Anthony Geary Quits ‘General Hospital’ After 37 Years Playing Luke Spencer

Genie Francis, who plays longtime onscreen love Laura, returns for his exit storyline

Last Updated: May 8, 2015 @ 10:57 AM

Anthony Geary is checking out of “General Hospital.”

The actor, who’s played Luke Spencer on the ABC soap opera since 1978, is exiting the series, a spokeswoman for the show told TheWrap.

The timing is interesting, as “General Hospital” recently announced that Genie Francis is returning to the series to reprise the role of Laura Spencer. Francis will participate in Geary’s exit storyline.

Geary and Francis also recently reunited onstage for the Daytime Emmy Awards.

In a statement, “General Hospital” executive producer Frank Valentini divulged that the actor “felt it was the right time” to exit the series.

“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. After 37 years on the air, Tony felt this was the right time to bid adieu to Luke Spencer, Port Charles and ‘General Hospital,'” Valentini said.

Valentini added that Geary will remain with the show through the summer, and promised that there are “some exciting things” in the works for the character.

“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,” Valentini said. “The door will always remain open, so don’t think this is the last you’ll see of Anthony Geary or Luke Spencer.”

Geary has won eight Daytime Emmys for his work on “General Hospital,” most recently this year in the Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama SeriesĀ  category.