The 68-year-old actor, who has played Luke Spencer for 37 years, bid an emotional farewell as former and current cast members packed a Los Angeles soundstage to pay tribute after he filmed his final scene for the long-running ABC soap opera, which he joined in 1978.
As producers played a montage of clips of Geary's scenes on the show alongside goodbye messages from other ABC celebs, former cast members thanked him for his support and mentorship.
"Thank you for putting up with me as a petulant teenager," said Genie Francis, who played Laura. "Thank you for the best acting partnership I've ever known."
Francis, whose character had a long, tumultuous love affair with Geary's, also remarked on Geary's sweet gesture of sending her flowers after they shot a difficult scene — their now-infamous 1979 rape scene. Later, Luke and Laura's onscreen wedding became the most-watched daytime episode in TV history, and it still holds that title with 30 million viewers.
Geary, who has earned a record eight Emmys for playing Luke, said he didn't mean to get emotional, but that didn't stop him from choking up as he said goodbye.
"I’m excited to raise the curtain on act 3, to reinvent myself in my new home to pursue whatever opportunity there may be. It's an exciting prospect to me," he later told Entertainment Weekly. "They've done a wonderful job of wrapping up the character. So this seems like the ideal time to go."
Geary's final episode of General Hospital will air later this summer.
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