Susan Lucci was devastated following her husband's death. However, she has several fond memories of him, including quality time with their children and grandchildren and a love story that one would only see in the movies.
Susan Lucci recently became a widow with the passing of her husband of 53 years, Helmut Huber, a television producer, manager, chef, and CEO of Pine Valley Productions.
Huber, born in Innsbruck, Austria, on October 10, 1937, became a US citizen in 1994 and built his career in the country. He died in Long Island, New York, with an undisclosed cause of death. However, the family asked for contributions to be made to the American Stroke Association instead of flowers.
(L) Helmut Huber and Susan Lucci during a book launch event at New York Friars Club on June 3, 2014 in New York City. (R) Liza and son Andreas Huber for a Soap Opera Hall of Fame dinner. | Source: Getty Images
According to their family's representative, Huber was a man with a "roaring sense of humor, larger-than-life personality, and a practical problem-solver" who "lived his life to the fullest." However, his passing comes as a "tremendous loss" for his family and friends. Lucci's publicist said:
“He was an extraordinary husband, father, grandfather, and friend. The family kindly asks for privacy during this incredibly difficult time.”
Huber is survived by his wife, two children, Liza Huber and Andreas Huber, eight grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.
MEET LUCCI AND HUBER'S ADULT CHILDREN
The "All My Children" star and her husband became first-time parents when Liza was born in 1975. Two years later, they welcomed a son, Andreas.
Liza followed her mother's career path and became a soap opera actress. Debuting in the 1999 series "Passions," where she brought to life the character Gwen Hotchkiss. She also appeared in "Street Smarts" and "Entertainment Tonight."
Liza chased other professions after her on-screen success and became a public speaker, award-winning author, and businesswoman. She founded Sage Spoonfuls, a company producing kids' mealtime products, and currently acts as CEO.
She has since been recognized with several awards, such as the Mom's Best Literary Gold Award, Cribsie Award, Independent Publishers Award, and the Little Flower Children and Family Services 2015 Humanitarian Award. She said in an interview:
“If you would've told me ten years ago that manufacturing was actually my true passion, I would've said, 'You're crazy. What does that come from?'”
Beyond her career, Liza is also a loving wife to Alex Hesterberg and mother-of-four to Royce, Brendan, Hayden, and Mason. Sadly, her son, Brendan, was diagnosed with cerebral palsy in 2010. At that time, Huber "broke down in tears." She recalled, "I felt sadness that he would deal with cerebral palsy for the rest of his life."
Although her pregnancy was normal, Liza felt pain during her 31st week and was rushed to the emergency room. Brendan came nine weeks premature and was placed on a ventilator after breathing issues. Liza said:
“I was afraid he wouldn't make it.”
Fortunately, she was able to take her son home and care for him. At ten months, Liza noticed her son's difficulty sitting up independently. Nine months later, when he still couldn't stand, they brought him to the doctor and discovered the diagnosis.
Admittedly, it was a difficult journey, to begin with. "He was tripping and falling in school and didn't understand why," so they had to tell Brendan about his condition. Eventually, her experience led the former actress to conceptualize and launch Sage Spoonfuls.
Like Liza, Andreas is also a proud dad who became a first-time father in 2017 as he welcomed his son, Wolf. Lucci took it to her social media account to share a photo of her grandson peacefully sleeping on a pillow.
Andreas also joined the entertainment industry and was cast in a season of "Disney's Big Break!" Behind the camera, he is a professional golfer who joined the European Challenge Tour and Canadian PGA Tour before creating his own app, Nassau Now.
LUCCI AND HUBER'S CLOSE RELATIONSHIP WITH THEIR CHILDREN AND GRANDKIDS
Susan Lucci and Liza Huber during her Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series. | Source: Getty Images
Despite being busy as an actress, Lucci has a great relationship with her children and grandchildren. She previously said:
“Since I was a girl, I wanted to be an actress, but I also wanted a family. I feel so blessed that we're all intact and happy. To me, it doesn't get any better.”
Susan Lucci, Helmut Huber and their daughter Liza Huber during the 16th biggest baby shower ever hosted by big city moms at Metropolitan Pavilion on May 30, 2013 in New York City. | Source: Getty Images
She especially loves spending quality time with her grandchildren, who she gushes about from time to time. "I love the hugs and kisses!" she shared.
The "Devious Maids" star also revealed that, as a grandmother, she is the "kissing, hugging, feeding, and tickling kind." Lucci doesn't fall short in spoiling her family with love and affection. "Everybody's great!" she said.
Susan Lucci, Helmut Huber, and their kids Liza and Andreas as she receives the 2,276th star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. | Source: Getty Images
Similarly, Huber was also an affectionate and playful grandfather who sometimes appeared on Andreas' social media with Wolf.
In one post, the doting grandfather was seen pushing her grandson's stroller down the street, while in another, he was teaching Wolf how to clean the ceiling.
Courtney Velasco, Liza Huber, Brendan Hesterberg, Susan Lucci, Royce Alexander Hesterberg, and Helmut Huber during the UCP of NYC 70th Anniversary Gala on March 9, 2017 in New York City. | Source: Getty Images
Andreas also captured a sweet grandfather and grandson moment, where the two were looking sweetly at each other. He captioned the post:
“Little Wolfie hanging with Opa.”
Susan Lucci, Andreas Huber, and Helmut Huber during the Gray Line New York's Ride Of Fame Honors Susan Lucci at Pier 78 on November 19, 2013 in New York City. | Source: Getty Images
Huber also maintained a close relationship with his only son, who seems to have a shared interest in watching Hockey games.
In one of Andreas' posts, he and his father smiled for a selfie in what appears to be a stadium for a Hockey game.
Susan Lucci, Liza Huber and Helmut Huber at the Soapnet Presents The Soap Opera Digest Awards.| Source: Getty Images
"Happy bday, dad," he wrote in the caption alongside a photo of the father and son in matching sportswear. Indeed, it was a day to remember for the duo.
LUCCI AND HUBER'S LOVE STORY
Another important day in Huber's life happened when he first laid eyes on Lucci, then 18, at the Garden City Hotel, New York. Then a college freshman, the actress worked as a waitress while Huber was an executive chef. Lucci recalled:
“I asked one of my friends, I said, 'Who's that?' And she said, 'He's your boss stupid.'”
Similarly, Huber had his eye on Lucci on the very first day. Although Lucci became engaged to another man, she bumped into Huber in the hallway of her celebration at a Long Island hotel. Lucci's mother invited him to join the celebratory dinner, changing the fate of the two.
"I was thinking at that time that he was much more attractive than I ever knew, and I shouldn't be feeling like that," Lucci said. "Something is wrong with this picture, but I didn't know what to do." Meanwhile, Huber already knew that he wanted her despite their nine-year age gap.
Lucci eventually called off the engagement and later dated Huber. Within a year, the couple married on September 13, 1969.
LUCCI AND HUBER'S LIFE TOGETHER
The couple lived in a 14-bedroom Georgian colonial house, where they raised their children. Lucci continued her colorful career while Huber managed it. Later on, the actress launched her own line of hair products and expanded the business.
Her time in showbusiness garnered Lucci several recognitions. Since 1978, Lucci was nominated as Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series for her famed sitcom for every year but three. However, she did not win any.
Nevertheless, she was blessed in life with her beautiful family, who supported her at home. "I gave her the Best Mommy Award a couple of years in a row," Liza said. "As time went on, I started getting more creative."
Lucci would find herself coming home to balloons and posters, which meant more than any award she could win. Lucci is also lucky to have found her soulmate in this lifetime. "Still today, she walks in a room, and I just light up," Huber said.
In fact, Huber once saved his wife's life during a skiing trip in France. Lucci nearly fell off a cliff midway up a mountain and had nothing to hold on to. However, her husband, a great skier, managed to stop her from falling and saved her life. Had he not been there, everything would have been different.