Anthony Geary’s exit from “General Hospital” on Monday left the actor feeling free and fans feeling lost. Geary’s longtime character Luke Spencer on ABC’s “General Hospital” became a favorite for fans since it originated in 1978. Geary is best known for the “Luke and Laura” storyline that has played out on the small screen for nearly 40 years. But, according to Geary, he’s ready to shed the Luke character and enter a period of anonymity, as reported by the International Business Times on Monday.
Geary plans to start the next chapter of his life in Holland living in a home that he’s owned for 20 years. The 68-year-old American actor went there shortly after filming his last “General Hospital” scenes on June 23, saying the Dutch doesn’t really care about celebrity. His plan post-“General Hospital” is to start over and just try to be himself after realizing he’ll probably always be known as Luke Spencer. Geary admitted that “it’s very upsetting” to know that he’ll more than likely die only known as Luke from the famous “Luke and Laura” daytime romance storyline.
Said Geary, “After 35 years, it’s hard to separate fiction from reality.” Geary immediately shed his Luke Spencer eclectic look with a new shave and haircut and also enrolled in classes at the University of Amsterdam where he plans to study history and literature and do quite a bit of writing. Even though Geary did admit that a part of him still enjoyed playing the exciting, romantic anti-hero Luke Spencer, he’s finally free to be creative and pursue his bucket list, which includes performing in a musical comedy and acting in another language.
Geary made the decision to leave “General Hospital” last year mainly due to health reasons. His departure comes just as Genie Francis returned to the ABC daytime drama as Laura Spencer. A representative for ABC told Soaps.com that the door is always open for Geary to return to “General Hospital” and reprise his role as Luke Spencer even if it’s just for a few weeks. According to Geary, he’s not completely retired from acting, but he is completely retired from “General Hospital,” much to the dismay of fans and fellow “General Hospital” cast members who are saddened to see the eight-time Daytime Emmy Award winner go.
Maurice Benard, who plays the mobster character Sonny Corinthos on “General Hospital,” took to Twitter on June 23 to share a goodbye message for Geary, saying “To the legend Tony Geary not just a great actor but a great guy and I’m proud to call him my friend.”