The Silver Lining: GH's Anthony Geary — And Friends — Celebrate 25 Years Of Luke Spencer

It’s hard to believe that one of daytime’s most iconic characters — Lucas Lorenzo Spencer — has appeared on GENERAL HOSPITAL for 25 years. “Sometimes it feels like that long,” laughs portrayer Anthony Geary of his time on GH. “But sometimes it feels like it’s gone by really fast.”Looking back, Geary, who also starred on the soaps BRIGHT PROMISE (David, 1971-72) and YOUNG AND RESTLESS (George, 1973), had no desire to join GH for anything more than a few weeks. “When I came over here, [former Executive Producer] Gloria Monty said she wanted to do something with the character of Luke that might be a long-range thing,” recalls the actor. “I said, ‘Well, I don’t think I want to do it because I hate soap operas.’ She said, ‘So do I! Honey, we’re going to change all that!’ She stood by her word; we really did redefine [soaps].”In fact, Geary’s fresh approach made his contemporaries take notice. “What I remember most about meeting Tony, besides his flaming red hair [laughs], is his different style that you’d never seen in soap operas before,” Kin Shriner (Scott) shares. “He was whistling and actually having fun when he was doing something, and I thought, ‘Well, that’s an interesting choice … to whistle your way through a scene.’ I was immediately taken by him.”Jane Elliot (Tracy) agrees that Geary was hard not to notice. “When I met Tony is when he came to test for Mitch Williams,” remembers Elliot. “It was a long day of testing actors, and it’s a stressful situation, at best. Well, he walks into this scene in Tracy’s penthouse and was just captivating. He was just so … present and so in the moment. I knew that he would be an asset to GENERAL HOSPITAL wherever he ended up.”Geary’s peers aren’t the only ones who recognized his talent right off the bat. Younger actors consider Geary an inspiration. Says Scott Clifton (Dillon), “Tony understands something that not a lot of actors do: People, real people, are performers. He is one of the real actors out there who plays a performer; that’s where his greatness comes from; that’s where he shines. Luke is an entertainer, and the way that Tony performs as Luke, the entertainer, is what has made him amazing.” Adds Chad Brannon (Zander), “Tony doesn’t take himself seriously, which is the key to longevity in this business. He is having fun playing Luke, which makes him so fun to watch.”And if ABC Daytime President Brian Frons has his way, that fun will continue. “The great thing about Tony is that if you didn’t know Tony Geary and you saw him portraying Luke, you’d think, ‘Wow! This guy must have just started. Everything he’s doing is so fresh.’ He has so much energy, and he’s happy doing what he’s doing,” praises the exec. “Obviously, he’s been here for 25 years. So, to have someone like that on-set, who has the enthusiasm, who has the professionalism, who has that creativity is not just good for the viewer, it’s good for everyone on the stage. His work really reflects on the younger set, as well.”Lucky for Frons and GH, Geary is in all of his glory in his 25th year. “I’m lovin’ everything about Luke right now,” he raves. “I haven’t been this happy with my character for a long time.”