Susan Lucci

Daytime is always packed for this soap-opera queen.
Susan Lucci

4:30 a.m. I wake up and immediately put on a pot of coffee.

4:35 a.m. While the coffee's brewing, I do some Pilates, then take some coffee back to bed to watch the weather and news.

4:55 a.m. I draw a bath -- I prefer to take a bubble bath rather than a shower so I can actually relax. It's my only quiet time of the day.

6 a.m. My car arrives, and I leave for my hour-and-a-half-long commute, which I spend reading lines (luckily, I have a good memory).

7:15 a.m. In my dressing room, I eat a bowl of Kashi Heart to Heart cereal with skim milk, and I have a second cup of coffee.

7:30 a.m. My hair is prepped, washed, blown out and set, then I go to makeup. The whole process takes about an hour and a half.

9 a.m. I get into costume, and we start on camera at 9:30. By then, we're already reading lunch menus.

1 p.m. Lunch is very important at All My Children -- we usually eat in about seven minutes! There's a commissary at the studio, but we order in to save time and because we share a studio with The View. I can't be running to lunch in a robe and rollers in front of their audience!

1:15 p.m. Takeout arrives. I usually get a turkey wrap with arugula, tomato and julienne-cut vegetables, then I deconstruct it: I take it out of its wrap and have this fabulous chopped salad. I sip hot water with lemon, which is very comforting.

2 p.m. We're back on set. Other than lunch, there's rarely any downtime during the day. Erica Kane is a busy character, so I'm there from beginning to end.

8 p.m. We try to eat by 8. My husband, Helmut, is fabulous in the kitchen -- I'm so lucky. He was asked to be a chef at the White House when he was 25. He makes wonderful sole with Cajun spices, lemon and garlic. I put a few mandarin oranges on top, and we have carrots or spinach on the side. We often have Skinny Cow ice cream sandwiches for dessert, but our guiltier pleasure is Graeter's ice cream from Cincinnati -- someone sent us a whole case as a gift. The Buckeye Blitz flavor is amazing.

9 p.m. Ideally, I leave the studio by 6 or 6:30. But tonight, I got home at 9 p.m., and I did a talk show somewhere in between.

10 p.m. After dinner, I like watching the news -- I think because I'm inside a building from dawn to dusk. My husband loves watching The Sopranos and World Series of Poker. Many nights, I drift off to the sound of a poker game.