“You know, the truth is I didn’t tell her,” the 72-year-old soap opera legend told Us at the ADAPT Leadership Awards in NYC on March 14. “My mother was a nurse on top of it and I just didn’t want to scare her. She’s living in Florida.” The star’s mother, Jeannette, is turning 102 years old this week, Lucci said, adding, “We’re going down to see her, actually.”
While it’s possible Jeanette would have heard about her daughter’s cardiac health scare on the news, Lucci is banking on the fact that she hasn’t. “We haven’t talked about it. I don’t want to,” Lucci said, explaining that her family’s health history kept her quiet. “You know my dad passed away from [heart disease], so I don’t want to bring it up. But he lived to be in his eighties.” Victor Lucci died in November 2002.
In February, the soap star — famous for playing Erica Kane on All My Children for over four decades — opened up about her heart disease incident on Good Morning America. “I was actually in a boutique,” Lucci told GMA’s Amy Robach. “And I suddenly felt what I had heard someone on a TV interview years ago, a woman says that she, leading up to a heart attack, had felt like an elephant was pressing on her chest.”
Lucci — who has been married to her husband, Helmut Huber, since 1969 — has revealed that her cardiac blockages were due to genetics, not her diet, which has always been healthy. “This was a DNA,” Lucci told Us March 14. “My dad, my wonderful dad gave me more apparently than his Italian coloring! He had calcium deposits in his arteries.” Lucci added that her family had assumed she was more aligned, healthwise, with her mom. “Because I never had any health issues, my whole family, we all thought I had all my mother’s genes, and it turns out that I got my dad’s heart genes.”
Now, however, everything is back to normal. “I’m feeling wonderful. Thank you. I got very lucky. I’ve been in very good hands and I avoided a terrible thing and I’m so lucky to have managed that. I have great doctors and great people around me!”
With reporting by Lexi Ciccone
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