook (Eric Forrester) pictured with Channing, the daytime drama shared: “All of us at mourn the loss of our friend, the legendary star, . She was a true original and there will never be anyone like her. Ms. Channing appeared as herself on B&B in 1993. May she rest in peace.”

Channing’s performance as a diamond-loving showgirl, Lorelei Lee, in the Broadway musical Gentleman Prefer Blondes back in 1949 made her a star.  Marilyn Monroe would play the role in the film adaptation.

Later in her TV career, she appeared on numerous shows including: Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In, The Love Boat, Touched by an Angel and several game shows, to name just a few.

Share your thoughts on the passing of Carol Channing via the comment section below.

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Meanwhile, Carly is definitely a threat to figuring out that Kevin is Ryan, given her unrelenting quest and her days at Ferncliff.

Elsewhere, Franco is up to trying to figure out why “Kevin” suddenly dumped him as a patient, and if anyone can come across the lock box in “Kevin’s” office and open it up, therein lies clue to the serial killer’s movesand victims.

But will Port Charles continue to think that “Kevin” is having some sort of breakdown over the anniversary of his twin brother, Ryan’s “death” and heinous killing spree years ago? Will anyone figure out the real Kevin is locked up in a straight-jacket at Ferncliff?

Check out this week’s promo for GH below, and then let us know; who you think will truly be Ryan’s next victim, or will he finally be caught?  And, what have you thought of the performances of Jon Lindstrom in this storyline? Comment below.

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David Canary’s Daughter Raises Question If Repeated Head Traumas From His Football Past Contributed To AMC Star’s Condition Before His Death

Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) is a progressive degenerative brain disease that is now widely known to be the outcome of repeated head traumas, concussions and more for many NFL athletes, Pro Wrestlers, hockey players and more   It has caused mental illness, severe behavioral changes and more in younger athletes to even old-timers, many who suffer unaware what is happening to them. Some athletes who have committed suicide have been later to have been diagnosed with CTE when their brains were donated to research.

Kate Canary, the daughter of All My Children’s beloved and late, David Canary (Adam/Stuart Chandler), is a contributing writer to the New York Daily News, and she wrote a heartfelt, and thought-provoking article, on just what happened to this icon, who died in 2015 at the age of 77  with his formal diagnosis being Alzheimer’s disease.

However, David’s earlier football past as a high school and college football player could very well been the reason why he suffered so many years before, and as Kate related here in these excerpts: “But this diagnosis came after years of suffering with Dad’s cognitive decline, and arguably decades of signs. Without exposing the most excruciating details of a disease that could extinguish the most vibrant of men, I can confess that his case was anything but typical.  We lost him in fits and starts, over and over, for roughly seven years leading up to his final breath. Begrudgingly, we learned to lie to him — ‘entering his world,’ as my brother Chris so delicately deemed it — to skirt the contradictory truths that would trigger his outbursts, which left physical scars on objects, on himself, and on others. We knew many families who had faced Alzheimer’s, yet we were the only ones uttering the comparison ‘Jekyll and Hyde.  Those closest to Dad witnessed firsthand the erratic, delusional and at times explosive episodes that characterized his particular case, which we tried attributing to an overactive imagination in a broken brain. But as more information emerges about CTE and the nature of its symptoms — the violent mood swings, the lapses in judgment, the hours-long hallucinations, the paranoid delusions — we are left with more questions than answers, more regret than relief.”

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In the end a loving daughter asks the questions, “Did football kill my father?”  Kate was on the verge of looking into a way to donate David’s brain to science, but sadly he passed away eight weeks later in November of 2015.

The upshot is that when mothers and fathers allow their kids to play football or other-related sports at an early age were concussions are a possibly or involved, think again, you could be changing the course of their lives forever.

So, what did you think of what Kate shared about David Canary’s mental health and condition?  It would seem CTE could have been the root cause of what befell this giant of a man in the daytime soap world. Share your thoughts via the comment section below.

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GH icon Genie Francis chats with Michael Fairman about her return to the soap as Laura after being taken off-contract earlier this year. Leave A Comment

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