Erika Slezak
Born August 5, 1946
Hometown Hollywood, California
Character Victoria Lord
Duration 1971-present

Erika Alma Hermina Slezak is an American actress, best known for her role as Viki Lord on the American daytime soap opera One Life to Live from 1971 through the television finale in 2012. She is one of the longest-serving serial actors in American media.

Life and careerEdit

Slezak was born in Hollywood, California of Austrian and Dutch descent, the daughter of Tony award-winning Austrian actor Walter Slezak and Johanna "Kaasi" Van Rijn, and the granddaughter of opera tenor Leo Slezak.[1][2] Raised in Greenwich, Connecticut, Slezak attended high school at the Sacred Heart High School near Greenwich, Connecticut. At age 17, she became one of the youngest individuals ever accepted into London's prestigious Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, later graduating in 1966.[1] Establishing a noteworthy reputation in theater, she performed in Milwaukee, Chicago, and Houston.

One Life to LiveEdit

In 1971, Slezak auditioned for the role of nurse Mary Kennecott on the ABC soap opera All My Children. She was not cast on that show, but the network offered her the role of Victoria "Viki" Lord Riley on One Life to Live (OLTL).[1] To date, Slezak has won six Daytime Emmy Awards for her portrayal, which is an Emmy record.[1]

In 2007, Slezak voiced strong criticism of OLTL's then-head writer, Dena Higley. In the March 2007 edition of Slezak's fan club newsletter, she stated, "Dena doesn't care about the rich history of the show, which is evident in what she writes" and that Higley "wants to write stories that she thinks are interesting but nobody else does."[3] Ron Carlivati was subsequently made co-head writer, with Higley ultimately leaving the series on September 10, 2007.

In 2011, it was announced OLTL was to be cancelled. However, Prospect Park, a media company, bought the creative rights to the show from Disney and announced that it would be migrated to an online format on January 16, 2012. In September of that year, Slezak confirmed she would be moving with the show, along with cast members who include Jerry verDorn (Clint Buchanan), Kassie DePaiva (Blair Cramer), and Melissa Archer (Natalie Buchanan). On November 23, 2011, Prospect Park executives announced that they would not be financially able to go forward with moving One Life to Live and All My Children to the Internet, thus, ending the series; members of OLTL have since migrated in their former roles in continuity on ABC's sole remaining soap, General Hospital.

Personal lifeEdit

Slezak is married to Brian Davies, and is the mother of two children, Michael (born 1980) and Amanda (born 1981).[1] In 2003, Amanda played a teenage Viki in flashback scenes on One Life to Live.[1] She and Robin Strasser, who, until August 2011, played her perennial frenemy and former stepmother, Dorian Lord are friends in real life.

Awards and nominationsEdit

Slezak has won six Daytime Emmy Awards in the category of "Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series" out of nine nominations for her role as Viki. Nominated in 1983, 1988, and 2012, she won in 1984, 1986, 1992, 1995, 1996 and 2005, making the record for most wins by an actress and, along with Justin Deas, is second to 7-time winner Anthony Geary, for the most wins for playing one character. Additionally, Slezak won a Soap Opera Digest Award for Favorite Couple with Mark Derwin in 2000.

See also Edit


  1. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named SOD_stats
  2. Turner Classic Movies: Biography for Walter Slezak. Retrieved on December 17, 2009.

External linksEdit

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