In a segment entitled “All Hail The Queen,” daytime legend Susan Lucci appeared on the Friday, January 13 episode of “TMZ” in which she was asked why she never left “All My Children” at any point in the 41 years she played Erica Kane on the soap.
“Oh, there were a number of times,” Lucci stated with a smile. “Actually, every time my contract would come up for renegotiation I would think, ‘Am I really happy?’ and I really was.”
As a point of reference, the show highlighted several actors who had their careers jumpstarted by the ABC soap and have gone on to bigger roles or other noteworthy projects, including Amanda Seyfriend, Josh Duhamel, Sarah Michelle Gellar and even Kelly Ripa who stirred a debate among the staff in which they discussed how much more money she’s raking in as co-host of “Live with Kelly and Ryan” compared to how much she made playing Hayley Vaughan Santos on the daytime series. One male staffer who appeared to prefer stability over money commented, “Good for her! I wouldn’t jump!” A few moments earlier he said of working on a soap, “It’s the best job you can have as an actor.”
Later, highlighting the soap’s 10,775 episode run, the staff wondered if “TMZ” might last just as long. In response, founder and managing editor Harvey Levin said, “I didn’t think ‘TMZ’ had a year.”