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51 May 26th, 2015 Anthony Geary Talks On His Decision To Leave GH, His Upcoming Final Tape Day & His Leading Ladies On A SPOONFUL OF PAOLO!

Courtesy/ASpoonfulofPaolo

In a rare sit-down interview, soap icon and eight-time Daytime Emmy winner Anthony Geary (Luke Spencer) chats with host Paolo Presta in the latest edition of Presta’s online talk series A Spoon Full Of Paolo direct from Geary’s dressing room at General Hospital.

During their chat, Geary further opens up about his reasons for leaving General Hospital at this point in his career, how he feels his last tape day might go down, and later Paolo puts Geary through his paces and asks him to give a sentence about some of his most famous on-screen female partners including: Roseanne Barr, Elizabeth Taylor, Demi Moore, Jane Elliot, and Genie Francis.   Below, and of note, are some of the more interesting soundbites from the interview!

When asked about his decision to leave GH, Tony shared with Presta:  I have been thinking about it for ten years actually, ever since I found the city where my heart is in Amsterdam. I have never felt as comfortable, or as authentic as I have felt there. It’s a perfect fit for me; the city and I, and the people.  I  always felt one of the reasons I became an actor is that I did not feel at home in my skin, and not comfortable with the people I grew up around, and it became a sanctuary for me to live in my imagination.  In Amsterdam, I find that the whole city is a playground for my imagination, and I feel very comfortable there with people. So when I found it I thought: I love my work, I love this character, I have enjoyed so many benefits of being able to live on two continents for the last twenty years is an amazing gift  that the audience has given that to me. I am very grateful for it, but there comes a time when you reach a certain age … I am going to be 68 at the end of May … and I have had serious spinal operations – two of them over the last two years – and so I realized after the second operation, my time was not infinite on this planet, and I have loved my life. It’s time to take the benefits of what I have gotten from 37 years on this show and 50 years of being an actor – and I just decided that now is the time.  And it was synchronicity that they had just given me this incredible story of the dark side of look fighting with the light side, and the incredible anniversary show wrapping this character up so beautifully I thought, that I just didn’t think there was much better we could do.

When asked if Tony will get emotional on his final tape day at GH, Geary shared:  I hope not … I hope not.  I hate to see actors indulge in that, but you know, it’s difficult to say.  I begged them – my executive producer Frank Valentini who has been wonderfully supportive about my leaving the show begged him, “Please don’t have a cake and please don’t bring everyone in and have a goodbye.”  But Frank kind of said, that it’s not fair to everyone who wants to say goodbye, and I thought I could sneak out the fire exit and disappear into the night … it’s not going to happen! (Laughs)

Presta’s series talking to some of entertainments biggest icons, which always at it’s heart is about living your dream and making them come true, got an extra special bonus from Geary who addressed the camera to instill in all of us to live out our dreams in a very touching message and moment from the greatest actor of the genre.

Now watch Tony Geary on A Spoonful of Paolo below!  Then, let us know your thoughts about what Tony shared on his reasons for exiting GH, what he had to say about some of his former and current leading ladies, and if any of us are prepared for Tony’s final tape day on GH!

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  1. Joe says:

    God, I’m going to miss him on GH. It won’t be the same. :-(

    Reply

    Ren replied

    On the other hand, a huge portion of us fans, yes even long-time fans, are very happy to see Luke walking off into the sunset to never be seen again.

    We hope!

    Reply

  2. Timmm says:

    I challenge anyone who doesnt love Tony or at least respect him to tell me otherwise after this interview. What a man. What a career. What an interview! Great insight! Thank you.

    Reply

  3. Mrs B says:

    Gosh Tony will be missed.

    Reply

  4. su0000 says:

    Amsterdam is legal weed since like forever, Tony will be happy!
    Tony;
    ”incredible anniversary show wrapping this character up so beautifully I thought, that I just didn’t think there was much better we could do.”
    ///
    The Anniversary show was indeed monumenta ..
    outstanding, remarkable, stupendous, significant, memorable and immortal..
    A beautiful full circle for Tony/Luke ..
    I watched it 3 times, unforgettable..

    I will miss Tony/Luke.. He is a cornerstone of General Hospital..

    Reply

    Guest replied

    There is A LOT more to legal weed in Amsterdam… Heck, I bet TG could qualify for medical marijuana with his own problems.
    And give he could settle in a state where it is already legal recreationally. Hey, it will happen soon nationally!

    The fact that TG said ,
    “I thought, that I just didn’t think there was much better we could do.” I think says it all…. I think he was unhappy that the story FV and RC originally pitched to him is different and I do not think that with RC – Luke is going to get a better written story….. TG is not retiring…. he is leaving GH!! HE still wants to act!!!

    Reply

    Rebecca1 replied

    I think you misinterpreted what AG meant, Guest. He’s always wanted a great exit story and it appears he feels this was it…that he was afforded an opportunity to act out a darker side of Luke, play dual roles…plus the role of his father…and is quite satisfied with how his character played out. They gave him a great all encompassing psychological drama which was a huge stretch from the complacent same old, same old he’d be given for many yrpears. I think Tony’s leaving GH a happy man…satisfied with a huge part of his life’s work and looking forward to taking on new roles in Amsterdam…a lifestyle and career risk he can now afford to devote himself to completely.

    Timmm replied

    That black & white GH show will be Tony’s NINTH Emmy!

    Reply

    Fanny replied

    I Believe that as well Timmm.

  5. Dan says:

    What a fantastic interview! In all the years I’ve been watching GH, I don’t remember Tony doing many sit down interviews like this, cause he’s always been such a private person, which I greatly respect. So to get him to sit down and open up like this, wonderful job. You can tell the interviewer Paolo is a real fan. Loved the end where Tony looked into the camera and spoke to us, the fans, with his inspirational words.

    Gonna miss him so much. He’s been an institution on the show for so many years. Such a huge part of the heart and soul, and fabric of General Hospital. They don’t make characters like Luke Spencer anymore. In my opinion, not only the best character in soap history, but the best actor to ever play in the genre. You don’t win all those Emmys by accident. There will never be another like him.

    Reply

    Timmm replied

    I agree. He has always been private and at the awards shows he doesnt say much. This was really a treat. Perhaps its just Tony slipping into retirement and he is at ease now? I really enjoyed listening to his candid answers.

    Reply

    Fanny replied

    He Graciously gave us a glimpse into his private life and LOVES. Extremely complimentary
    towards the leading ladies that have graced his life, a GENTLEMAN and a Scholar.
    As an actor a dream realized is playing a great many roles, in not so many words he
    made it clear “Nothing changes, if nothing changes” and after 37 wonderful yrs of playing
    Luke, it is finally time to move on…

  6. Double Z says:

    Luke and Laura…there has never been and there will never be the exquisite soul pairing of the original super couple. Geary always becomes almost speechless when he talks about her. I am sad that they are not able to mature gracefully into the legacy couple that the legions of LnL fans desire. May all of his dreams come true,

    Reply

  7. lisa says:

    So hard to fathom a GH without him…..sigh !
    Good luck in your future endeavors Tony :)

    Reply

  8. Ann says:

    He is and always will be a top notch actor, and a pure gentlemen. I will miss him, but wish him every happiness. Tony, you are the greatest!, we will forever miss you!

    Reply

  9. Lou Piikes says:

    Sayonara Tony Geary. Your presence will surely be missed on Daytime TV.

    Reply

  10. GH-er says:

    I love him. I’ve watched GH since the 80s and I have so many great memories of all the wonderful story lines for Luke. It’s always been fun and oddly, comforting to see a favorite soap character year after year. I will miss him a lot and I wish TG the very best.

    Reply

  11. Harry says:

    About Genie, Tony says,”Our artistic souls met somewhere out in space and meshed.”
    Beautifully said.
    I know I am going to miss Luke because Tony is going to be sure to leave us wanting more. And that is how it should be.

    Reply

  12. Patrick says:

    2 points.

    #1. “…I always felt one of the reasons I became an actor is that I did not feel at home in my skin, and not comfortable with the people I grew up around, and it became a sanctuary for me to live in my imagination. ”

    I read this said so often…. I find it interesting… I always imagined myself acting… La-La Land never called… and I never sought

    #2. “… begged him, “Please don’t have a cake and please don’t bring everyone in and have a goodbye.” But Frank kind of said, that it’s not fair to everyone who wants to say goodbye, ”

    take one for the team Anthony Geary : I’d cry like a baby … head high… bid adieu
    it’s a statement for the crew… who’s livelihood you carried

    the thing that’s making me smile : you sought (seek) this out … for 37 – 50 years… and now:

    Amsterdam is yours : Anthony Geary

    “I find that the whole city is a playground for my imagination”

    Reply

    Patrick replied

    i’d walk, be escorted, off that studio lot, w/Jacklyn Zeman

    I’ve never seen his light any brighter with

    Reply

  13. Joanna says:

    I will miss Tony Geary so much, my favorite Actor and my number one and it won’t be the same :(

    Reply

  14. robbyrob says:

    Wow….what a great interview! Paulo did a great job and Tony was very giving. He seems at peace with his life and is now going out on his terms. I hope he comes around to being receptive to his going away party….he is so well loved by his GH co-stars and stars from other shows. A true daytime AND television ICON!

    Reply

  15. Lorraine Deremer says:

    I have watch general hospital for many many years.. I loved Lucks part always. I will hate to seem him go, just like so many.. What is general hospital going to be with out all these great actor’s leaving.. But Luck is a wonderful actor I love his more resent part. Luck is just amazing actor and will be missed very much.. Good luck Tony and enjoy the rest of our life. Thanks for the memories… Lorraine

    Reply

  16. Maureen Lynch says:

    What a great interview. Very candid answers. I will miss him. It was a great ride. Best wishes going forward.

    Reply

  17. Howard says:

    I enjoyed this interview so much!! Tony mentioned he would write a book. That is exciting. I am happy for him I guess, but I hope someday Tony can come back, like the rest of us do!

    Reply

  18. Suze Singleton says:

    This interview was so good. I cried at the end when Paolo shows Tony picture of some of the ladies he’s worked with. Thanks for sharing this video with us. So GOOD Michael.

    Reply

  19. Adam says:

    I watched Luke back in 1978 when I was a big fan of GH it was awesome back then (1978-1984). I really never cared about him or his character because back then they had other soap stars what were just as awesome, after 84 I went on to other soaps but I commend him on staying this long on GH and and with him being 68 now WOW. That is awesome. He was never my favorite soap actor, but congrats to him!

    Reply

  20. Katy says:

    I have been watching GH since I was young. I watched with my grandmother and mom. I am now 55. Anthony has always been one of my fave characters loved he and Genie together. I hope that it is a spectacular exit.. Please make it wonderful! Anthony we love you and will miss you, thank you so much for being apart of my life. <3 Katy

    Reply

  21. Angelina says:

    Love this guy been watch G.H. Since the 70′s will miss him !
    Hope he makes some suprise visits back .looking forward to seeing genie back
    Hope she stays around a while this time and they give her a great storyline she much deserves!

    Reply

  22. Dee Ann Rohrer says:

    I began watching GH a few weeks before Tony arrived as Luke Spencer. I was captivated! I skipped work to watch the wedding of Luke and Laura and that was so totally out of my personality. Unheard of! But so worth it! I’ve been a fan ever since of Tony and GH. I’ve learned to love other actors and will continue to watch GH like 4-ever. But Tony as Luke will always be my favorite character of all time, surpassing movies and any other TV show. Love, love, love this guy, though I only know him on my TV screen as Luke. I respect his privacy and so appreciate this candid, personal interview. Thank you Luke for staying on GH for all these years! GH has been my little rock of continuity when my world was upside down and twisted around. “Luke” gave me some peace and enjoyment for almost an hour each day for so many wonderful years. I’ll miss you, but wish Tony many more years of happiness and fulfillment as you enter Act III of your life. Hugs and kisses to you!

    Reply

  23. Patrick says:

    “do you ever think, that little boy, from Utah” “…do you think he ever dreamed this big”

    I dont’ think I was specific, I had fantasies”

    Jettsetter

    Reply

  24. Patrick says:

    Jane Elliott

    “she is the smartest, savviest, straight shooter, she’s my best friend here, I adore her”

    “I count on her to tell me the absolute unvarnished truths”

    tearful bond

    Reply

    Harry replied

    I loved that quote too, Patrick. I hope they continue to give Jane Elliot front burner story lines after Geary departs. I am worried about her and hope she doesn’t become a prop like the potted plant in the hospital lobby or like Monica.

    Reply

  25. Patrick says:

    if I have to give an identifier with Luke: it was his relationship with his sister : Bobbi

    perhaps.. it’s this… my sister was gone way too soon

    he just beamed… protected… radiated together… a relationship unlike his all

    Reply

  26. Lee McGuire says:

    I’ve watched GH for35 yrs,and Tony has been at the top of my list of favorite actors. I will miss him more than any other actor that has left any show I’ve watched. Love you Tony/Luke everyone is going to notice the empty space that you leave,I our hearts and on the show. Good luck in Amsterdam with whatever you choose to do. Love,luck,and happiness in your future.

    Reply

  27. Mary Fraiser says:

    I just put the kids to sleep and came across this post Michael. WOW WOW WOW. This needs to be your video of the day. I was so sad to hear that Anthony Geary was leaving GH but after watching this interview I can totally respect and understand his decision. I loved Paolo’s questions and him being a true fan of the show made it so much fun to watch. I have to share this with all my girlfriends.

    Reply

  28. Rebecca1 says:

    Excellent interview. Very touching. I’ll miss his familiar face…

    Reply

  29. Charday says:

    Great interview.

    Reply

  30. kelly says:

    I am going to miss Luke Spencer aka Tony Geary. He is the best part of GH. Also when will see Genie Francis on air?

    Reply

  31. BrenKay says:

    What a wonderful interview! Thanks to Tony Geary for his many years as Luke, he will be greatly missed. Wishing him all the best as he moves on to the next stage of his life. It sounds like it will be a very happy one and he deserves that. I hope he comes back to visit on GH occasionally after he leaves, it would be great to see him again! I wish him much happiness always!

    Reply

  32. Rose says:

    It was really nice to hear Tony in his own voice. Sometimes there are just too may rumours and speculations in the media, social or not. I now have a greater appreciation on what he has done for daytime and GH. But I still want to add…I didn’t much like the Fluke story. Especially if this was Tony’s last, big story on GH. It wasn’t the acting , or even the nuts and bolts of the story. The writers just dragged it out too long in all of it’s ugliness.

    So I will chose to remember all the “jet setting” and adventures Luke had with Laura and many other characters over the years. During which time, GH used to have a budget to take you to neat locales, much like B&B does now.

    Do you think Paolo was star stuck and had a little crush? I also liked him during the interview with Tony.

    Reply

    Rebecca1 replied

    Agree, Rose. Paolo was simultaneously gushing and professional. Very relaxed, respectful interview and Tony gave very sincere answers to Paolo’s questions.

    Reply

  33. Rodd says:

    A lovely interview. It gave me such a new-found awe for Tony.

    Reply

  34. Beth says:

    What would be absolutely unbelievable us us Nashville WORLD RELWASE Jonathan Jackson to help usher “Luke” out also. April 1st, was my 52 anniversary if watching GH. Luke is without a doubt my favorite ever on the show. But, in all honesty, I have been expecting this for several years. This is the correct time for him to leave the jetsetter’s club. I for one, see Amsterdam as the very best place for AG for several reasons. And there is not anything any actor can do the remainder of this year, to keep his 9th Emmy from him. Go out on top. Best wishes and God’s speed.

    Reply

  35. Cathy says:

    I have watch Tony since day one, he is as great an actor now as when he 1st began. He will be very much missed. It would be wonderful if GH would bring Lucky back before tony leaves to say his goodbye to his dad. I also hope that GH leaves the door open to Tony to make guest appearances,

    Reply

  36. fginaspy says:

    A nice interview indeed. I am not a Luke fan. However, I agree with TG that the dark side storyline can’t be matched. I stopped watching GH when Luke raped Laura and came back only because other soaps had been cancelled. I do respect him as an actor.

    Reply

  37. smoochie says:

    I am glad for Tony and sad for me. I’ve been watching GH from day one along with all the other retired ABC soaps, and loved Tony from his first appearance up to the present. For me, as each vet leaves, a bit of my adolescence, teenage years, young adult and new motherhood days, leaves with them. The older vets represent the old guard- a different breed of creative visionaries which included writers, production staff et al. Of course many talented people came along with the changing of the guard throughout the years, but for me personally the show has changed to the point of being unrecognizable. If it weren’t for Tony, Jane Elliot, (what happens after Tony leaves) Leslie Charleson, (where is she?), the short run of Ian Buchanan (now RIP), Finola Hughes , Tristan Rogers, Kim McCullough (i watched her grow up on the show), Wally kurth, and even the mention or reference of and to Steve and Audrey Hardy there would be nothing left of what the core of GH was. I’m still hanging in with Gangland Hospital, but it’s harder to do than ever. There are still very wonderfully talented actors on the show who are doing a fantastic job with whatever they are given, but Its’ just not the General Hospital I knew back in hit’s heyday. And yes , I know the song Everything Must Change very well.
    I will be missing Tony and will be shedding some tears because of his departure and for an era gone bye bye.
    Heres’ to you Anthony Geary , for all the years you’ve entertained me with your hard work,razor wit, improvisational skills, great talent and presence- from your long-time fan, best wishes for your future journey and to the days of Auld Lang Syne.

    Reply

    Patrick replied

    “I know the song, “Everything Must Change” , very well.”

    I LOVE this song…

    my favorite version…. Nina Simone

    I well up with emotion, every time

    I first heard this… when the series; “Medium” was being cancelled in the last show…. finale

    Reply

    Rose replied

    Love you comment. Very heartfelt. Plus your reference to General Hospital as now Gangland Hospital. I know there’s plenty of regular other patients. But those who are, have been, related to, or just in the wrong place at the wrong time because of crime in Port Charles seem to be the main population for viewers nowadays. I don’t mind some of those stories, but not a diet of it. Writers please mix it up a little. There’s more to life than just crime and crazies.

    Reply

  38. Ces says:

    Excellent interview with this very private man. Been watching luke since day one. He will be greatly missed but deserves to live happily after in amsterdam! In the meantime, i am looking forward to seeing luke and laura onscreen together again.

    Reply

  39. Lyn says:

    Thank you for such an amazing, wonderful, heartfelt interview. I’m an Australian fan who began watching GH just before Luke & Laura appeared. I’ve loved them both ever since. Thank you & I wish Anthony a wonderful “Act 3″. Much love to you all. x

    Reply

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