Geary has played Luke Spencer—as in “Luke and Laura” on General Hospital since 1978, and he just announced his departure. He’s won a record eight Daytime Emmys for his role, even if it was often a little odd.
Although it soon inexplicably grew into a soapy love story, Luke and Laura’s relationship began darkly. Consumed by lust for Laura but unable to act on it because he was married, Luke got drunk one night at the disco where he and Laura worked and forced himself on her.
In the 1980s “Ice Princess” storyline, a madman named Mikkos Cassadine tried to use a diamond to power a machine he’d built to freeze the planet. Luke helped save the day, and his journey from sleaze to action hero was complete.
After he warded off a new Ice Age plotted by a maniac, Luke had plenty of other things to worry about after Laura was kidnapped in early 1982. But he stayed busy with a variety of activities that included winning the mayoral election in the fall of ‘84 — although he vacated office after discovering Laura alive and well. The couple left the show together at the end of the year.
Geary returned to General Hospital in 1991, but he didn’t want to just play Luke anymore. The show’s solution: Geary portrayed Luke’s “lookalike cousin,” Bill Eckert. He eventually was killed by a monster with an axe to grind against Luke. Through the magic of editing, Bill died in Luke’s arms.
In 2014, when Luke started behaving strangely after being rescued from an insane asylum where he was being held prisoner. Gradually, viewers realized that this Luke was a different guy, one who plotted the deaths of several major characters while periodically taunting the real Luke, who was still captive. Except as it turned out later, he actually wasn’t: Those conversations were all in Luke’s shattered mind, the product of a dissociative identity disorder stemming from childhood trauma.
Geary’s contract includes big vacation breaks, so Luke is often leaving town for long stretches. Such as the time in 2006 when he went on an adventure and returned with a pet monkey…who poisoned half the town with encephalitis.