Anthony Geary ending his run as Luke Spencer on 'General Hospital'

NEW YORK -- Actor Anthony Geary will depart ABC's General Hospital on Monday after 37 years of playing daytime television's dark and dreamy Luke Spencer.

Geary has starred on the ABC soap opera since 1978.

"He was not created to be a heroic character," Geary told ABC News Nightline in a recent interview. "He was created to be an anti-hero and I have treasured the anti-side of the hero and pushed it for a long time."

Geary climbed to fame in the early 1980s when he became one half of the soap super couple, Luke and Laura Spencer. Actress Genie Francis, who plays Laura, returned to the show for his farewell.

Geary has won a record eight Daytime Emmy nominations for his work on General Hospital, including Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series this year.

Of course, in the world of soap operas, the end is never really the end.

"The door will always remain open, so don't think this is the last you'll see of Anthony Geary or Luke Spencer," GH executive producer Frank Valentini said.

But Geary seems content with his decision to leave and is looking forward to continuing with the next chapter of his real life story. He plans to move to Amsterdam full-time and work on a book while pursuing theater.

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