Anthony Geary

Anthony Geary Headshot

Actor

Birth Date: May 29, 1947

Age: 77 years old

Birth Place: Coalville, Utah

Arguably the most popular male soap opera star in the history of the medium, Anthony Geary broke the mold of a typical soap character when he first breathed life into his controversial Luke Spencer on the hit daytime drama, "General Hospital" (ABC, 1963- ). He joined "GH" in 1978 as a less-than-savory hitman, but within two years he was on the run with his true love Laura (Genie Francis), in not only one of the most cinematic daytime storylines of all time, but one which captivated the nation - even those who had never watched daytime TV. The hoopla surrounding the wedding of Luke and Laura in 1981 landed Geary and Francis on national newsmagazine covers and racked up the highest ratings ever for a daytime drama.

Born May 29, 1947, Geary was raised in the small town of Coalville, UT (pop. 800). Raised in a Mormon household by his father, the head of a construction company, and his mother, Dana, a housewife, Geary grew up with three sisters - Dana, DeAnn and Jana. At the tender age of three months, Geary was introduced to films when his father took the baby to the theater after he'd had a fight with Geary's mother. A self-proclaimed liar as a child, Geary parlayed this talent into a fledgling acting career. Although his mother hoped he would pursue teaching, her only son was determined to become an actor.

As luck would have it, TV star Jack Albertson of "Chico and the Man" fame caught a performance by the then-college U of U sophomore and cast him in a touring stage production of "The Subject was Roses," starring Albertson and Martha Scott (who would later go on to appear on "GH"). Geary would eventually go on to star in over 50 stage productions throughout his career, including a 1987 L.A. production of "The Glass Menagerie" and an acclaimed one-man show "Human Scratchings." But back in the late 1960s, Geary relocated to Los Angeles and began landing roles on all the popular episodic series of the day, including "Barnaby Jones," "The Partridge Family" and "The Mod Squad" - usually cast as the heavy. He made his most memorable pre-"GH" appearance as Roger on a 1971 episode of "All in the Family," titled "Judging Books by Covers." In the episode, which also guest-starred future ABC soap star Phil Carey (Asa Buchanan from "One Life to Live"), Archie Bunker was forced to examine his pre-conceived stereotypes of homosexuals.

Geary's first soap role was as David Lockhart from 1971-72 on "Bright Promise" (NBC, 1969-1972). A year later, he (ironically) played rapist George Curtis on the inaugural year of "The Young and the Restless" (CBS, 1973- ). Around this time, legendary soap producer Gloria Monty took one look at the intense, unconventionally handsome Geary and hired him in 1978 to play Luke Spencer on her daytime TV baby, "General Hospital."

Originally brought on as the criminal brother of series' vixen Bobbie Spencer (Jacklyn Zeman), the character was supposed to be written off after causing some trouble. But Geary infused such intensity into Luke, that fans were oddly drawn to the frizzy-haired bad guy. Geary's Luke emerged as the show's premiere leading man after he fell in love with doe-eyed heroine Laura Webber, played by Genie Francis. Geary's performance as the man from the wrong side of the tracks who wasn't supposed to win her love, but did anyway, endeared him to legions of daytime drama fans. This devotion should have been tested when, in a controversial (and later, hotly debated) 1979 storyline, Luke raped Laura on the floor of the campus disco. The rape scenario and the fan's almost romanticized reaction to it (at personal appearances, the actor often heard fans cry out "Rape me, Luke!") was very much a product of the times. When Luke and Laura went on the run in the summer of 1980, the couple not only shot to the top of soap magazine popularity polls, but mainstream media also picked up on the couple's appeal, with Newsweek and People putting Geary and Francis on the cover. The couple shared the latter cover with Elizabeth Taylor, who, as a self-proclaimed fan of "GH," made a handful of appearances as villainess Helena Cassadine. Such was her attachment to the show, Taylor and Geary began hanging out and were quickly rumored to be a couple by the gossip mags. In truth, the two were just good friends, but it made for titillating gossip at the time.

Not long after the soap wedding of the century in November, 1981, fans were left abruptly disappointed when Francis left "GH" in early 1982, only to be replaced by spunky newcomer Demi Moore, as journalist Jackie Templeton. While this relationship failed to spark interest among fans, Geary, who won his first Daytime Emmy in 1982, found more success with his next leading lady, Emma Samms, as Holly Sutton. After a brief stint as mayor of the soap's fictional setting of Port Charles, in 1983, Geary was reunited with Francis, who returned to daytime after an attempt at primetime fame went bust. The couple exited the show together a little over a year later, first in 1984, than, after a seemingly final and brief storyline where Laura told Luke of her pregnancy, officially in 1985.

His success on "GH" triggered other opportunities for the actor. He launched his own nightclub act in 1982. On TV, he starred in his first TV-movie, "Intimate Agony" (ABC, 1983), playing a doctor tackling a herpes epidemic. Later, he played in one of the first telefilms to deal with pedophilia, "Do You Know the Muffin Man?" (CBS, 1989). Although he worked steadily after leaving daytime, the high wattage fame that other, less identifiable soap graduates like Julianne Moore and Alec Baldwin achieved, continued to elude Geary. The actor appeared in the films "The Disorderlies" (1987), "You Can't Hurry Love" (1988), "Crack House" (1989) and Weird Al Yankovic's "UHF" (1989). Low budget wonders such as "Scorchers" and "Night of the Warrior" followed, both in 1991. Meanwhile, daytime fans still clamored for his return to "GH." While not in the way the fans preferred, Geary returned to "GH" in 1991 - but not as Luke. Instead, he played Luke's look-a-like cousin, Bill Eckert, who was killed off (conveniently) when Francis returned to join Geary as Luke and Laura in 1993. The official return of soaps' "supercouple" after eight years, made mainstream news around the world. The duo continued to have marital woes, but their love and bond seemed greater than any problem, as they raised their children and coped with various soap opera woes.

Back on "GH," Geary used his newfound power to take several months off from the show each year to vacation in Amsterdam. In 2005, the actor also found time to return to the big screen in the independent feature "Car Pool Guy," which featured several other daytime stars. Although Francis left the show on bad terms in 2002, Geary stayed on, nabbing two of his five post-Laura Daytime Emmys for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series. He won his fifth in early 2006 for scenes in which Luke willed his comatose son Lucky to regain consciousness. While soaps have long tended to focus on younger actors, after almost 30 years of playing Luke Spencer, Geary remained a viable and charismatic leading man.

Credits

The Obituary

Actor
Drum
Movie
2016

Katie

Guest
Talk
2012

Sins of the Father

Actor
Luke Spencer
Show
2010

The Wendy Williams Show

Guest
Talk
2008

General Hospital: Night Shift

Guest Star
Soap
2007

SOAPnet Selects: The Best of '06

Actor
Show
2006

Carpool Guy

Actor
Carpool Guy
Movie
2005

One Life to Live Yesterday

Actor
Show
2000

The General Hospital 35th Anniversary Show

Host
Show
1998

The View

Guest
Talk
1997

Burke's Law

Guest Star
Clayton Cole
Show
1994

Scorchers

Actor
Preacher
Movie
1992

Night of the Warrior

Actor
Lynch
Movie
1991

UHF Un Canal Loco Loco

Actor
Movie
1989

El Reventón de los Zombies

Actor
Movie
1989

Jóvenes Diabólicos

Actor
Movie
1989

High Desert Kill

Actor
Dr. Jim Cole
Movie
1989

Do You Know the Muffin Man?

Actor
Stephen Pugliotti
Movie
1989

Crack House

Actor
Dockett
Movie
1989

Night Life

Actor
John Devlin
Movie
1989

UHFStream

Actor
Philo
Movie
1989
61%

RoseanneStream

Guest Star
Luke Spencer
Series
1988
76%

You Can't Hurry Love

Actor
Tony
Movie
1988

Pass the Ammo

Actor
Stonewall
Movie
1988

It Takes Two

Actor
Wheel/Giuseppe's voice
Movie
1988

Dangerous Love

Actor
Mickey
Movie
1988

P.I. Private Investigations

Actor
Larry
Movie
1987

Disorderlies

Actor
Winslow Lowry
Movie
1987

Perry Mason: The Case of the Murdered Madam

Actor
Steve Reynolds
Movie
1987

Penitentiary III

Actor
Serenghetti
Movie
1987

Disordenados

Actor
Movie
1987

The Oprah Winfrey ShowStream

Guest
Talk
1986

Kicks

Actor
Martin Cheevers
Movie
1985

Jeu fatal

Actor
Movie
1985

Murder, She WroteStream

Guest Star
KGB Lt. Fyodor Alexandrov
Series
1984

Antony and Cleopatra

Actor
Octavius Caesar
Movie
1984

The Imposter

Actor
Cade
Movie
1984

Sins of the Past

Actor
Lt. Malovich
Movie
1984

Hotel

Guest Star
Soap
1983

Celebrity Daredevils

Self
Guest
Show
1983

Intimate Agony

Actor
Dr. Kyle Richards
Movie
1983

20/20Stream

Guest
News
1978

The Blue Knight

Guest Star
Show
1975

Starsky & HutchStream

Guest Star
Series
1975

Sorority Kill

Actor
Movie
1974

Shaft

Guest Star
Series
1973

The Six Million Dollar ManStream

Guest Star
Arta
Series
1973

Barnaby JonesStream

Guest Star
Series
1973

The Streets of San FranciscoStream

Guest Star
Cajun
Series
1972

Blood Sabbath

Actor
David
Movie
1972

All in the FamilyStream

Guest Star
Roger
Series
1971

The Partridge FamilyStream

Guest Star
Greg Houser
Series
1970

Marcus Welby, M.D.Stream

Guest Star
John Gavanelli (as Tony Geary)
Series
1969

Room 222

Guest Star
Series
1969

Mod Squad

Guest Star
Johnson
Series
1968

MannixStream

Guest Star
Eddie Decken
Series
1967

General HospitalStream

Actor
Luke Spencer
Soap
1963

General Hospital Christmas

Actor
Show
1963

General Hospital Friday

Actor
Show
1963

General Hospital Monday

Actor
Show
1963

General Hospital Thanksgiving

Actor
Show
1963

General Hospital Thursday

Actor
Show
1963

General Hospital Today

Actor
Show
1963

General Hospital Tuesday

Actor
Show
1963

General Hospital Wednesday

Actor
Show
1963

General Hospital Yesterday

Actor
Show
1963

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