Monday, August 6, 2012

50 Greatest Soap Couples: #18 Joe & Viki From ONE LIFE TO LIVE

COUPLE: Joe Riley & Victoria Lord
RANK: 18
Joe: Lee Patterson
Victoria: Gillian Spencer, Joanne Dorian, Erika Slezak
YEARS: 1968-1970, 1972-1979, 1987 (in heaven)

Victoria (Spencer) was pouring all her energies into her work at her father's newspaper, The Banner, when she met his ace reporter, Joe.  Joe was from the wrong side of the tracks but did a good job and the two of them began working together.  Viki began to fall in love but Victor Lord would never approve.  She was torn between pleasing her father and her growing feelings.  She began to receive threatening notes telling her to break things off with Joe.  Soon a woman named Niki Smith, bearning a striking resemblance to Viki, started showing up at waterfront dive, Ernie's.  Vince Wolek saw her and immediately fell in love.  Vince discovered and revealed that Niki was actually Viki's other personality.  Eventually Joe and Viki were married and seemed destined for a happy live until he died in a car crash in 1970.

Viki found comfort in the arms of fellow reporter, Steve Burke (Bernard Grant).  In 1972 the two were about to get married when a very much alive Joe turned up alive.   Viki (Slezak) learned that Joe was back when she returned from her honeymoon, and despite being torn between the two men, Viki decided to remain with Steve.  Joe started a relationship with Cathy Craig.  But the feelings shared by Joe and Viki never went away and they were remarried in 1974.  Many ups and downs followed by they remained together until Joe's died of a brain tumor in October 1979.  A widowed and pregnant Viki gave birth to their son, Joseph Francis Riley, Jr. (aka Joey), three months later.

Joe and Viki were a hit with fans with both Spencer and Slezak in the role of Victoria Lord.  When ONE LIFE TO LIVE premiered, Patterson was well known for his primetime and film work and Spencer was coming off her role as Robin in GUIDING LIGHT.

The foundation laid by the original Joe and Viki story with Viki's other personality set the stage for ONE LIFE TO LIVE's alter stories for the next 44 years.

Spencer moved on to huge soap roles in AS THE WORLD TURNS and ALL MY CHILDREN before becoming an Emmy-nominated and WGA-winning writer.  Slezak went on to win 6 Emmy Awards for her work as Viki until ONE LIFE TO LIVE ended in 2012.  Patterson starred in TEXAS and did more primetime and film work after ONE LIFE TO LIVE.  He returned to the show as Lee's twin, Tom Dennison, from 1986 until 1988.  Patterson died in 2007 at age 77.

Joe and Viki decide to name their baby Kevin Lord Riley (1976)
Joe remembers Niki Smith (1978)
A drunk Joe has Clint bring him home to Viki (1979)
Viki reunites with Joe in heaven (1987)

Share your thoughts on Joe and Viki in our Comments section below or on our message board.

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  1. I'm so happy Joe and Vicky are included.

  2. I barely remember this couple but I have viewed clips of them on Youtube over the years. Amazing chemistry... I am glad they have been included.

  3. So happy to see Lee Patterson on this list! While Viki & Clint were my ride or die couple, I always had a sweet spot for Joe and Viki.

  4. ohhhh i remember that couple, plus i watched the first day of that soap, great memorys, hated to see him leave the show.

  5. I did like the old clips of them, but Clint and Vicki will always hold my heart.