Anthony Geary is leaving General Hospital, EW has confirmed. The award-winning actor began acting on the daytime series in 1978, appearing in more than 800 episodes.
Geary first revealed the news in an interview with TVInsider, saying he had grown “weary of the grind.” Geary has played the role of Luke Spencer for more than half of his life and was eager to explore new adventures.
“One of the first things I will do when I leave GH is go back to my language classes,” he said. “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.”
“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,” Frank Valentini, executive producer of General Hospital, said in a statement. “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.”
During his time on General Hospital, Geary won eight Daytime Emmy awards as a lead actor on the long-running series. But don’t worry fans, he isn’t giving up on the industry all together: In his interview with TVInsider, he said he would “always act.”
Read the full interview with Geary at TVInsider.
Update: This post has been revised since its original publication. While Geary began acting on the series in 1978, he left the series in 1984. He returned briefly in 1991, but officially resumed the role of Luke Spencer in 1993, according to the Associated Press.