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Hollywood marriages are sometimes very short-lived, but that's definitely not the case for Susan Lucci. The Emmy Award-winning actress, host, and author (you may know her as Erica Kane from All My Children and Genevieve Delatour from Devious Maids, among other roles) has been married to her husband, Helmut Huber, since before All My Children made its debut in 1970. And while many celebrities who have been married for a significant period of time are quick to share the details of their love stories — like Felicity Huffman and William H. Macy, for example — not all fans know the story behind Susan Lucci and her husband Helmut Huber's marriage. But after more than five decades together, and with a relationship that is still going strong, it's certainly a Hollywood marriage that deserves more recognition.
Susan first met Helmut during the summer of 1965. Following her freshman year at Marymount College, a then-18-year-old Susan got a job as a waitress at the Garden City Hotel on Long Island, New York. Helmut, who is nine years Susan's senior and originally from Austria, happened to work there as the chef and head of the hotel’s food and beverage service. Needless to say, he was smitten with the young waitress almost instantly.
"The first time I saw Susie, it hit me," he told People during a June 1999 interview. "Still today, she walks in a room, and I just light up."
Because Helmut was so much older (and also her boss), Susan didn't consider him a legitimate romantic prospect, though she did consider him "an attractive older man," as she later told People. The aspiring actress ended up getting engaged to another man while still attending Marymount, and in 1968, she and her fiancé held their engagement party at the Garden City Hotel, where she ran into Helmut. Susan's parents invited him to join the party, and it wasn't long before Susan felt herself having feelings for her former boss again.
"I was thinking at the time that he was much more attractive than I even knew, and I shouldn’t be feeling like that. Something is wrong with this picture," she told Yahoo! Lifestyle in January 2019. "But I didn’t know what to do with it."
Apparently, Helmut knew the engagement wouldn't last before Susan even knew herself, and he said this to Susan's mom during the party.
"Helmut leaned over to my mother and said, 'This thing between Susie and this boy is never going to last,'" she told People. "I heard about that much later. And my mother agreed with him, but she didn’t tell me that." As it turns out, he was right.
A few months after her engagement party, Susan broke up with her fiancé, and it wasn't long before she and Helmut started dating. During her interview with Yahoo! Lifestyle, Susan recalled the moment when she knew Helmut was "the one."
"One night we were in the sun porch of my parents' home," she said. "Helmut realized that I was cold. He took his socks off and put his socks on me. This is somebody spectacular."
After just three months of dating (and several proposals from Helmut), Susan finally agreed to marry him, and on Sept. 13, 1969, they tied the knot. Right around the same time, Susan landed the role of Erica on the forthcoming soap opera All My Children, and her career took off.
It wasn't long before Susan and Helmut began to grow their family, too. In February 1975, they welcomed their daughter, Liza, and just about two years later in April 1977, they had their son, Andreas. Then, in 1982, Helmut made the decision to give up his career as a hotel and restaurant executive in order to manage his wife's career.
"I feel so lucky that Helmut is so secure, and I always look to him because he's very smart," she gushed to Yahoo! Lifestyle when asked about her relationship with her husband. "I'm not even gonna say supportive; it's so beyond that. It's involved, it’s hands-on, really there for me."
Though Susan's 41-year run on All My Children included many different romances, Helmut remained her constant through it all. And when she finally won an Emmy in 1999 after 19 nominations, Helmut seemed just as thrilled by the win as she was.
"I heard a lot of cheering, and my husband swept me up in his arms and I asked him, 'Did they really say my name?" she told People. "Is it okay to go up onstage?'"
After more than 51 years of marriage, it seems Susan and Helmut are just as enamored with each other as ever, and as Susan told Closer Weekly in June 2019, a lot of that has to due with Helmut's ability to always make her smile.
"He always made me laugh and he still does,” she said. “Helmut doesn’t look like somebody who would make you laugh. He looks very imposing, but then he’s very funny. The combination is great."
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