Andy Cohen Looks Back on How His Fan Letter to Susan Lucci Led to Their 35-Year-Long Friendship

The Bravo mogul revealed that the 'All My Children' alum responded to his request for an interview for his school newspaper when he was just a teenager

<p>Andy Cohen/Instagram</p> Susan Lucci and Andy Cohen

Andy Cohen/Instagram

Susan Lucci and Andy Cohen

Andy Cohen and Susan Lucci are looking back on the touching start of their decades-long friendship.

Sharing a photo from the pair's recent reunion, the 55-year-old Bravo mogul reflected on the history of his longstanding friendship with the 76-year-old All My Children alum — and how she encouraged his journalistic endeavors when he was just a teenager.

“How it started…. how it’s going!” he captioned a post on Instagram that featured a side-by-side throwback photo of their first meeting and their recent reunion. “In 1988 I wrote Susan Lucci a fan letter begging (imploring!) to let me interview her for my school newspaper. She not only said yes, she took me to lunch.”

“We’ve run into each other over the years and had a wonderful reunion today (and I finally got to return the favor of picking up the tab!) #EricaKaneForever,” Cohen concluded, referencing Lucci’s soap opera character.

Now, the Watch What Happens Live host has built an illustrious television career, going on to become a longtime Bravo producer, executive and host.

Cohen previously opened up about the close similarities between soap operas and reality TV — and why he believes the Housewives franchise carries on that legacy in a primetime documentary called In The Story of Soaps.

<p>Charles Sykes/Bravo via Getty</p> Andy Cohen

Charles Sykes/Bravo via Getty

Andy Cohen

Related: Susan Lucci Says She's 'Doing Really Well' After Her 2 Heart Procedures

"The goals of reality TV and soap operas are pretty similar: It’s to educate sometimes, entertain always," Cohen explained in the May 2020 special. "Once you’re telling the people who were watching soaps, 'Wait, watch this, this is compelling,' it was pretty easy to get sucked into that. And then you’re starting to consider Court TV or CNN as a viable alternative to All My Children or One Life to Live."

"We’re voyeurs, but we also love stories," he continued. "We want to be entertained, and I think that the ultimate expression of voyeurism is reality television.

Cohen added, “I know Lucci doesn’t agree with me, but I think that the Housewives have replaced soap operas because truth is stranger than fiction. Soaps became kind of unnecessary because you could do it with real people, and they’re writing the drama themselves."

Related: Susan Lucci Turns 75: See Her Life in Photos

All My Children aired for 41 years on ABC from January 5, 1970, to September 23, 2011. It was later revived briefly as a web series in 2013. (The show began in a half-hour format before changing to hourlong episodes in 1977.)

While chatting with PEOPLE in February 2022, Lucci gave an update on the upcoming All My Children spinoff that was announced in December 2020 and spearheaded by Kelly Ripa and Mark Consuelos.

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Mike Coppola/Getty Susan Lucci
Mike Coppola/Getty Susan Lucci

Related: Susan Lucci Remembers Betty White Welcoming Her to 'Hot in Cleveland' Set: 'She Was Just Delightful'

Noting that word about the forthcoming project comes "sporadically," Lucci — who starred as character Erica Kane on the daytime soap opera from 1970 until its final episode in 2013 — shared: "There has been movement. I wish it was a quicker movement, but yes, everything in terms of being in the right hands, as far as I know, would be in place."

"It's really interesting, and the concept is so good," she continued. "[It's] in the right hands ... [with] Kelly Ripa and her husband, Mark Consuelos, who are both so terrific. They would be executive producers, so I'm really hoping that this is going to actually go forward."

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