‘General Hospital’ Dramatically Kills Off Luke Spencer

Anthony Geary in General Hospital
Craig Sjodin / ABC / Courtesy: Everett Collection

General Hospital said goodbye to one of its most iconic characters on Monday’s episode as it was revealed that Anthony Geary‘s Luke Spencer had died off-screen.

The revelation came from Luke’s most recent wife, Tracy Quartermaine (Jane Elliott). She told the lovable rogue’s ex-wife and soulmate Laura (Genie Francis) that Luke had died in a cable car accident in Austria. However, later in the episode, it was strongly suggested that the death was no accident and that Victor Cassadine (Charles Shaughnessy) had a hand in it.

Geary debuted as charming con artist Luke Spencer in 1978 and left the long-running daytime soap opera in 2015. He briefly returned in 2017 in a storyline that saw Tracy exit the show as a series regular. While other characters have referenced Luke since then, he has remained an off-screen character.

Over the years, Geary had grown tired of playing the same character. Initially having left the show in 1984, Geary returned in 1991, portraying Luke’s cousin Bill Eckert. However, due to poor audience feedback, Bill was killed off, and Geary resumed the role of Luke from 1993 onwards.

Luke was one of General Hospital‘s most popular characters, especially when it came to his relationship with Laura. The pairing birthed the idea of the “super-couple,” and their wedding episode on November 17, 1981, was viewed by 30 million people, which remains the highest-watched hour in soap opera history.

Geary earned high praise for his role and holds the record for most Daytime Emmy wins for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series.

In 2015, Geary announced his retirement, telling TV Insider, “I’m just weary of the grind and have been for 20 years. I really don’t want to die, collapsing in a heap, on that GH set one day. That wouldn’t be too poetic.”

General Hospital, Weekdays, ABC