Lucci lost her husband, Helmut Huber, whom she was married to for over 50 years, on March 28 and as such, she spoke from the heart introducing the segment of the awards show that honors the people in daytime television who died this past year.
Here is what an emotional Lucci had to say ahead of the segment:
Lucci Said Grief is ‘The Price We Pay For Love’
Lucci took the stage at the awards show and first said that she was “so happy to be here with you tonight celebrating people that we love and have lost this year.”
She then became quite choked up as she went on to say:
I send my sympathy from my heart to the loved ones of those we pay tribute to tonight. [choking up] My husband, Helmut Huber, was a larger-than-life force of nature. He was a confident caregiver who knew exactly how to make things happen and to keep us all laughing at the same time. Helmut loved and was so proud of our magnificent children and our grandchildren.
Helmut was the love of my life. They say that grief is the price we pay for love. Well, grief is an excruciating price, but I would not give up even one second of the love.
As part of this celebration, we take pause to remember, to pay honor and respect and to give reconition to membera of our daytime family we’ve lost this past year. People in front of the camera, people behind the camera s well. Yes, we mourn their loss, but we take comfort in knowing that their work lives on and knowing that they will be remembered and loved always. Here to help honor those we lost — singer, songwriter, and music legend Michael Bolton.
Fellow “Dancing With the Stars” alum Bolton then performed his 1989 hit “How am I Supposed to Live Without You?” as the video montage of those who died this past year, including Ed Asner, Cheslie Kryst, Markie Post, Ray Liotta, and Betty White. Huber was also included in the segment because he actually quit working as a chef in 1982 to become Lucci’s manager. By then, she had already been starring on “All My Children” for over a decade. Before the soap opera was canceled in 2011, she famously earned 18 Daytime Emmy nominations for Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series before finally winning in 1999. By the time she show went off the air, she had played Erica Kane for over 40 years and earned 21 total Daytime Emmy nominations.
In December 2020, ABC ordered an “All My Children” spinoff called “Pine Valley,” but production is slow-going because of COVID, Lucci told People in February 2022. But she did say it hasn’t stalled out altogether.
“There has been movement [on ‘Pine Valley’]. I wish it was a quicker movement, but yes, everything in terms of being in the right hands, as far as I know, would be in place,” said Lucci, adding, “It’s really interesting, and the concept is so good. [It’s] in the right hands … [with] Kelly Ripa and her husband, Mark Consuelos, who are both so terrific. They would be executive producers, so I’m really hoping that this is going to actually go forward.”
Lucci & Huber Had 2 Children Together, 8 Grandchildren & 2 Great-Grandchildren
Huber had four children — two from a previous relationship and two from his marriage to Lucci. They also had eight grandchildren and two great-grandchildren, according to Huber’s 2022 obituary in People. In a 1999 profile of the couple in People, the two met in 1965 at the Garden City Hotel where Lucci was waitressing as a summer job during college and Huber was the chef. Huber told People that it was love at first sight for him.
“The first time I saw Susie, it hit me. Still today, she walks in a room and I light up,” Huber told the magazine.
But they didn’t actually start dating for three years, when Huber ended up being invited to Lucci’s engagement party — engagement to another man — and he privately told Lucci’s mother that the engagement was “never going to last,” something Lucci didn’t know about until after the fact.
“I heard about that much later,” Lucci said. “And my mother agreed with him, but she didn’t tell me that.”
A few months later, Lucci and her fiance broke up and she began dating Huber. They wed a year later and were together for over 50 years until his death. When he died in March, the family asked that in lieu of flowers, contributions be made to the American Stroke Association in Huber’s honor.
“Dancing With the Stars” returns for its 31st season in fall 2022 on Disney Plus.