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Erika Slezak’s ‘Life’ Will Go On in Llanview

Erika Slezak’s ‘Life’ Will Go On in Llanview

Saturday, July 18, 2009 3:05 AM ET | By Scotty Gore

(SoapOperaNetwork.com) — Unlike that of her co-star Robin Strasser, Erika Slezak’s future with “One Life to Live” appears secure, at least for now.

With reports in recent weeks of Robin Strasser’s (Dorian Lord) take-it-or-leave-it contract negotiations with “One Life” and ABC, many fans of the long-running daytime drama have feared that the show’s grand dame Erika Slezak (Viki Davidson) might suffer a similar fate.

Fortunately however, Slezak assures fans in her June 29th online newsletter that she and the soap will soon be hammering out a new contract. “Nobody has said to me that I am leaving the show. My contract is up for renegotiation, and they have indicated a willingness to renegotiate, so in other words, they want me to stay. So we‘ll see what happens. But I believe I am going to stay unless they want otherwise — but I don‘t know — all I know is that we are going to negotiate,” the actress contends.

Slezak is “One Life to Live’s” longest running castmember, having joined the soap on March 17th, 1971, becoming the third actress to take on the role Victoria Lord. In her 38 years in Llanview, she has been the recipient of six Daytime Emmy Awards for Lead Actress (a record she shares with fellow soap stars Anthony Geary and Justine Deas), as well as a Soap Opera Digest Award for Best Couple (which she shares with former co-star Mark Derwin).

In addition to re-assuring her fans that she has no desire of leaving “OLTL” anytime soon (even going as saying “no it is not,” when asked if the word retirement was in her vocabulary at this time), Slezak reveals that her character Viki has a big storyline coming up next month. “Yes — absolutely. We have started shooting it and let‘s see, what we are doing now will appear in August I think. So yes, there is a story. A good story.”

As for Viki’s rivalry with arch-nemesis Dorian Lord, Slezak quips that “there is a good storyline with Dorian. You will see in upcoming stories — that relationship is very much alive. And it gets more so. I think we are going to have fun with this next story that is coming up.” With regards to Viki’s fiance Charlie, she contends that “yes, he is going to be involved [in the storyline as well].”

The “One Life” vet dishes that she will begin her annual month long vacation around July 27th, and will be away from the set for four weeks, one of which (the first week of August), the show will go dark as cast and crew are currently ahead of their production schedule. And with pre-tapes and post-tapes figured in, many viewers may not even notice Viki is gone during that time.

To read more of the newsletter, including what Slezak has to say about Viki/Charlie and Bo/Nora’s double wedding, the overwhelming number of e-mails and letters the soap receives on her behalf, “One Life to Live’s” out-of-sequence taping, and her recent lunch with ABC Daytime President Brian Frons in which they discussed the Viki’s future, click here.

“One Life to Live” airs Weekdays on ABC. Weeknights on SOAPnet. Check local listings.

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