'All My Children' Tapes 9,000th Episode

The cast and crew of ABC's "All My Children" (search) celebrated the taping of the daytime soap opera's 9,000th episode Wednesday — with cake.

Although the history of the soap includes a prison break, ghosts, dozens of marriages and a bear attack, the anniversary celebration was low-key. The cast gathered for a group picture, each holding a sign with the number of episodes aired since they first appeared on the show.

The card of Susan Lucci (search), 54, who plays diva Erica Kane, read 9,000. Yes, she's been on the show since its 1970 debut when her character was a teenager in high school.

How has she kept it topical for almost 35 years?

"Part of it is the script is different every day," Lucci told The Associated Press after posing for the photo. "You have no choice. It's fresh. It's hot off the presses."

The 9,000th episode, set to air Dec. 16, deals with the ongoing baby switch saga concerning Kane's daughter, Bianca Montgomery, played by Eden Riegel, and her believed-to-be-missing baby Miranda.

"The baby story has got to be up in the top five (story lines) over the 35 years," executive producer Julie Hanan Carruthers told the AP. "You can't go anywhere in the country and say you're associated with the show without someone asking, `When is she getting the baby back?'"