BREAKING NEWS: Anthony Geary QUITS General Hospital!

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Anthony Geary

Anthony Geary

It's the end of an era. General Hospital icon Anthony Geary has announced he is hanging up his anti-hero cape and departing the series.

 The eight-time Daytime Emmy winner has played the role of Luke Spencer on and off since 1978.  TV Guide Magazine's Michael Logan got the tea from Geary himself on his game-changing soap exit.

TVG: So why take a hike from GH, and why now?

Anthony Geary: 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. Ever since I discovered Amsterdam and made it my home, I have found my artistic and social fulfillment there. One of the first things I will do when I leave GH is go back to my language classes. I want to be so fluent in Dutch that I can pursue film or theater work over there. And there are always American actors in European films. I don't see why I shouldn't be one of them.

Initially, Luke Spencer was only slated to be on screen for a few months back in '78. The character was supposed to wreak havoc in Scotty (Kin Shriner) and Laura's (Genie Francis) teen romance at the behest of Luke's kid sister Bobbie (Jackie Zeman). Showrunner Gloria Monty realized the breakout potential in Luke and Laura and decided to scrap her original plans. The rest is history.

Speaking of Luke's angel, fans rejoiced recently when it was revealed Francis is reprising her iconic role on the sudser. Don't hold your breath for Luke and Laura riding off into the sunset, though. According to Geary, he and Francis have agreed Luke and Laura's love affair has run its course.

How do you feel about  Geary leaving GH? Sound off in the comments!