What Three Roles Did Anthony Geary Play On General Hospital?

Soap operas are known for having some of the most handsome leading men and women on television along with the unforgettable drama that follows them. However, there was an unlikely soap star without those perfectly-chiseled looks other daytime actors had. Anthony Geary broke the mold for daytime leading men. With his character Luke Spencer, Geary created the anti-hero for daytime soaps as well, playing a man who would do good things from time to time but was also deeply flawed and multi-layered at the same time.

However, before skyrocketing to daytime fame on "General Hospital" in the late 1970s and early 1980s, Geary appeared in smaller roles on other soaps around the dial, including "Bright Promise" in 1969 and "The Young and the Restless" in 1976. After several primetime guest spots on such shows as "Barnaby Jones" and "Starsky and Hutch," Geary landed the "General Hospital" role that would change his life and the face of daytime forever.

Anthony Geary played the legendary Luke Spencer

As one half of the iconic "General Hospital" pairing known as Luke and Laura, Anthony Geary shot to daytime fame along with Genie Francis, the teenage actress who played young heroine Laura. 

Of course, Luke and Laura on "General Hospital" became a pair in a controversial way after Luke sexually assaulted Laura on the floor of the campus disco one night (via YouTube). The soap chose to re-write what was clearly an assault as seduction, but years later, "GH" addressed the incident in 1998 as rape (via The Associated Press). Still, in 1981, when Luke and Laura wed in a lavish outdoor location wedding, it became the most watched episode of any soap opera to date (via ABC News). 

Geary left "GH" for good in 2015, but made a very brief appearance in 2017 without even speaking a line when Tracy Quartermaine found Luke in an Amsterdam cafe (via Michael Fairman TV). His character was then allegedly killed off in 2022 when he was presumed dead in a cable car accident in Austria that fans now know was no accident at all. Luke wasn't the only character Geary played during his decades on and off "GH," though.

Anthony Geary also played Bill Eckert

In 1991, Anthony Geary returned to "General Hospital" after a seven-year absence. In 1984, Luke and Laura left town to start life anew away from Port Charles (via Soaps In Depth), with Geary and Genie Francis choosing to work on other projects. However, "GH" came calling again. This time, the soap wanted Geary to play someone new, so Luke's look-alike cousin, Bill Eckert, was born. Like Luke, Bill wasn't the most savory of characters and also did some work for the bad guys, but he also had a heart of gold.

By 1993, Geary was playing both Bill and Luke when Luke and Laura made their Port Charles comeback. Bill even helped them escape the clutches of mobster Frank Smith. Sadly, looking like Luke didn't do Bill any favors and when Frank Smith mistook Bill for Luke, Bill died in his cousin's arms (via Soap Central). However, years later, fans learned of a twist.

Anthony Geary also briefly played Luke's father

While Luke Spencer and Bill Eckert were the two regular characters Anthony Geary played in "General Hospital," for a handful of episodes in 2015, Geary also played Tim Spencer (via Soap Hub). Tim was Luke's brash and abusive father who died when he was young. In those flashback episodes, fans finally got a look into Luke's past to see what made him the flawed and troubled man he was. It turned out that a young Luke (Joey Luthman) accidentally killed his father while Tim was abusing his mother, Lena. Lena was played by Laura Wright who usually brings Luke's niece, Carly Corinthos, to life. Luke accidentally killed his mother too.

In those episodes, we also met a young Bill Eckert, who happened by his relatives home and found his uncle's dead body. Bill helped to hide the body, just like Luke hid the memories of what happened that fateful night when his life changed forever (via Soap Central).