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Anthony Geary 411

YEARS ON SHOW: 1978-'84, 1991-present (as both Bill and Luke)

Anthony Geary grew up in Coalville, Utah — which actually had no coal, just one diamond in the rough and around 799 other people. Although his family's business was construction, it was the arts that fueled Geary. By the age of 6, "I was writing stories and reading and building cabins on the hillside and running across the mountains with cheesecloth tied around my head," Geary recalled. Eventually, all that running around and natural talent landed him a Presidential Award scholarship in theater to the University of Utah. It didn't take long for the dynamic performer to be "discovered" at a university production. He was cast in a touring production of The Subject Was Roses, and wooed to Los Angeles to pursue the stage.

In 1978, after a string of theatrical credits and roles in both prime-time and daytime TV, the actor joined the cast of GENERAL HOSPITAL as Luke Spencer. Now one of the most popular characters in daytime history, the role was originally supposed to last just 13 weeks. "Nobody expected Luke Spencer to be anything but a colorful, eccentric dash of spice," he recalled. But Geary became an insta-star, and fan response kept the character around. In the early '80s, under the lead of legendary executive producer Gloria Monty, Geary and Genie Francis (ex-Laura) turned their characters into a pop-culture phenomenon — one with a disturbing side. Geary described his "most vivid memory of fans" from that golden era. During a mall appearance in Chicago, "There was this thunderous noise, which turned out to be this chant: 'Rape me, Luke! Rape me!' All I can remember about it was the crowd of people looked like one great anonymous beast that was about to devour me."

Geary left Port Charles in 1984, in part because of that kind of response to Luke and also because, "I was burned out. I was young, and I didn't know how to sustain that performance day after day without living it. It was all too much." An older, wiser and rejuvenated Geary returned to GH in 1991 as Luke's cousin Bill Eckert. But it wasn't long before the real deal made a comeback: Luke Spencer came home for good in 1993.

Geary now lives in Amsterdam with his beloved cats and commutes to L.A. several times a year for work.

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