Fans of the soap opera General Hospital will be sad to hear that Anthony Geary, who has starred as Luke Spencer since 1978, is leaving the show.
On Friday Frank Valenti, the show’s executive producer, said it was the 67-year-old’s decision to leave.
He will be written out of the show in an episode that will air on the ABC daytime drama this summer, with Frank promising there are still “some exciting things” in the works for his character.
The eight-time Daytime Emmy winner will film the ABC series through June before retreating to his home in Amsterdam.
The actor explained his decision to leave General Hospital, saying, “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.”
A rep for ABC Daytime said the “door at GH will always be open to Tony, and we hope that he will make a return visit at some point, even if just for a few weeks.”
Geary admits he struggled with the decision to leave, but is now at peace with the decision.
Anthony said, “The closer it comes, there is less anxiety and dread at seeing the end of the tunnel, and it’s more like nirvana because my life is now wide open”.
He adds that he won’t be retiring any time soon. He said, “I don’t like that word ‘retirement.’ It sounds like some guy sitting around the pool drinking Mai Tais until his heart gives out, and that’s not me. I’m an actor, a showbiz kid. This year marks 50 years for me in this business – a half-century of professional work – and I am not about to bring that to an end. I will always act. I will always be looking for another project.”
He refused to give any details on just how he will exit the soap opera, but did state, “He [Luke} has conned and slimed his way through this world for several decades. 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.”
Click thumbnails for larger pictures