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Erika Slezak Library

Daytime TV, 1980

Erika Slezak: Making It on Her Own!

"Victoria Lord" was the apple of her father's eye. Newspaper publisher/millionaire "Victor Lord" instilled in "Viki" a sense of pride and independence at an early age. In newspaper reporter "Joe Riley," "Viki" found a man made of the same strong stuff as her father. After marrying "Riley," "Viki was to lose "Joe" in a gangland-related car crash but, miraculously, he escaped death, only to lose his memory. It would take some time before "Viki" and "Joe" were joyously reunited. Then, "Victor" died suspiciously, while married to a much younger woman, "Dorian." "Joe" became editor of "Victor's" paper, The Banner.

For "The Rileys," one of the happiest moments in their lives came when "Viki" announced she was pregnant with their second child. "Joe" was sure she would present him with a son, and he was right. Death, however, claimed "Joe," the only other man to really mean anything to "Viki." Even more tragic, "Joe" never saw the son who now bears his name.

Raising two children alone won't be easy for “Viki,” but Erika has the support of her husband, Brian, on which to rely. They even want to have a second child!

It seemed as if The Banner's new editor, "Clint Buchanan," might not only take "Joe's" place at his desk but also win a special niche in "Viki's" heart. But he doesn't seem to be "Mr. Right" these days.

"Viki" now faces the tough task of making it on her own. She keeps busy at the paper and being both mother and father to "Joe Jr.," but all the work in the world can't fill that void, that aching loneliness she feels in her heart.

Her standard in men is high. Will "Viki" ever be able to find a man to match "Joe," the great love of her life?

On the other side of the camera, Erika Slezak ("Viki") doesn't know from loneliness, not with a handsome hubby, actor Brian Davies, and a baby son, Michael, awaiting her arrival home from the TV studio.

Raised in Hollywood and New York, the daughter of famed stage/film character actor Walter Slezak caught the acting bug early. She remembers: "When I was about 14, I told my father I wanted to be an actress. He said to me: 'It's all very well to have a famous last name, but between 8 P.M. and 11, you're on your own."

This intelligent blonde thought that made sense, and in her determined way, went about making it in the theater on her own. Finishing high school, Erika was one of two Americans (chosen from 500 applicants) to be accepted by London's Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts. Later, she began her professional career playing a wide variety of roles at the Milwaukee Repertory Company.

Erika entered into a youthful marriage. "We were very happy, but we simply had different goals in life. He was perfectly content in Milwaukee. My ambition was to get into the theater in New York." Divorced and on her own again, Erika finally arrived in the Big Apple and won the role of OLTL's "Viki," the third actress to play the part. Making it alone has paid off!

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