Susan Lucci, a stunning American actress who conquered the entertainment industry as a television host, businesswoman, and writer, was dubbed “Daytime’s Leading Lady.”
Her performance and media work have allowed her to accumulate a fortune. Susan Lucci’s net worth is estimated to be $80 million. Following her appearance in “All My Children,” which aired from 1970 to 2011, Susan Lucci’s net worth peaked.
Susan Lucci is a legendary American actress, host, author, and entrepreneur widely recognized for her portrayal of Erica Kane in the popular daytime drama All My Children (Credit: Lev Radin / Shutterstock)
She received up to 21 Emmy nominations and a win for her portrayal of Erica Kane in 1999, which enhanced her standing as a seasoned media figure.
The 76-year-old actress was once listed by The New York Times and Los Angeles Times as the highest-paid actor in daytime television, reportedly making over $1 million annually as early as 1991.
Susan Lucci played Erica Kane on the ABC daytime drama All My Children with Michael Nader as Dimitri Marick (Credit: ABC)
Discover Susan Lucci’s wealth and how she became a living legend if you’re curious. Here’s everything you need to know about Susan Lucci’s career and how her traumatic heart surgery affected her life.
The Making of a Millionaire: Susan Lucci’s Path to $80 Million
After graduating, Susan Lucci moved to New York City and started working as a color girl for CBS. The aspiring actress was only cast as an understudy in off-Broadway productions before beginning to work as an extra.
The then-23-year-old got a big break after her 1969 “All My Children” audition. Her character Erica Kane, a 15-year-old high school student when the show started, was hailed as the most renowned soap opera figure in history.
Susan Lucci’s famed role contributed significantly to her wealth. In 1978, Susan received her first Daytime Emmy nomination for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series, but she only took home the trophy after her 19th nod.
Susan Lucci pictured in New York City on June 1, 1982 (Credit: Walter McBride / INFphoto)
Her success on the series earned her a hosting slot on “Saturday Night Live” in 1990, and Mattel created Erica Kane dolls in 1998 and 1999. Erica Kane was a character that Susan played for 41 years, and she received more than 30 nominations for the part.
Early in her career, she played uncredited parts in “Goodbye. Columbus,” “Love Is a Many Splendored Thing,” “Me Natalie,” and more. Susan also had guest appearances on “The Love Boat,” “Fantasy World,” and a crossover on “Young Doctors in Love.”
Beyond ‘All My Children’: Susan Lucci’s Enduring Stardom
Her television movies, such as “Invitation to Hell,” “Mafia Princess,” and “Anastasia: The Mystery of Anna,” which received Emmy nominations, also contributed significantly to Susan Lucci’s wealth.
The actress’s outstanding performances also won numerous Soap Opera Digest Awards, Disney Legend accolades, the People’s Choice Awards in 1992, the Gracie Allen Award in 2005, and other recognitions.
She worked on numerous other projects before being given a chance to be a guest star on the CBS drama “Dallas” and act in six episodes. “Woman Who Sinned” (1991), “French Silk” (1994), and other TV movies were among the various projects Susan chose to act in.
Susan Lucci as herself and Wendie Malick as Victoria Chase in the American television sitcom Hot in Cleveland (Credit: CBS Television)
The sum of Susan Lucci’s wealth didn’t end there. When Susan made her Broadway appearance with “Annie Get Your Gun” in 1999 and received rave reviews, she demonstrated her potential to transcend the soap opera genre.
Her subsequent guest appearances included “Hope & Faith” on Kelly Ripa’s sitcom, “That’s So Raven,” “Hot in Cleveland,” and others. She competed in the ABC reality show “Dancing With Stars” and finished sixth.
Susan continued her profession and most recently appeared in Hulu’s “Difficult People” and Sia’s music video for “Santa’s Coming for Us.” After the daily TV drama ended, she hosted the true-crime series “Deadly Affairs.”
Susan Lucci as Genevieve Delatour in the American television comedy-drama and mystery series Devious Maids (Credit: Disney–ABC Domestic Television)
The 5 ft (1.55 m) tall actress was inducted into the Broadcasting Hall of Fame and received the 2,276th star on the prestigious Hollywood Walk of Fame.
A Love Story for the Ages: Susan Lucci’s 50-Year Marriage
Susan Lucci had walked down the aisle as Erica Kane on “All My Children” in more instances than we recall. However, in real life, she was faithfully married to Helmut Huber for more than 50 years.
In 1965, the actress and producer met for the first time. Susan was a waitress working her summer off from college at the Garden City Hotel on Long Island, where Helmut was the executive chef in charge of food and beverages.
Helmut, nine years older, instantly fell in love with Susan. He told People, “The first time I saw Susie, it hit me. Still today, she walks in a room, and I just light up.”
Helmut Huber, who was married to actress Susan Lucci since 1969, passed away peacefully in Long Island, New York, on March 28, 2022 (Credit: Lev Radin / Shutterstock)
Due to their age gap, she didn’t see the Austrian as a romantic match and instead got engaged to her Colorado lover.
In 1968, she met Helmut again at the hotel where she had her engagement party. Susan called off her relationship with her fiance a month later. Since then, she started dating Huber.
After only three months of dating (and following multiple marriage proposals from Helmut), Susan formally accepted his offer and married on September 13, 1969.
He took on the roles of her manager and CEO of Susan Lucci’s Pine Valley Productions when she achieved long-term success on the ABC soap drama.
Susan Lucci met her husband, Helmut Huber, in 1965 while working at the Garden City Hotel in Long Island, New York, where she was an 18-year-old waitress, and he was a 9-year older chef (Credit: Everett Collection / Shutterstock)
In 1975, they welcomed a girl named Liza, and in 1980, a son named Andreas. Liza Huber pursued acting as her mother had done. From 1999 through 2008, she worked in the soap opera “Passions.”
With her substantial wealth, Susan Lucci could live as she saw fit. But she was still wedded to his longtime partner out of genuine love.
Actress Susan Lucci with her husband Helmut Huber, daughter Liza, son Andreas, and Liza’s husband, Alexander George Hesterberg III, as she receives the 2,276th star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on January 28, 2005 (Credit: Michael Germana / Startraksphoto)
Helmut Huber passed away on March 28, 2022, at age 84, after 52 years of marriage.
Triumph Over Tragedy: Susan Lucci’s Brave Heart Surgery Journey
The actress disclosed in February 2019 that she had emergency heart surgery in October 2018 to treat a severe blockage in her arteries that may have resulted in a catastrophic heart attack.
She admitted having three incidents of shortness of breath to People magazine. The first two occurrences were not a big deal, but the third one, which happened while she was shopping in Manhasset, New York, was so intense that she said, “It felt like an elephant pressing down on my chest.”
The diva was rushed to the ER, where a CT scan discovered she was undergoing a heart attack, also known as a “widowmaker,” with a 90% blockage in her main artery and a 70% obstruction in another location.
Susan Lucci ignored her chest tightness, initially thinking it was just fatigue, but on her third episode while shopping at a Tory Burch boutique in Manhasset, Long Island, it felt like an elephant pressing down on her chest, leading the store manager to offer to drive her to the nearby St. Francis Hospital where she met with the Head of Cardiology, Dr. Richard Shlofmitz, in the ER (Credit: Michael Mattes / Shutterstock)
“Ninety percent blockage— I was shocked,” Susan said. “I’m lucky to be alive.”
Her cardiologist, Holly Andersen, agreed and told People, “Had she gone home, that 90 percent blockage could have become 100 percent, and she could have suffered a significant heart attack or even sudden death.”
Susan Lucci had two stents inserted into her arteries at the hospital to improve blood flow back to her heart. For the Emmy Award-winning actress, the operation was a complete success.
“Her heart is pumping as good as when she was born,” according to the surgeon, Dr. Richard Shlofmitz, who declared that she had no damage.
Susan Lucci attends the American Heart Association’s Red Dress Collection Concert at Jazz at Lincoln Center on February 1, 2023, in New York City (Credit: Lev Radin / Shutterstock)
The renowned TV host has stepped up her advocacy for women’s heart health since undergoing her first heart surgery. She even participated in the 2019 American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women Red Dress Collection, walking across the runway.
Susan declared, “I’m not a nurse or anyone who can help in any real way. This is the way I can help. I can tell my story. Everyone’s symptoms are different, but I felt compelled to share mine. Even if it’s one person I help. That is someone’s life.”
Facing Adversity Again: Susan Lucci’s Second Heart Surgery Ordeal
In February 2022, Susan Lucci revealed that she had undergone heart surgery for the second time. In an interview with Good Morning America, she stated that she was displaying symptoms she was familiar with, such as shortness of breath and pain around her ribcage and back, which she had four years earlier.
“I thought, ‘This is crazy.’” Susan said. “These are the same kind of symptoms that I had three years ago, but it can’t be.”
When she told her husband, Helmut Huber, how she was feeling, he suggested she see a medical professional. Her doctor noticed an 80% blockage in her heart from calcium and cholesterol following a few tests and inserted another stent.
On January 28, 2005, Emmy-winning actress Susan Lucci celebrated her 35th year on the popular daytime drama “All My Children” by receiving the 2,276th star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame during a ceremony in Los Angeles, California (Credit: Travelview / Shutterstock)
One of the reasons she opted to speak out about her heart health is to inspire other women to be health-conscious.
“Listen to your heart and act on it. Be your own best friend, be your own advocate. You’ll save your life. I feel so lucky to have the platform that I have. I just wanted to be able to do something other than entertain.”
From the glamor of daytime television to the intense reality of heart surgery, Susan Lucci’s journey highlights the importance of caring for one’s health, even for those with a high net worth.