It had been reported, it had been rumored, but no one knew for sure, now that eight-time Daytime Emmy winner Anthony Geary (Luke Spencer) had come forward and revealed through an interview with TV Guide Magazine’s Michael Logan, that indeed he has decided to quit General Hospital.
The actor will leave the ABC soap opera he has called home for 37 years at the end of his contract. Tony will remain shooting at GH until the end of June and will be seen on air at least a month or so after that into the middle of Summer.
Frank Valentini, series EP said in a statement: “Tony recently made his intentions clear that he would vacate his role of Luke Spencer this year, and it was a decision he did not come to lightly. After 37 years on the air, Tony felt this was the right time to bid adieu to Luke Spencer, Port Charles and General Hospital. Anthony is our friend and a part of our television family, but, as difficult as this may be, we understand and respect that this is his choice. Rest assured, Tony has promised to be with us throughout the summer as we have some exciting things in store for Luke. The door will always remain open, so don’t think this is the last you’ll see of Anthony Geary or Luke Spencer.”
Geary related to TVG when he made his big decision: “This past January. [GH executive producer] Frank Valentini knew it was coming. They have done a magnificent job writing Luke’s story, especially with what culminated in the 52nd anniversary show, but where do we go after this? There are still some surprises, the usual twists and turns and interesting guest stars coming up before Luke leaves town, but where we’ve gone in these last couple of months would be pretty hard to top.”
As to why he is leaving at this stage of the game, Geary answered: “The people at ABC and at GH have been amazingly good to me, allowing me to live on two continents and treating me, for the most part, extremely well. This show has been a huge part of my life for over half my life and Luke Spencer is my alter ego. But I’m just weary of the grind and have been for 20 years. There was a point after my back surgery last year where it became clear to me that my time is not infinite. And I really don’t want to die, collapsing in a heap, on that GH set one day. That wouldn’t be too poetic. [Laughs] In fact, it would be poetically incorrect. I have another life and I want time to explore it.”
As for how Geary think Luke should be written-off the canvas, he offered up: “For me, it makes perfect sense that he is left standing alone and that he must go off and find his purpose in life with whatever time he has left. His children are grown, and being a father and grandfather was never fulfilling anyway. It’s no longer fun to careen from adventure to adventure. He’s never had a proper job. What’s he going to do, become a bank manager? If I were in his place, I’d go to Tibet or Nepal on some kind of spiritual journey, even though he’s an atheist. He needs to be at peace. Or the other option is to just end it all, but suicide would make the audience very dissatisfied, and the network would never stand for it. Luke should make a contribution somewhere, maybe go to India and work with children or go to Africa and work with AIDS patients. That is the only thing I can see. He’s looking for redemption and a reason to forgive himself for what he now knows has been a really fun ride at everybody else’s expense. The logical and honorable thing for him to do would be to leave the people he loves behind, with the hope that when he sees them next he’s going to have something worthwhile to offer them. And, if he doesn’t have anything worthwhile, they’ll never see him again.”
So, what do you think of the news of the iconic Geary and the most lauded actor in the history of the soap genre quitting General Hospital? How do you hope Luke is written-off? Share your thoughts below!