Susan Lucci, 71, stuns in unretouched swimsuit snaps, spills beach body secrets

Erica Kane is back and she’s hotter than ever.

Susan Lucci, best known for portraying TV’s most famous bad girl of all time on “All My Children,” stripped down to her swimsuit for the upcoming Harper’s Bazaar issue to proudly flaunt her unretouched physique at age 71.

The actress starred in the soap opera from 1970 until 2011.

“I feel as good now as I ever did in my 20s and 30s, maybe even better physically,” the actress told the magazine. “What I’ve learned is that if you train hard, you can offset some of what you’ve got going against you," said Lucci, who has two children and five grandchildren.

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"People look at me and say, ‘Wow, she doesn’t seem old, but she is old.’ Meanwhile, the reality is if you’re strong, you’re beautiful, no matter what age you are.”

Despite Lucci’s lasting success in Hollywood, she’s always been determined to age gracefully in front of cameras without going under the knife.

“Once I started doing Pilates, I lost my taste for things like cheeseburgers and French fries,” explained Lucci on how she maintains her youthful features. “The Pro Chair is great because it allows you to do a full-body workout in just 20 minutes. You can do cardio on it too.”

Still, it’s not easy looking like Lucci. The star insisted she had to ditch some guilty pleasures and rely on portion control to stay in swimsuit-ready shape.

“I rarely eat dessert, never snack, and I don’t eat a lot of bread and pasta,” said Lucci. “[And] I’ll have one glass of champagne when we go out to dinner, but I don’t drink at home.”

Still, Lucci had no idea her beach bod would cause a sensation until paparazzi-snapped photos while on a tropical getaway with her husband, 80-year-old Helmut Huber, came out earlier this year. The couple have been married since 1969.

“I didn’t realize they were taking pictures until about the third day when I saw two telephoto lenses following us,” she admitted. “The pictures were so good! By the fourth day, I was looking for the paparazzi. I wanted to thank them.”

However, it wasn’t the paparazzi that put Lucci at ease in baring some skin. Instead, it was a friend who encouraged the star to happily embrace her body on social media for longtime fans to see.

“I’m a private person by nature, so at first I really didn’t think it was for me,” she explained on downloading Instagram. “[While vacationing in St. Barts], I put on a bikini, my husband took some pictures, and a friend of mine said, ‘You need to post this on Instagram!’

"The reaction was very unexpected — and sooo flattering. After the pictures came out — and they went everywhere — it occurred to me that Instagram could be a great way to stay connected to my fans.”

And while Lucci has been keeping busy these days jet-setting with her family, she is aware of rumors being circulated about an “All My Children” reboot.

“I hope that’s true, I don’t know, but there’s a lot of buzz about that lately,” she told Fox News in 2017. “I was stopped at the airport in Los Angeles last week and a man with a camera came up… and he was asking me on camera, ‘So, how do you feel about ‘All My Children’ going on Netflix?’

"And I hadn’t heard about that. But I heard the word ‘Netflix.’ And I thought, ‘They’re fantastic.’ Because then you know you’re in really good hands. And that’s really important, who’s producing.”

Still, Lucci said her character Erica Kane still lives on.

“First, I know she’s in a lot of people’s hearts because now that I am out in daylight, and I’m in airports, in restaurants, in shops, and on the street, people stop me all the time as if Erica is very much a part of their lives,” she added. “So Erica Kane is still alive and well in people’s hearts.”

The October 2018 issue of Harper's Bazaar hits newsstands on September 25.