Susan Lucci is grateful her mother taught her the importance of wellness.
“She was a registered nurse who believed in prevention,” the actress recently told Closer Weekly about Jeanette, the matriarch who passed away last summer at age 104. “[She encouraged everyone to do] the best with what you’ve got. Get up off the couch, take it day by day and do what works for you.”
The “All My Children” icon, who celebrated her 75th birthday on Dec. 23, told the outlet that doing Pilates six days a week, as well as having a Mediterranean-style diet rich in fresh vegetables, fruits and fish have been key to her youthful features.
“Over the past few years, I’ve gotten more in touch with my spiritual side,” she shared. “I think keeping an open heart and open mind has been very helpful to me.”
Lucci is especially mindful of her health after experiencing a major scare. In 2018, she underwent surgery after a large blockage in her main artery almost caused a massive heart attack.
“I learned with my heart incident that stress plays a very real role in our health,” said Lucci. “Physical exercise, in addition to keeping you physically healthier, is a great way to de-stress.”
Over the years, Lucci has proudly celebrated her figure.
It was in 2018 when Lucci stripped down to a plunging black one-piece, along with a more risqué matching cut-out bathing suit, for an editorial spread featured in Harper’s BAZAAR. The photos earned praise for being completely unretouched.
“I feel as good now as I ever did in my 20s and 30s, maybe even better physically,” she told the outlet at the time.
Lucci credited Pilates, which she has been practicing for more than two decades, for keeping her in camera-ready shape all year long. Lucci also noted that it has completely revamped her eating habits.
“Once I started doing Pilates, I lost my taste for things like cheeseburgers and French fries,” she explained. “I rarely eat dessert, never snack, and I don’t eat a lot of bread and pasta. I’ll have one glass of champagne when we go out to dinner, but I don’t drink at home.”
When Lucci travels to Europe she does indulge by eating “more carbs in three weeks than I normally do in six months.” As for sweets, “if I really want something, I’ll just have one or two bites.”
The actress famously won her first Emmy in 1999 after 19 nominations in the best actress category for her portrayal of Erica Kane. Lucci starred in “All My Children” from 1970 until its end in 2011.
While life these days has been sweet for Lucci, she does miss playing her iconic character.
“Erica was so much fun to play,” she told Fox News in 2020. “I used to say to Stephanie Nolasco Agnes [Nixon], ‘Don’t you think Erica needs to lie down sometimes? Don’t you think she’s exhausted a little bit?’ Because she was very active. She had a lot of husbands and a lot of shenanigans going on, but such a wonderful part.”