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24 March 17th, 2011 It’s Erika Slezak Day! OLTL honors her with 40th Anniversary Surprise Party!

Courtesy/ABC

Yes, it is St. Patrick’s Day throughout the land, but in the soap world, there was, and is,  an even bigger celebration going on.  One Life to Live’s six-time Daytime Emmy winner, Erika Slezak (Viki) celebrated today her 40th anniversary milestone with the east coast sudser.

Think about it. What would One Life be without Viki and Erika’s brilliant performances over the last four decades?  Erika, who embodies such grace and class, and is one hell of a phenomenal performer has brought us to tears time and time again, as we have gone through Viki’s  joys and sorrows.

So the cast and crew in Llanview this afternoon brought Erika to a secret gathering!   She thought they were having a St. Patrick’s Day luncheon on set… needless to say she was completely surprised.  Later, a highlight reel and video tribute featuring some of her OLTL cast members including Castle’s Nathan Fillion (Ex-Joey) and the series creator, Agnes Nixon was shown to all in attendance.

According to Soap Opera Digest. Slezak was said to be overwhelmed with emotion at the party, saying, “I’ve been here for 40 years because I love it.  I’m so grateful for the job and to you, my family.  It’s been just magical.”

View our photo gallery from the celebration below.  There are eleven shots, so for the last one, make sure to hit the NEXT GROUP icon next to the + symbol or just simply wait for the slideshow to play through. Then, check out the emotional video clip of the moment Erika joined her surprise celebration!

One Life will continue Erika’s celebration with a special episode devoted to Viki next month! So we ask, what is your favorite Erika Slezak performance over the last 40 years? There are so many it’s hard to choose, right?  But, let us know.

Exclusive Photos

Photo credits: Courtesy/ABC

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  1. guilty pleasure says:

    HAPPY 40th ANNIVERSARY TO YOUR YEARS ON OLTL, ERIKA!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Reply

  2. Brian Greene says:

    Dear Erika,

    We love you madly here in Evanston, Illinois! :) Happy Anniversary! :)

    Reply

  3. ERNIELPRINCE says:

    Ms. Slezak: You are one of the 3 remaining actresses with class left on the Soaps today!!!!!!! You are simply the best dramatic actress of your generation……I love watching you everyday…as I have when I started watching OLTL 40 years ago……..Congrats……………

    Reply

  4. todd says:

    I love any scene with Erika in it. My favorite moments were when Viki was in a wheelchair after the stroke and managed to get up the stairs as one of her alters to kill Johnny D. Also loved when she locked Dorian up in the secret room. Also loved her as a waitress in Paris, Texas. Too many to choose from. I look forward to her kicking Charlie to the curb. That will undoubtedly be her Emmy reel for next year.

    Reply

  5. ethel says:

    happy anniversary erika!!! you go girl!!

    Reply

  6. Stephanie says:

    I’ve been able to view the photo slideshows on this site in the past, but this one doesn’t work for me at all. It says “Error: Slideshow data cannot load due to security issue”.

    Please fix this since I’m anxious to see the photos from the celebration. Congrats to Erika!!

    Reply

    Michael Fairman replied

    Hi Stephanie:
    We are aware of the message and are working on resolving it.We are investigationg with the company and how to have resolve in the morning if not earlier. Thanks for your patience… you will love the gallery… when you can see it:)
    Best
    Michael

    Reply

  7. Bina says:

    Happy Anniversay Erika, May God Bless You with many more years.

    Reply

  8. Doe says:

    Erika deserves this tribute more than any actress because of her consistency and unwavering performances for so many years. The fact that she can embody her character of Viki after so many marriages and personalities proves that she is the grande dame of soaps.. I really liked her multiple personas,especially Niki the floozie. She can do no wrong by me. Congratulations Erika. Onward and Upward….

    Reply

  9. Sylvia says:

    Congratulations on 40 years to a WONDERFUL actress! Your portrayal of Viki is simply amazing!

    Reply

  10. Sue says:

    Congratulations Erica! One Life to Live was my first soap. I started watching because of Gillian Spencer’s Vicky/Nicky performance. Split personalities was a new thing then. I remember when Erica took over the role of Vicky. It was a seemless transition.

    Tip of the hat to a performer that spent her career in daytime.

    Reply

  11. Kim says:

    To a consummate performer, we love your work and are wishing for many more years of the same!!!

    Reply

  12. Shelley says:

    Thanks Michael for another great piece of Soap history your have shared! I love Erika and so glad that she is being appreciated! I have watched since Viki had to choose between Joe and Steve!!! I am glad she and Dorian are going against Echo! Great Stuff!

    Reply

  13. vicki H. says:

    She looked shocked. So glad they did this for her. TY for the pics.

    Reply

  14. mike says:

    The class act of Daytime TV and it’s best actress

    Reply

  15. Barbara says:

    I have been watching you on OLTL for 40 years and you get better and better. I just think you are the best.

    Reply

  16. Larry says:

    Erika has been the reason I have stuck with OLTL thru thick and thin. She is classy and an amazing performer and after all these years feels like family.

    I recognize amazingly few faces in that group photo. Where was the majority of the cast? Perhaps the younger members of the cast don’t realize how lucky they are to be working with such a talent.

    Reply

  17. bridget deturk says:

    just want to be amoung the many fans of yours that we r grateful to have such a fine actress grace our television screens for so many fine years here is to 40 and many more to come. i have watched u since i was a young girl of 10 and i have always enjoyed the show and u so good luck and happy 40th anniversary

    Reply

  18. Patrick Trubia says:

    Happy 40 years on O.L.T.L. Erika. I have been enjoying watching you perform since 1978, and I have to say you have kept me mesmerized and entertained and you are the only reason that I have been watching for so long. so here’s to many more great years to come.
    God Bless.

    Reply

  19. Tony says:

    I also have to congratulate Erika on this accomplishment. She is truly an icon and matriarch of One Life to Live, as well as all daytime TV. I remember back when I first started watching ONTL. It was in the late 70′s, and Vicki’s husband at the time, Joe Riley was missing, if I remember right. Then he was in the hospital. Vicki was right there by his bedside, in anguish over his condition. I also remember that she was wearing a very lovely navy blue dress with white lace trim in that scene. It is so very sad that OLTL and AMC have been canceled.

    Reply

  20. tim says:

    i will miss you and all the cast its all about money

    Reply

    tim replied

    what?

    Reply

  21. Brian Anthony says:

    This wonderful woman has NO IDEA how many lives she has touched. God Bless You ALWAYS Erika. My only regret is that I never met you face to face to tell you this myself. -Your Fan of over 35 years Brian in New York.

    Reply

  22. Michael B says:

    I have had you in my life since I was 12. I will not have the same kind of a day with out you in it. I love you and OLTL.,

    Reply

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