This Girl Was an NY Finalist for Miss Universe — Now Widowed, This Hollywood Icon Is Still ‘Gorgeous’ at 76

This actress wasn’t born into wealth and could’ve been a beauty pageant winner if things had gone her way.

She suffered from a medical condition that reoccurred years later, causing her to speak up the second time.

This legendary star was born the younger child of a nurse, Jeanette, and a construction contractor, Victor. As the second-born and last child in her family, she was an all-American girl who was an honor student and cheerleader at her high school.

This future star later studied drama at Tarrytown, New York’s Marymount College. When she was a senior at college, she became a New York State finalist in the Miss Universe pageant. However, the finals coincided with her comprehensive exams, forcing her to drop out of the competition. Her father insisted that her degree was much more important.

Despite the sacrifice, the celebrity didn’t have any bad blood with her late father and has since shared several social media photos celebrating him.

For instance, in 2015, she uploaded a throwback photo of them on Instagram for Father’s Day. She was 17 and they were captured smiling as they danced. In her caption, the star expressed how much she missed him. “He was the best father a girl could ever have–I am so lucky to have had him as mine!” she also wrote.

In 2019, she shared another photo of them taken from the same event and noted how proud and grateful she was for her father’s service to their country, having fought in WWII.

She also shared that he taught her how to make charcoal and pastel drawings, took her ice-skating and horseback riding. She also thanked him for his work ethic and love for her. The actress appreciated all the times she got to dance with him, like in the photo she shared.

This actress, who was devoted to her father, also went through many trials in her life. In the following section, we learn who she is and the hardships she faced.

Who Is This Actress and What Were the Challenges She Faced over the Years?
The actress, who gave up a chance to become Miss Universe in favor of a college degree, is none other than Susan Lucci. In 2011, she released her book, “All My Life: A Memoir,” where she also opened up about the challenges she faced throughout her life.

The “All My Children” star wrote about her miscarriages while married to Helmut Huber, as well as her father’s death, which came not long after Huber was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2002. He was declared cancer-free in 2011. On a more personal front, Lucci also battled heart disease.

Susan Lucci at the signing of her book, "All My Life," at Barnes & Noble on April 12, 2011, in Glendale, California | Source: Getty Images

In 2019, Lucci had her first heart surgery, where she acquired two stents because her heart’s main artery was 90% blocked. A few years later, in 2022, the star underwent another emergency heart procedure.

The celebrity revealed her second diagnosis came when she started having shortness of breath and pain around her ribcage and back, similar to when she first experienced heart problems. When she lay down, she felt a sharp pain in her jaw.

Eventually, the actress confessed her symptoms to her husband, who urged her to call her doctor at 10:30 p.m. The medical professional informed Lucci that he would meet with her at the ER, where tests were done, and the doctor said he could fix it with surgery.

Another stent was put into Huber’s wife, and she survived the health scare that could’ve led to a heart attack. The star’s doctor told her no one had to die from a heart attack if they reacted as soon as they felt their symptoms.

However, she was yet to experience something equally worse years later when her husband sadly passed away on March 28, 2022, at the age of 84. Speaking about the loss in an early 2023 interview, Lucci admitted that they’d been partners in everything.

The pair worked together, loved one another, and were often seen together. As such, ten months after her husband’s death, when asked if she was ready to date again, she confessed that she wasn’t. She described her husband as the “love of my life” and admitted missing him.

In 2022, two weeks after celebrating her 75th birthday on December 23—a day that didn’t come with that many birthday cakes or parties…

Lucci’s still holding on and going strong after the heartbreaking loss of her husband. She has since managed to smile again and receive positive messages from fans.

What Is Susan Lucci’s Life like Now after Losing Helmut Huber?
In September 2023, Lucci’s fans marveled at her appearance in an Instagram upload honoring her friend Josephine’s birthday. The 76-year-old earned quite a lot of compliments as she posed alongside her friend in the photo she shared.

One fan described Lucci and her friend as “astonishingly gorgeous,” while another said they were “beautiful.” A third person wished Josephine a happy birthday, noting how “beautiful” their dresses were.

In 2022, two weeks after celebrating her 75th birthday on December 23, a day that often didn’t come with that many birthday cakes or parties due to its proximity to Christmas Day, Lucci shared an Instagram video of herself on the beach. Once again, the celebrity looked stunning with windswept hair as she stood against a banister, dressed in a strapless one-piece bathing suit.

Lucci’s most famous role is that of Erica Kane on ABC’s daytime drama series, “All My Children,” which she has starred in since 1970. In her book, the actress described her character as “the kind that you just love to hate.”

Besides “All My Children,” Lucci has appeared in the 1995 movie, “Ebby,” 2015’s “Joy,” and in the TV series, “Devious Maids.” Lucci also starred in “Hot in Cleveland,” “Army Wives,” a 2012 music video for “Gloria Estefan: Hotel Nacional,” 2017’s “Sia: Santa’s Coming for Us,” and many more.


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