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Erika Slezak

On March 17, 1971, Erika Slezak made her television debut on One Life to Live. In 1996 she made Emmy history when she won her fifth Outstanding Lead Actress Daytime Emmy Award for her portrayal of Victoria Lord. She also won the prestigious award in 1984, 1986, 1992 and 1995. In November 2002 Ms. Slezak was inducted into the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences' esteemed Silver Circle.

Victoria Lord, often referred to as Viki, is a woman of great character and is a well respected member of the community. She has faced many battles, triumphs and devastating losses throughout the years. One of Viki's ongoing and toughest challenges is the multiple personality disorder that she has battled most of her life. In 2000 she faced another life-changing illness when she discovered that she had breast cancer, the storyline for which brought the show the first CDC Sentinel for Health Award. In 2003 Viki decided to take on a new challenge – the presidency of Llanview University -- and with longtime nemesis Dorian Lord (Robin Strasser) back in town, her life is anything but calm. Then in May 2004, Viki faced yet another life-threatening challenge – heart disease – a theme for which First Lady Laura Bush taped a PSA.

A graduate of the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London, Ms. Slezak was admitted to the prestigious school when she was only 17, one of the youngest students ever accepted. But honors in the world of the arts are a tradition in her family.

Her father, the late Walter Slezak, starred in many films and Broadway hits, among them Fanny, for which he won the Tony Award. Erika's grandfather was the world-famous operatic tenor, Leo Slezak, who sang in Vienna and Berlin, as well as at New York's Metropolitan Opera.

Born in Hollywood, Ms. Slezak learned to speak German at home before she learned English. For high school she attended the Sacred Heart Schools in Greenwich, CT, and Philadelphia, PA.

When did Ms. Slezak first decide she wanted to act?

I can't recall a time when I didn't want to act. When I was a sophomore in high school, my father talked to me about training for a career in acting…One thing my father did for me was not discourage my ambitions. But he made sure I had no illusions about the acting profession, explaining that it was going to be harder for me because I had a famous father. I would have to prove myself more than others and, as usual, he was right.

Before making her debut in television on One Life to Live, Ms. Slezak established solid credentials in the theater. She was a member of the Milwaukee Repertory Company for three seasons, where she starred in everything from Shakespeare to Noel Coward, and she acted for another season at the Alley Theater in Houston.

Ms. Slezak is the only Slezak of her generation to pursue an acting career. Her sister, Ingrid, is an attorney and her brother, Leo, is a pilot.

Ms. Slezak and her husband, actor Brian Davies, have two children, Michael and Amanda. The family lives in a suburb of New York.

Note: This profile was written in or before 2006.
Read earlier biographies on this page.

Erika Slezak Facts

Birth NameErika Alma Hermina Slezak
BirthdayAugust 5, 1946 (77)
BirthplaceHollywood, California, USA

Selected Filmography

Danielle Steel's Full Circle
Veronika Decides to Die
Full Circle
Rosen in Tirol
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