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gh luke mashup

November 20, 1978, marked, in a way, the birth of a legend.

No one knew it when General Hospital began airing its November 20, 1978, episode. Neither the network nor the audience had any idea that the landscape of the daytime drama had been changed forever the moment that Anthony Geary strutted onto the scene as Luke Spencer. But oh, it hadโ€ฆ it had.

In the scene, the neโ€™er-do-well was catching up with sister Bobbie. But they were not back then as close as they would become over the decades that followed. The scars that they obtained being raised on the wrong side of the tracks by aunt Ruby Anderson were right there on the surface. So when Bobbie teased Luke about the dive bar in which he did โ€œbusiness,โ€ he clapped right back. โ€œLook, I donโ€™t tell you how to run your life,โ€ he said, โ€œso donโ€™t tell me how to run mine.โ€

A conniver in those days, Bobbie believed โ€” naive thing, she really thought โ€” that she could convince her brother that it was natural for her to come to him with a problem that she was having. Trouble was, he wasnโ€™t having any of it. โ€œThis is Luke youโ€™re talking to,โ€ he reminded her (and informed us). Sheโ€™d been in Port Charles for a whole year, and heโ€™d never heard bupkis from her until that day.

Wait, how on earth had he known how long sheโ€™d been in town? โ€œKid,โ€ he replied, โ€œI know everything.โ€

And that, ladies and gentlemen, was our introduction to the future soap legend as the one and only Luke Spencer. (You can watch it below.) In a matter of moments, we had a crystal-clear picture of a fully fleshed-out character, one that was bigger than his eventual fro, bigger than Herb Alpertโ€™s โ€œRise,โ€ bigger even than Luke and Laura, the supercouple of which heโ€™d become the more challenging half.

At the time, Geary was a relative newbie in Hollywood. Though a veteran of Bright Promise and The Young and the Restless, he was not by any means a soap star. Luke changed all that. Frankly, Geary himself changed all that.

Backstage at the Daytime Emmys โ€” he wound up bagging in total a record-setting eight for Outstanding Lead Actor โ€” he might have shed some light on why that was. โ€œWell, I never think about the audience,โ€ he admitted. โ€œI really donโ€™t. I never have. I always think about how I can fulfill the material.

โ€œI love the audience,โ€ he hastened to add, โ€œand they have been very good to me. I am not saying I donโ€™tโ€ฆ but I donโ€™t work for them. I work for the script and for my own sense of ethics of the character. And so far, the audience has been OK.โ€

By which he did not mean that viewers had always approved of his characterโ€™s misbehavior (and thatโ€™s putting it extremely mildly). He only meant that they were willing to go along for the ride and see where it took them. โ€œThey complain,โ€ he noted. โ€œThey did not like Luke raping Laura.โ€

Ya got that right. โ€œBut,โ€ he noted, โ€œthat is how [the phenomenon] started.โ€ As a result, โ€œI learned early on you donโ€™t follow the audience, you ask them to follow you.โ€

With that in mind, we hereby invite you to follow along as we trace the steps that Geary took as Luke. Itโ€™s a road that we know wellโ€ฆ but as bumpy and exciting as it ever was. Your journey starts with a click on the photo gallery below.

gh luke mashup

GENERAL HOSPITAL, Anthony Geary, Jackie Zeman, (1979), 1963-, ยฉ ABC / Courtesy: Everett Collection

In the Beginningโ€ฆ
When first we met Luke, the rapscallion was enlisted by scheming sis Bobbie to help break up her crush Scotty and his future wife Laura. Luke nailed itโ€ฆ but in the worst way possible.

GENERAL HOSPITAL, from left: Genie Francis, Anthony Geary, (1980), 1963- , ph: Curt Gunther/TV Guide/ยฉABC /Courtesy Everett Collection

โ€˜I Donโ€™t Like Herb Alpert Anymore, Eitherโ€™
Though Luke became so obsessed with Laura that he forced himself on her at the Campus Disco, she couldnโ€™t stay away from him. Whether he was grabbing her arm became irrelevant.

GENERAL HOSPITAL, from left: Anthony Geary, Genie Francis, (1980), 1963- , ph: Curt Gunther/TV Guide/ยฉABC /Courtesy Everett Collection

Oh, Thatโ€™s Cold
On the run with Luke, Laura helped him stop the villainous Mikkos Cassadine from freezing Port Charles and the world. Of course, as if to prove that no good deed goes unpunishedโ€ฆ

GENERAL HOSPITAL, from left: Anthony Geary, Elizabeth Taylor, (1993), 1963- , ph: Craig Sjodin/ยฉABC /Courtesy Everett Collection

Something Wicked Their Way Came
Mikkosโ€™ widow Helena (yes, the Elizabeth Taylor back then) not only messed with Lukeโ€™s jacket, she placed a curse on him and Laura that didnโ€™t require [bleeping] but also didnโ€™t bode well for their future.

GENERAL HOSPITAL, 1963-present, Genie Francis, Anthony Geary, in the wedding episode, 11/16-17/81

Well, โ€˜Aisleโ€™ Be
Despite the Helena-shaped shadow looming over them, in the most-watched wedding in daytime history, Laura made an honest man of Luke. Well, as honest a man as ever he was gonna be!

GENERAL HOSPITAL, Janine Turner, Demi Moore, 1963-present, photo c. 1982

Close But No Cigar
After budding supermodel Laura vanished off the docks of Port Charles, General Hospital floated the idea of pairing him with reporter Jackie (then Demi Moore) and/or her sister, a spare Laura. โ€œPass,โ€ said Luke. โ€œSame,โ€ said viewers.

GENERAL HOSPITAL, luke holly (from left): Emma Samms, Anthony Geary, (mid-1980s), 1963-. ยฉ ABC / Courtesy Everett Collection

If at First Your Wife Disappearsโ€ฆ
โ€œWidowerโ€ Luke ultimately rebounded in a big way with impish con artist Holly Suttonโ€ฆ only to โ€œdieโ€ himself in a game-changing avalanche. Dumb, stupid snow.

GENERAL HOSPITAL, robert scorpio luke Tristan Rogers, Anthony Geary, (ca. early 1980s), 1963-. ยฉ ABC/ Courtesy: Everett Collection.

#awkward
When Luke thawed out, he discovered that BFF Robert had married Holly. You know, to help the Englishwoman stay in the country and all. It was cool, though, โ€™cause it turned out that Laura was no more dead than Luke was. Nobody in Port Charles dies โ€” ever!

GENERAL HOSPITAL, from left: Anthony Geary, Carol Lawrence, (1991), 1963- , ph: Craig Sjodin/ยฉABC /Courtesy Everett Collection

Side Dish
After Luke and Laura left Port Charles, theoretically to enjoy their overdue happily ever after, Anthony Geary returned to the soap in 1991 as his former characterโ€™s lookalike cousin, Bill Eckert (opposite Carol Lawrence as mom Angela).

GENERAL HOSPITAL, from left: Genie Francis, Jonathan Jackson, Anthony Geary, 1995, 1963- . ph: Craig Sjodin /ยฉ ABC /Courtesy Everett Collection

All in the Family
Upon Billโ€™s death, General Hospital picked up with Lukeโ€™s life, which at that point included not only wife Laura and son Lucky but little Lulu.

GENERAL HOSPITAL, from left: Genie Francis, Anthony Geary, (1995), 1963- , ph: Cathy Blaivas/ยฉABC /Courtesy Everett Collection

Sleep No More
Returning to Port Charles was not as relaxing as the Spencers might have hoped (or as peaceful as this photo might suggest). Their marriage was rocked by the revelation that Laura had given birth to Stavrosโ€™ son โ€” hi, Nikolas โ€” while being held prisoner by the Cassadines.

Anthony Geary, Julie Berman "General Hospital" hw luke lulu

โ€˜Papa Was a Rolling Stoneโ€™
Luke had to work hard to establish โ€” and maintain! โ€” a relationship with daughter Lulu (then Julie Marie Berman). The future reporter was nobodyโ€™s fool, not even her dadโ€™s.

Anthony Geary, Jonathan Jackson "General Hospital" Set The Prospect Studios ABC Studios Los Angeles 03/02/11 ยฉHoward Wise/jpistudios.com 310-657-9661 Episode # 12271 U.S.Airdate 03/28/11

โ€˜I Donโ€™t Buy Into Lapels, Butโ€ฆ โ€™
Lukeโ€™s connection with Lucky was unbreakable. Though the elder Spencer sure put that theorem to the test! Running over Luckyโ€™s sorta-son Jake was harder for Luke to come back from than Jakeโ€™s return trip from the deadโ€ฆ

Finola Hughes, Anthony Geary gh anna luke ps

The Other Women
Adrift without Laura, Luke gravitated toward such attractive prospects as nouveau Quartermaine Skye Chandler and the one and only Anna Devane.

Nathan Parsons, Anthony Geary "General Hospital" Set The Prospect Studios ABC Studios 05/22/15 ยฉ Sean Smith/jpistudios.com 310-657-9661 Episode # 13340 U.S. Airdate 07/03/15

Who Knew?
Luke finally got an actual chip off the olโ€™ block in con artist Ethan, his โ€œWait, where did you come from?โ€ son with Holly.

Jane Elliot, Anthony Geary "General Hospital" Set The Prospect Studios ABC Studios Los Angeles 11/30/10 ยฉHoward Wise/jpistudios.com 310-657-9661 Episode # 12210 U.S.Airdate 12/27/10

Bedtime Story
There was actually nothing whatsoever about the โ€œcourtshipโ€ of Luke and rich bitch Tracy Quartermaine that was sleepy. But in one another, they seemed to find a kind of peace.

Anthony Geary general hospital fluke hannibal lecter mask

That Way Madness Lies
Repressed memories of his parentsโ€™ deaths turned Luke into someone we hardly recognized. And that was before folks caught on and decided it was best that he enter the asylumโ€™s costume contest in Hannibal Lecter drag.

Jane Elliot, Anthony Geary"General Hospital" SetThe Prospect StudiosABC Studios03/29/17ยฉ XJJohnson/jpistudios.com310-657-9661Episode # 13799U.S. Airdate 05/04/17

Th-Th-Thatโ€™s All, Folks!
In Gearyโ€™s final General Hospital appearance, he reunited Luke with Tracy, in so doing, allowing us to believe that they lived wackily ever after.

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