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Erika Slezak Library

Soap Opera Digest
February 27, 2001
Volume 26, No. 9

Thanks for the Memories

We Salute 10 beloved veterans, who in turn share some of their best war stories.

Erika Slezak Viki Lord Davidson 1971-Present

Did you ever expect to be on the show for so long? "Good God, no. When they hired me, it was for a two-year contract, and that was manna from heaven.In those days, the minimum was, I think, $225 a show. I had never made more than $195 a week in [repertory theater]. And then they kept asking me to stay."

What piece of advice would you give to newcomers? "Never take this for granted. Kids come in here and they think, 'Oh, it's only daytime.'  This is not 'only' daytime:  This is probably harder than anything else you have to do in the business.  Use the time; learn and practice your craft."

Do you have a favorite storyline?  "The multiple personalities.  I mean, how much fun was that?  Different clothes, swapping back and forth in the middle of a scene.  Playing scenes with Roger Howarth where I transformed and came on to him, and I was his sister."

Was there ever a storyline you just couldn't reconcile yourself to?  "Killing Kevin.  I was hypnotized into [attempting to] kill my son.  I never bought that. You have to do your best, but I loathed coming to work on those days."

Do you have fans who have stayed in touch all these years?  "Absolutely.  I still call him my young man - the guy who runs my fan club has been running it since six months after I joined the show.  He was 15 or 16 years old at the time, and he asked me if he could start up a fan club.  Did I know that 30 years later it would still be going strong?"

Did you ever have a sense that any of your co-stars would go on to become big Hollywood names?  "Tommy Lee Jones, who I didn't work with that much, but we knew each other.  This is a very talented man.  And Blair Underwood was such a star when he was here; he was so young and cute and green and such a nice guy. When he got his job at L.A. Law, he called me."

Is there anyone who you particularly miss?  "Michael Storm [Larry].  He's technically part of the show, but he doesn't work here much.  I miss his humor, his incredible charm.  At this point, I miss Robin Strasser, too.  This show needs a Dorian."

Mark Derwin (Ben): "I'm quoted as saying I'm the luckiest guy in daytime and it's true. I get to play with Erika. Anything I throw, it goes right back. That makes it more honest, more real, and that's what people want to see."

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