Terry Morrow: Seven-time Daytime Emmy winner redefines term 'soap stud'

Tony Geary as Luke Spencer on 'General Hospital.' (ABC/Colleen Hayes)

Tony Geary as Luke Spencer on "General Hospital." (ABC/Colleen Hayes)

BEVERLY HILLS — Seven-time Daytime Emmy winner Tony Geary isn't letting age stop him from being a soap opera stud.

This marks the 32nd year Geary has played anti-hero Luke Spencer on "General Hospital" (2 p.m. weekdays, WATE, Channel 6). And while his fellow actors are younger, ripped and walk around shirtless, Geary is 65 with white hair, a small potbelly and age lines.

That's not putting him on the sidelines.

Geary is moving Luke beyond the days of "Luke and Laura," once pop culture icons, to new directions. Actress Genie Francis, who played Laura, left the soap years ago, but Luke isn't exactly sitting around, pining for her.

Right now his heart belongs to police commissioner Anna Devane (Finola Hughes) though he maintains a bond with his latest ex, Tracy Quartermaine (Jane Elliot).

Pieces from our conversation about his character and the show:

Anna or Tracy? Which one would Luke choose if he had to?

Geary: It's an impossible choice.

If they were drowning, which one would he save?

Geary: Tracy.

Because of her money?

Geary: No. That used to be true, but I don't think it is anymore. I think Tracy understands Luke in a way that no one else has ever understood him ... It's not feeding him grapes and all that romantic dribble. It's more mature than that.

And what about Anna?

Geary: Luke has always had a little thing for Anna since they first met. He is very flattered by her interest in him. I like them together.

If Laura ever came back, who would be the bigger threat to her?

Geary: I'd say Tracy. She understands him in ways most women don't. You know how it goes in soaps: You have conflicts to overcome, and if you do overcome them then the story is over. I think Tracy and Luke are conflicted right now, but we don't know how that will play out.

Where can Luke go from here?

Geary: Oh, I don't know. I wouldn't mind seeing him with some gainful employment.

Luke get a job?

Geary: Well, maybe not quite like that. Maybe he could run a really good scam on someone — other than Tracy. She's good for him.

Terry Morrow may be reached at 865-342-6445 or morrowt@knoxville.com.

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