Erika Slezak comes from a family of very talented performers.  Her father was the late Walter Slezak, who acted in many films and Broadway hits, including Fanny, for which he won the Tony Award.  Her grandfather was Leo Slezak, a renowned operatic tenor, who sang in Vienna and Berlin as well as at New York's Metropolitan Opera.  Erika was born in Hollywood, and learned to speak German at home before she learned English.  During her high school years, she attended the Sacred Heart Schools in Greenwich, Connecticut, and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. 

Her portrayal of Victoria Buchanan Carpenter has earned Erika Slezak a record five Emmy Awards for Outstanding Lead Actress.  She has won the Emmy in 1984, 1986, 1992, 1995 and 1996.  Soap Opera Digest Awards as a Nominee, for Outstanding Lead Actress in 1986, Outstanding Heroine in 1988 and 1990 and Outstanding Lead Actress have also recognized her, again in 1989.  In 1989 she and her leading man, Clint Ritchie were Nominated by Soap Opera Digest Awards, as Favorite Super-couple. 

Acting has been a lifelong passion for Erika Slezak.  Before becoming Llanview's First Lady in 1971, Erika had an extensive career on stage.  She acted with the Milwaukee Repertory Company for three seasons and starred in everything from Chekhov to Noel Coward.  She acted for another season at the Alley Theater in Houston.  Erika and her husband, actor Brian Davies, have two children: Michael Lawrence, born Jan. 23, 1980, and Amanda Elizabeth, born Oct. 29, 1981.  Erika lives with her husband in a suburb of New York on Long Island.