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All My Life: A Memoir

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"See that moon up there? You can reach that high. Never be afraid because you can be anything you want to be." Susan Lucci was only five years old when her father shared these encouraging words with her. They inspired the highly imaginative child who loved make-believe to craft one of the most enduring characters in television history, an achievement that would earn her a r "See that moon up there? You can reach that high. Never be afraid because you can be anything you want to be." Susan Lucci was only five years old when her father shared these encouraging words with her. They inspired the highly imaginative child who loved make-believe to craft one of the most enduring characters in television history, an achievement that would earn her a record twenty-one Emmy nominations—the most for an actor in the award's history—and the crown as "Leading Lady of Daytime." When Lucci and All My Children were introduced to the world in 1971, American television changed forever. Susan's character, the beautiful, spirited, and mercurial Erica Kane, was an original—the first vixen viewers loved to hate. But while millions have enjoyed getting to know Erica's many sides—and have been awed at how this character has continually remade herself—the woman who plays her has remained a mystery. In her long-awaited memoir, this very private actress, wife, mother, daughter, grandmother, sister, friend, and entrepreneur pulls back the curtain to reveal her story. Susan, like Erica Kane, has undergone a metamorphosis many times. All My Life shares the stories of those transformations: starring in roles on television and stage, where she took Broadway not just by storm but "by tsunami" as one critic raved about her performance in Annie Get Your Gun; mounting successful cabaret acts (solo and with Regis Philbin); bringing art and joy back to New York in the wake of 9/11; conquering the tango with Tony Dovolani on ABC's hit show Dancing with the Stars; and building a successful career as an entrepreneur with a signature line of products. Susan goes beyond her success to talk about the darker moments, too, including the childhood guilt she harbored over the death of her dear grandmother, the car accident that nearly took away her career and her eyesight, her newborn son's life-threatening illness, coping with her husband's cancer, and the pain of miscarriage—one of the many parallels between her Erica Kane. As charming, down-to-earth, and compelling as the woman whose story it tells, All My Life shines a spotlight on one of our most popular stars and reminds us of the power of dreams and how we can find the courage and tenacity to make them come true.


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"See that moon up there? You can reach that high. Never be afraid because you can be anything you want to be." Susan Lucci was only five years old when her father shared these encouraging words with her. They inspired the highly imaginative child who loved make-believe to craft one of the most enduring characters in television history, an achievement that would earn her a r "See that moon up there? You can reach that high. Never be afraid because you can be anything you want to be." Susan Lucci was only five years old when her father shared these encouraging words with her. They inspired the highly imaginative child who loved make-believe to craft one of the most enduring characters in television history, an achievement that would earn her a record twenty-one Emmy nominations—the most for an actor in the award's history—and the crown as "Leading Lady of Daytime." When Lucci and All My Children were introduced to the world in 1971, American television changed forever. Susan's character, the beautiful, spirited, and mercurial Erica Kane, was an original—the first vixen viewers loved to hate. But while millions have enjoyed getting to know Erica's many sides—and have been awed at how this character has continually remade herself—the woman who plays her has remained a mystery. In her long-awaited memoir, this very private actress, wife, mother, daughter, grandmother, sister, friend, and entrepreneur pulls back the curtain to reveal her story. Susan, like Erica Kane, has undergone a metamorphosis many times. All My Life shares the stories of those transformations: starring in roles on television and stage, where she took Broadway not just by storm but "by tsunami" as one critic raved about her performance in Annie Get Your Gun; mounting successful cabaret acts (solo and with Regis Philbin); bringing art and joy back to New York in the wake of 9/11; conquering the tango with Tony Dovolani on ABC's hit show Dancing with the Stars; and building a successful career as an entrepreneur with a signature line of products. Susan goes beyond her success to talk about the darker moments, too, including the childhood guilt she harbored over the death of her dear grandmother, the car accident that nearly took away her career and her eyesight, her newborn son's life-threatening illness, coping with her husband's cancer, and the pain of miscarriage—one of the many parallels between her Erica Kane. As charming, down-to-earth, and compelling as the woman whose story it tells, All My Life shines a spotlight on one of our most popular stars and reminds us of the power of dreams and how we can find the courage and tenacity to make them come true.

30 review for All My Life: A Memoir

  1. 5 out of 5

    Jenna

    I listened to this bio on audio read by Susan Lucci herself. I thought this added an element of sincerity, which kept me interested. I liked this bio. To be honest, besides the 19 emmy nominations, I didn’t know much about her. But I think the 21 Emmy nominations in total show that she has done something many actors haven’t. She’s played the same character on the same show for 40+ years on the same network while instead of receiving criticism she receives praise by the peers in her field. And whi I listened to this bio on audio read by Susan Lucci herself. I thought this added an element of sincerity, which kept me interested. I liked this bio. To be honest, besides the 19 emmy nominations, I didn’t know much about her. But I think the 21 Emmy nominations in total show that she has done something many actors haven’t. She’s played the same character on the same show for 40+ years on the same network while instead of receiving criticism she receives praise by the peers in her field. And while her story isn’t that remarkable in retrospect, it was a nice one. It was well edited, switching back & forth in time w/out my getting lost separating events into various chapters of her life. I found her to be a truly genuine person who is grateful for all the good that has happened in her life. I thought she was fairly honest & humble. I found it humorous during the parts where she told the bio of Erica Kane (the character she played on the soap)as if she were a real person. And while she didn’t go into an in-depth description of her marriage w/her husband, I thought it came across as a real life love story. Especially since they’ve been married for more than 40 years in a business where many marriages don’t last more than 5. It was a charming read.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Miranda

    This was a pretty standard memoir. Susan Lucci seems like a genuinely nice person, she didn't have a single negative thing to say about anyone. There was one story about a director who upset her so much on the set of All My Children that she threw a yogurt container at a monitor, but that story is really more about how she ended up with yogurt all over her hair and clothes than about the director being rude. I didn't realize before I read it that this book was written before All My Children was This was a pretty standard memoir. Susan Lucci seems like a genuinely nice person, she didn't have a single negative thing to say about anyone. There was one story about a director who upset her so much on the set of All My Children that she threw a yogurt container at a monitor, but that story is really more about how she ended up with yogurt all over her hair and clothes than about the director being rude. I didn't realize before I read it that this book was written before All My Children was cancelled. I would have liked to read about Susan's experiences at the end of the series she starred on for over 40 years. I grew up watching AMC with my mom, and now that I have the time to watch soaps again I'm sad that AMC is no longer on the air. I would like to read an updated version of this memoir with a new epilogue, or maybe a 2nd memoir about her life after AMC.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Darlene

    I'm a big All My Children fan, so I enjoyed the book. It's not one of the best books I've read but I gave it 4 stars because it was easy to read and entertaining to me. You have to like Susan Lucci probably, to like the book. I'm a big All My Children fan, so I enjoyed the book. It's not one of the best books I've read but I gave it 4 stars because it was easy to read and entertaining to me. You have to like Susan Lucci probably, to like the book.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Gerald Kinro

    I have never viewed a single episode of All My Children. I am an admirer of Susan Lucci, however, mainly for her good looks. How can a Medicare-elgible senior citizen look so good? I know many one third of her age who wished to look as good right now. When the show was cancelled late last year, it made headlines, sparking my interest and when I saw her book on the shelves of the local library, I had to read it. I enjoyed reading about her childhood, about her being the apple of her parents’ eyes I have never viewed a single episode of All My Children. I am an admirer of Susan Lucci, however, mainly for her good looks. How can a Medicare-elgible senior citizen look so good? I know many one third of her age who wished to look as good right now. When the show was cancelled late last year, it made headlines, sparking my interest and when I saw her book on the shelves of the local library, I had to read it. I enjoyed reading about her childhood, about her being the apple of her parents’ eyes, her early desire and aptitude to perform. This took her to Marymount College where she earned her degree in drama and ultimately All My Children, her claim to fame, where she starred as Erica from 1970 to 2011. Arousing my interest, she tells of the show’s authors willingness to take chances by casting teens in important roles and being bold with controversial issues such as abortion when those subjects were virtually prohibited on television. I sort of lost interest during her encounters with celebrities. Instead, what I found most interesting are her encounters with her husband Helmut (her only husband and one she has had since 1968), and her two children. And she does Pilates to keep her figure. All in all, I say it is a fair read that made me admire Ms. Lucci even more. Her most shining accomplishment, I feel, is her stable personal life, not the one Emmy she finally got.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Brenda Brooks

    Such a great insight into the private life of one of my favorite daytime actresses.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Angie Barrile

    After knowing "Erica Kane" for over 40 years, it was really a pleasure and so interesting to see who Susan Lucci really is. A great book to read for anyone who misses Pine Valley like I do! After knowing "Erica Kane" for over 40 years, it was really a pleasure and so interesting to see who Susan Lucci really is. A great book to read for anyone who misses Pine Valley like I do!

  7. 4 out of 5

    BJ

    Although I haven't watched soaps on a regular basis for years, I do admit to a guilty pleasure of checking out Soap Opera Digest occasionally to see what my favorite characters of years gone by are up to. In light of the recent decision by ABC to cancel 2 of its long running soap operas, All My Children and One Life to Live, which have each been on the air for over 40 years, I decided to take a look at Susan Lucci's memoir, "All My Life." This book has a lovely flow, almost like having a convers Although I haven't watched soaps on a regular basis for years, I do admit to a guilty pleasure of checking out Soap Opera Digest occasionally to see what my favorite characters of years gone by are up to. In light of the recent decision by ABC to cancel 2 of its long running soap operas, All My Children and One Life to Live, which have each been on the air for over 40 years, I decided to take a look at Susan Lucci's memoir, "All My Life." This book has a lovely flow, almost like having a conversation with La Lucci herself. She gives some wonderful anecdotes from her 40+ years on the soap about her story lines and her co-stars and many other people she has met. For the first time, she opens up about her private life, her parents, her husband and her 2 children and even her grandchildren. She talks about the conflict of having the career she had always dreamed about and being the best wife and mother that she could be. Although the character she has played for 40+ years is a bit of a Diva, she comes across as someone who is truly grateful for the opportunities provided by her career. I found her to be very likeable and the book a very enjoyable read.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Jenn

    Upon getting this book at the library, my husband asked what else Susan Lucci has done besides All My Children. I answered him that I would find out. Well the answer is not much. There is nothing wrong with this book, I just am not the target audience. I am not a huge soap fan, but did see this one a little growing up(Haley & Mateo era) so I knew some of the plot lines she referred to but not all. I think the thing that stood out is how NICE of a person she is. She didn't have a bad word to say Upon getting this book at the library, my husband asked what else Susan Lucci has done besides All My Children. I answered him that I would find out. Well the answer is not much. There is nothing wrong with this book, I just am not the target audience. I am not a huge soap fan, but did see this one a little growing up(Haley & Mateo era) so I knew some of the plot lines she referred to but not all. I think the thing that stood out is how NICE of a person she is. She didn't have a bad word to say about anyone. I would recommend this book if you were a fan of the show; otherwise not much going on. I also thought it was sad that the book was written prior to the show being canceled. I feel like a new addition should be put out with an afterword of the last days of the show and her plans for the future.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Marca

    Susan reads her biography herself (which I appreciate) on the audio version of the book. A lovely bio of a lovely person. She seems to have led a charmed life that many would envy, but she also worked hard. I guess playing the character of Erica Kane all those years let her work out her dark side, because she comes off as such a nice person. Come to think of it, I've never read anything bad about Ms. Lucci, but she sure does play wicked temptresses very well. I recently saw her playing an Erica Susan reads her biography herself (which I appreciate) on the audio version of the book. A lovely bio of a lovely person. She seems to have led a charmed life that many would envy, but she also worked hard. I guess playing the character of Erica Kane all those years let her work out her dark side, because she comes off as such a nice person. Come to think of it, I've never read anything bad about Ms. Lucci, but she sure does play wicked temptresses very well. I recently saw her playing an Erica Kane version of herself on "Hot in Cleveland" and I really admired her for not taking herself too seriously.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Jeanette

    It was a good light read and definitely recommended for fans of All My Children and Susan Lucci. Her ghostwriter did a great job of writing this book as if Ms. Lucci was talking directly to her fans. Susan comes through the book as being the classy caring professional who tells the truth without sugarcoating her criticism of the recent downfall of the 41 year old soap. I wish I could have heard this as an audiobook with Ms. Lucci as the narrator. That would be a treat.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Herb

    Pretty interesting autobiography. If you're looking for scandal and gossip, then this is not the book for you. Miss Lucci doesn't trash anyone and had a nice, normal upbringing (well, naturally..she is part Swedish after all..I'm biased, naturally.) She has had a long and successful marriage and her kids seem to like her. (No, she's not a member of The Brady Bunch!) A nice read. Pretty interesting autobiography. If you're looking for scandal and gossip, then this is not the book for you. Miss Lucci doesn't trash anyone and had a nice, normal upbringing (well, naturally..she is part Swedish after all..I'm biased, naturally.) She has had a long and successful marriage and her kids seem to like her. (No, she's not a member of The Brady Bunch!) A nice read.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Renee'

    Susan Lucci (a.k.a Erica Kane) of "All My Children" has been a private person most of her life, until now. Though she doesn't really dish any dirt, I learned a few things about the Queen of Daytime that were surprising. My only wish is that she would've known while writing this book that All My Children was being canceled. Susan Lucci (a.k.a Erica Kane) of "All My Children" has been a private person most of her life, until now. Though she doesn't really dish any dirt, I learned a few things about the Queen of Daytime that were surprising. My only wish is that she would've known while writing this book that All My Children was being canceled.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Amy

    A fabulous read! I learned a lot about the diva of daytime and her alter ego down-to-earth Susan Lucci straight from the horse's mouth sorta speak. A fabulous read! I learned a lot about the diva of daytime and her alter ego down-to-earth Susan Lucci straight from the horse's mouth sorta speak.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Marsha

    Susan Lucci is an actress that portrayed soap opera character Erica Kane for over 40 years on the daytime show, “All My Children.” I remember watching this show when I was in my late teens and early 20s, in the late 1970s, when I was a senior in High School and then a student in college. “All My Children” and “Ryan’s Hope” were soap operas I really enjoyed. Erica Kane was a woman who would cause all sorts of mischief and misery for others for people. She was beautiful, but very insecure. She wan Susan Lucci is an actress that portrayed soap opera character Erica Kane for over 40 years on the daytime show, “All My Children.” I remember watching this show when I was in my late teens and early 20s, in the late 1970s, when I was a senior in High School and then a student in college. “All My Children” and “Ryan’s Hope” were soap operas I really enjoyed. Erica Kane was a woman who would cause all sorts of mischief and misery for others for people. She was beautiful, but very insecure. She wanted power and control; she wanted love – especially from men; she had a complex relationship with her mother, she was self-centered, a gossiper and interesting, because she always caused conflict. The actress is the opposite. Despite Erica Kane’s many marriages, Susan Lucci has been married to the same man since 1969. She has a grown son and daughter, and is now a grandmother. She had a very good relationship with her parents and loves her family. She was very lucky to have had a steady job as an actress for in a soap opera just a little longer than four decades until the show went off the air. Her character was fun to watch. Although nominated many times, it was years before Susan finally received an Emmy for her exceptional role in “All My Children.” Since she had a steady stable career she was able to spend more time with her family and work her life around the show and also manage time for other things in her career. Ms. Lucci performed on Broadway for a short time as the lead in “Annie Get Your Gun,” and the show “Dancing with the Stars” and parts in some movies. This book is very positive and happy, so I can imagine how much fun it must have been for this actress to play the part of a woman completely opposite of herself.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Summer

    Fans will mostly be satisfied as this touches on many aspects of her life. I liked the conversational style to the writing, you do get a sense of Susan’s voice in telling her stories, however, I would have preferred full-on chronological order, rather than occasionally diverting from that. Susan mostly addresses her personal life on a surface level here, she sings her family’s praises a great deal and the book definitely conveys her deep love for them, however, aside from medical issues, it rare Fans will mostly be satisfied as this touches on many aspects of her life. I liked the conversational style to the writing, you do get a sense of Susan’s voice in telling her stories, however, I would have preferred full-on chronological order, rather than occasionally diverting from that. Susan mostly addresses her personal life on a surface level here, she sings her family’s praises a great deal and the book definitely conveys her deep love for them, however, aside from medical issues, it rarely mentions any hardships or struggles, anything less than perfect, which might be unsatisfying for some readers, but when you consider how reserved Susan Lucci seems when she isn’t in character, it likely wasn’t all that easy for her to even reveal as little as she does here. Where I was a bit disappointed was in the bits about All My Children. While it’s certainly present in the book, it’s not quite as present as someone who still misses the show so many years later would have hoped, Though I loved that she singled out the likes of David Canary and Fra Heflin, I would have loved even more of that, and more of her takes on Erica’s many storylines, which ones posed the greatest challenges acting wise, which she had the most fun with, etc. When you see Susan Lucci in an interview, hosts compliment her appearance and ask her about the Emmys, but because she was on a soap opera, rarely is she asked about her work, so my favorite sections of this book were whenever she discussed that, I had no idea that she’d gone through so much training or that she’s method, it was interesting to read a little more about her artistry when so much of her career the focus has been on her glamour.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Susette

    I grew up watching AMC. Erica Kane was the original JR Ewing (and a later version of Scarlett O’Hara). A character everybody loved to hate. On the flip side, everybody wanted to have her tenacity, charm, beauty, confidence, and grit. Susan Lucci as Erica Kane created the daytime diva (on the screen). She’s a pioneer. I’ve always respected Susan Lucci. In real life, she was always quite private. Through the years, the small glimpses she would give inside her private world showed a woman who was p I grew up watching AMC. Erica Kane was the original JR Ewing (and a later version of Scarlett O’Hara). A character everybody loved to hate. On the flip side, everybody wanted to have her tenacity, charm, beauty, confidence, and grit. Susan Lucci as Erica Kane created the daytime diva (on the screen). She’s a pioneer. I’ve always respected Susan Lucci. In real life, she was always quite private. Through the years, the small glimpses she would give inside her private world showed a woman who was proud of her marriage, her children, and her career. In this crazy world, she managed to balance all of that. This biography solidified the personal, albeit private, persona she has projected all her life. She never got caught up in the whirlwind life in the spotlight. She respected and honored the blessings she received in her career without sacrificing her family. She was criticized and made to feel less than for choosing to remain a soap opera actress for over 40 years, as if that is an inferior place to be. It’s lovely to have witnessed a woman in the spotlight who walked her talk and continues to do so on the daily.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Kate Burkholder

    It's an enjoyable read! If you're a Susan Lucci fan, you'll love this book. She takes you through her life and her years at All My Children, and some would say it's boring or not as exciting as other memoirs. But Susan has always been a private person. Her words kept my interest. I was very invested in her early years, school life, husband, children, career, etc in her words. If you're an All My Children fan, you'll enjoy this book. Susan delves into a lot about the show, various actors, behind It's an enjoyable read! If you're a Susan Lucci fan, you'll love this book. She takes you through her life and her years at All My Children, and some would say it's boring or not as exciting as other memoirs. But Susan has always been a private person. Her words kept my interest. I was very invested in her early years, school life, husband, children, career, etc in her words. If you're an All My Children fan, you'll enjoy this book. Susan delves into a lot about the show, various actors, behind the scenes, and of course creator Agnes Nixon. Multiple times while reading this, I felt like watching AMC. I'm glad to have read this now, feeling more connected to Susan and AMC.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Anita

    I watched All My Children for years, so this was a really interesting autobiography about Susan Lucci (Erica Kane). I listened as an audiobook which was read by Susan Lucci (added benefit). I've always respected how she kept her personal life out of the media, so most of the information she shared about that in the book was new. There was also a lot of "behind the scene" from All My Children which was great to revisit. Good read for fans of the show 4.5/5 stars. I watched All My Children for years, so this was a really interesting autobiography about Susan Lucci (Erica Kane). I listened as an audiobook which was read by Susan Lucci (added benefit). I've always respected how she kept her personal life out of the media, so most of the information she shared about that in the book was new. There was also a lot of "behind the scene" from All My Children which was great to revisit. Good read for fans of the show 4.5/5 stars.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Bonita

    I happen to love Susan Lucci and have seen her in many interviews. Her book confirms what I’ve always felt about her - that she is ambitious in the best way - wanting to be true to herself and without sacrificing what is truly important. It wasn’t spellbinding, but it was written in a way that made you feel like you were visiting with a friend. Lucci obviously knows she is beautiful and multi-talented, yet she seems to be genuine and humble - and that’s what makes her so endearing.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Halifax

    Audiobook. Susan Lucci and I are the same age, but the similarity stops there. The name dropping in her book got old for me, especially touring Susan’s “basement”. Jetting off to surprise parties for each other and the summers at the Hampton beach house had to be fantastic - but I could not relate. What I do appreciate about Susan’s life is her constant love for her husband, her work ethic, and love for her children.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Cynthia Bemis Abrams

    My podcast Advanced TV Herstory recently released many episodes around the history of soap operas - more from the business and storytelling angles than from a fan perspective. I've always had great respect for Susan Lucci as an actor. Her memoir is a candid and realistic look at a strategic life. She's honest about how she balanced work-family demands. Finishing the book, a reader should have a new-found or renewed respect for actors who toiled in daytime for much if not all their careers. My podcast Advanced TV Herstory recently released many episodes around the history of soap operas - more from the business and storytelling angles than from a fan perspective. I've always had great respect for Susan Lucci as an actor. Her memoir is a candid and realistic look at a strategic life. She's honest about how she balanced work-family demands. Finishing the book, a reader should have a new-found or renewed respect for actors who toiled in daytime for much if not all their careers.

  22. 4 out of 5

    elizabeth m king

    Loved All My Children?!!! I have watched All My Children throughout my adult life. I had to stop watching when my real life took off and I had to get a full-time job to help with expenses after I adopted a child and then after four years in Germany I was able to return to the states and was pregnant with my own baby

  23. 4 out of 5

    Vikki

    I always enjoyed the Erica Kane character, so I did enjoy Susan Lucci's memoir and the pictures throughout the book. I think I would have appreciated the audio version a bit more, but it was not available at my library. I agree with Susan's love of Thanksgiving dinner too. I always enjoyed the Erica Kane character, so I did enjoy Susan Lucci's memoir and the pictures throughout the book. I think I would have appreciated the audio version a bit more, but it was not available at my library. I agree with Susan's love of Thanksgiving dinner too.

  24. 4 out of 5

    C

    Did not finish. I used to watch All My Children a lot and I adore Susan Lucci, but good god is this book boring! I made it through 75 pages and even that was a stretch given that nothing happens! The writing is so slow and this book was such a disappointment.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Lyn

    This is a very interesting light conversational memoir about one of the longest running soap actors. She talks about her drive, her family and the making of All My Children. The book is sometimes organized thematically and sometimes chronologically.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Christina

    I have never seen "All My Children," or any soap operas for that matter. I really just like Susan Lucci. She is very glamourous. I got introduced to her by Instagram during the Coronavirus pandemic, and then found this book. I have never seen "All My Children," or any soap operas for that matter. I really just like Susan Lucci. She is very glamourous. I got introduced to her by Instagram during the Coronavirus pandemic, and then found this book.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Kimberley

    I grew up on All My Children...really enjoyed Susan Lucci’s reflections and memories.. easier to read the more you get into it...

  28. 5 out of 5

    Phyllis Wright

    I read as much as I could. I adore Ms. Lucci, I really do!

  29. 5 out of 5

    Edy

    Interesting autobiography. Lucci is an accomplished actress; however, what I think is more impressive is that she an her husband have been married for over 40 years--a rare occurrence these days.

  30. 5 out of 5

    d c countryman

    Well done Never watched daytime tv but totally enjoyed Susan,s story. Amazing focus and singular determination personified. A powerhouse to be reckoned with.

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