Susan Victoria Lucci (born December 23, 1946) is an American actress, best known for portraying Erica Kane on the daytime drama All My Children. The character is considered an icon, and Lucci has been called "Daytime's Leading Lady" by TV Guide, with New York Times and Los Angeles Times citing her as the highest-paid actor in daytime television. Midway into her career, her salary had been reported as over $1 million a year.
Lucci is best known for playing Erica Kane on the ABC television soap opera All My Children, on which she has appeared since the show's inception on January 5, 1970. She is the only original cast member remaining on the series.
Lucci was nominated for the Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series Emmy for her work on All My Children almost every year since 1978. When Lucci did not win the award after several consecutive nominations, her image in the media began to be lampooned, as she became notoriously synonymous with never winning an Emmy. NBC's Saturday Night Live exploited this by asking her to host an episode, where her monologue parodied the cast, crew, and even stagehands carrying Emmys of their own in her presence. In addition, she appeared in a 1989 television commercial for the sugar substitute Sweet One, intended to portray her as the opposite of her villainess character, yet throwing one of Erica Kane's characteristic tantrums, shouting "11 years without an Emmy! What does a person have to do around here to get an Emmy?"
After 18 failed nominations, she finally won in 1999. When presenter Shemar Moore announced Lucci's name, the audience erupted in a standing ovation, lasting several minutes. As the sobbing actress took to the stage, cameras caught All My Children co-stars Kelly Ripa and Marcy Walker weeping openly, along with long-time supporter, actress and television host Rosie O'Donnell. Actor Ingo Rademacher was seen bowing in the aisles and talk show host Oprah Winfrey rushing the stage cheering from the wings.