Erika Slezak

Actress


The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation Presents

02:26

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About
About this interview

In her two-hour Archive Interview, actress Erika Slezak talks about her early years and describes her father, screen star Walter Slezak, and her grandfather, a famous opera singer. She discusses her own training at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts, shares early stage experiences, and speaks in great detail about the role for which she is most associated, that of "Victoria Lord" on the daytime soap One Life to Live, a part she's played since 1971. She recalls her audition (she was not told she was reading for "Victoria" until later), establishing her character, and her first storyline. Slezak describes her relationship with initial series producer Doris Quinlan, then-current producer Frank Valentini, and longtime One Life to Live director David Pressman. She recounts working with cast members Ernest Graves, Robin Strasser, and Roy Thinnes, and speaks of her six Emmy wins. Barrie Nedler conducted the interview on April 28, 2006.

"It is a very, very good job, but it takes a lot of work, and it takes responsibility. You are responsible to the audience for who you're playing. You're responsible to your writers and your producer for the character, And you are extremely responsible to your fellow actors. There are people who don't realize that."

Highlights
Erika Slezak on her first day as "Victoria Lord" on One Life to Live
01:56
Erika Slezak on her One Life to Live character's multiple personality disorder and playing her
02:23
Erika Slezak on the art of daytime
01:15
Erika Slezak on One Life to Live on creator Agnes Nixon
01:47
Erika Slezak on the popularity of the soap opera genre
01:45
Full Interview

Chapter 1

On her childhood and early influences; on her father, actor Walter Slezak; on being born in Hollywood and moving to New York as a child; on her father and grandfather; on her grandfather writing her father letters from Germany during War World II
12:33
On her father playing the "bad guy" in the film Once Upon a Honeymoon starring Cary Grant and Ginger Rogers; on her father acting in One Life to Live with her
01:54
On wanting to become an actress and her father insisting that she be properly trained in acting; on television shows she watched as a child; on her first professional acting job; on performing in the Milwaukee Repertory Theater; on loving theater and wanting to do it for the rest of her life
13:46

Chapter 2

On leaving the Milwaukee Repertory Theater; on spending time with her parents in Europe and going to New York to find work as an actress; on auditioning for All My Children, which led to her role on One Life to Live
10:43
On her first day as "Victoria Lord" on One Life to Live; on the art of daytime; on her role as "Victoria Lord" on One Life to Live and some of her characters early storylines; on her One Life to Live character's multiple personality disorder; on learning to soften "Victoria"
11:38
On "Victoria's" loves on One Life to Live; on "Victoria's" father
05:46

Chapter 3

On "Victor Lord" on One Life to Live ; on her character "Victoria Lord's" children on the show; on how far in advance she would know storylines
07:27
On One Life to Live on creator Agnes Nixon; on the producers of One Life to Live; on her input on the show and not ad-libbing at all; on memorizing lines, a typical work week, and her preparations for shooting; on similarities between her and "Victoria"; on shooting on location; on the appeal of soap operas; on advice to aspiring soap actors; on people with whom she's enjoyed working
21:18

Chapter 4

On some of her One Life to Live co-stars; on how her character "Victoria" has changed over the years; on the impact of One Life to Live on her life and on viewers' lives; on other projects in which she's been involved
08:55
On her real-life family; on holding the record for most daytime Emmys in one category; on the highlight of her career; on the future of daytime; on how she'd like to be remembered
09:26
Shows

All My Children

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Erika Slezak on auditioning for All My Children, which led to her role on One Life to Live
02:04

One Life to Live

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Erika Slezak on her father acting in One Life to Live with her
00:43
Erika Slezak on getting her first job in television as "Victoria Lord" (replacing another actress) on One Life to Live
03:57
Erika Slezak on her role as "Victoria Lord" on One Life to Live and some of her character's early storylines
13:40
Erika Slezak on her first day as "Victoria Lord" on One Life to Live
01:56
Erika Slezak on her One Life to Live character's multiple personality disorder
02:23
Erika Slezak on "Victoria Lord's" father on One Life to Live
01:39
Erika Slezak on her character "Victoria Lord's" children on One Life to Live
03:35
Erika Slezak on her co-stars of One Life to Live
02:03
Erika Slezak on the impact of One Life to Live on her life and on viewers' lives
03:41
Topics

Characters & Catchphrases

View Topic
Erika Slezak on her role as "Victoria Lord" on One Life to Live and some of her character's early storylines
13:40
Erika Slezak on her character, "Victoria Lord's," children on One Life to Live
03:35
Erika Slezak on how her One Life to Live character, "Victoria," has changed over the years
01:42

Emmy Awards

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Erika Slezak on holding the record for most daytime Emmys in one category (at that time)
02:27

Pop Culture

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Erika Slezak on her role as "Victoria Lord" on One Life to Live and some of her character's early storylines
13:40
Erika Slezak on her character, "Victoria Lord's," children on One Life to Live
03:35
Erika Slezak on how her One Life to Live character, "Victoria," has changed over the years
01:42
Professions

Actress

View Profession
Erika Slezak on wanting to become an actress and her father insisting that she be properly trained in acting
04:26
Erika Slezak on her advice to aspiring daytime drama actors
01:15
Genres

Daytime/Primetime Serials

View Genre
Erika Slezak on her role as "Victoria Lord" on One Life to Live and some of her character's early storylines
13:40
Erika Slezak on the popularity of the soap opera genre
01:45
Erika Slezak on the impact of One Life to Live on her life and on viewers' lives
03:41
Erika Slezak on her co-stars of One Life to Live
02:03
People

Jill Farren-Phelps

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Erika Slezak on the producers of One Life to Live
00:42

Sally Field

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Erika Slezak on the popularity of the soap opera genre
01:39

Linda Gottlieb

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Erika Slezak on the producers of One Life to Live
00:34

Cary Grant

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Erika Slezak on her father playing the "bad guy" in the film Once Upon a Honeymoon starring Cary Grant and Ginger Rogers
00:32

Michael Malone

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Erika Slezak on how far in advance she would know storylines when Michael Malone was head writer on One Life to Live
02:13

Agnes Nixon

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Erika Slezak on getting her first job in television on One Life to Live
04:50
Erika Slezak on Agnes Nixon forgetting to write a Christmas episode on One Life to Live one year
00:50
Erika Slezak on One Life to Live on creator Agnes Nixon
01:47

Nancy Pinkerton

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Erika Slezak on Nancy Pinkerton as "Dorian Lord" on One Life to Live
00:49

David Pressman

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Erika Slezak on getting her first job in television on One Life to Live
06:46
Erika Slezak on how David Pressman helped her with her role as "Victoria Lord" on One Life to Live
02:44

Doris Quinlan

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Erika Slezak on auditioning for All My Children, which led to her role on One Life to Live
06:54
Erika Slezak on the producers of One Life to Live
00:57

Paul Rauch

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Erika Slezak on the producers of One Life to Live
00:57

Ginger Rogers

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Erika Slezak on her father playing the "bad guy" in the film Once Upon a Honeymoon starring Cary Grant and Ginger Rogers
00:32

Robin Strasser

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Erika Slezak on her co-star Robin Strasser on One Life to Live
01:36

Frank Valentini

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Erika Slezak on the producers of One Life to Live
01:26

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