'All My Children' Star Susan Lucci on Life, Career

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In early 2010, my son, Andreas, came to me and said that he really thought I should write a book, too. He had no idea we had received so many letters from various publishers and literary agents. I was curious to know why he felt I should, so I asked him to share his reasons.

"Once the girls I meet find out that you are my mom, they want to know how you accomplished your goals. They're eager to know your story." Andreas was very thoughtful, enthusiastic, and really heartfelt in his explanation.

Andreas mentioned writing a book to me a few more times. And then one day Helmut brought me a folder full of those inquiry letters he'd been saving over the years. I had no idea that he had kept all of them. We sat at our kitchen table and began to read some aloud. One by one, each outlined very clearly a singular message. People wanted the book to be about me from me. Everyone agreed that virtually anyone with a television knows Susan Lucci as Erica Kane, but no one really knows much about Susan Lucci. Rereading those letters, especially with the encouragement from my son and so many others, made me realize that maybe now I should make the time to share my story.

So here I am. After spending forty-one years in front of the camera playing the unstoppable Erica Kane while successfully shielding and protecting my privacy and the privacy of my family, I am closing my eyes and holding my breath as I begin to peel back the curtain of my life, hoping it is the right thing to do. It's a little bit scary and a lot intimidating. But if I am going to take you on this journey with me, then like everything else I do in my life, I am committed to going all the way -- no limits and no self-imposed barriers holding me back. To be certain, this process has been different and challenging for me. But it is something I now fully appreciate and enjoy. I have never spent time in a therapist's office; nor have I ever candidly discussed my private life in public. I have spent many sleepless nights wondering why anyone would want to read my story, and to tell you the truth, I still can't say I know. I am a woman who pays attention to what those around me have to say, and for years, they've been asking me to share my story with you. So, with respect for those wishes and without further ado, here is my story.

My parents, Jeanette and Victor Lucci, referred to me as their "Christmas baby" because I was born on December 23, in Yonkers, New York. As a little girl, there weren't too many birthday cakes or parties for me because of the proximity of my birthday to the holiday.

(I'm sure so many Christmas babies can relate to this!) Still, my parents always tried to make my birthday special. They put up our Christmas tree on December 22 so my birthday presents could be slipped under the tree and opened the next day, on my birthday. Much to my mother's credit, she always told everyone in our family that they couldn't combine Christmas and birthday gifts. After all, it wasn't my fault that I was born so close to the holiday.

My parents both grew up during the Depression era. Everything they did was about making life better for their children. Our family moved to Elmont, a suburb of Long Island in New York, when I was two years old. We spent five years there before settling into the picture-perfect enclave of Garden City.

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