HOLLYWOOD—The writing might have been on the wall, but I assumed none of the soap lovers of “General Hospital” wanted to believe it. After nearly 40 years of playing Luke Spencer, a character that was at first hated, but soon transformed to a fan favorite, Anthony Geary is leaving the canvas sometime this summer.

It’s hard to imagine Port Charles without one of its smoothest, diabolical and beloved characters. When Luke first arrived on the scene in the 70s, he was pawning after Laura, who was involved with Scotty Baldwin.

The character soon crossed to the dark side when he raped Laura and for the oddest reason, the two became fond of each other. The marriage of Luke and Laura in 1981 was one of the biggest viewings for a daytime soap where more than 30 million people watched to see the lovebirds tie the knot.

Till this day, no soap has ever reached such a feat. For more than four decades, Luke has gone toe-to-toe with nemesis Helena Cassadine. Helena has been a villain that soap fans have loved to hate since her arrival on the scene. FYI, the original character was created by Elizabeth Taylor before being taken over by Constance Towers. The love between Luke and Laura resulted in their two children, Lucky and Lulu. Isn’t it funny how all of them have an ‘L’ in their name?

Geary has tackled amazing material on the soap, from the much debuted rape scene of the 70s, to the storyline involving his alcohol addiction which led to the death of his grandson; the actor knows how to deliver on the acting front. The past two years saw Geary take the character to dark realms as ‘Fluke,’ as fans know him, ran havoc in Port Charles. I would say it was a mystery that was fun to watch, but the revelation that Fluke was indeed Luke was the ultimate downfall. When a soap weaves a tale as juicy as that one, the revelation has to be explosive, otherwise it’s a let down for the fans.

While no exact date for Luke’s departure has been revealed, it is know that he will exit the canvas in the coming months. It’s important to note that his co-star Genie Francis aka Laura is expected to return to the soap in the coming weeks. Rather the two lovebirds will find themselves back together, is still up in the air. I mean the couple never recovered after Laura’s bout with catatonia.

How Luke will exit the canvas might be the big question fans want to know? Will he leave town, will he be committed for his crimes or will he actually exit in a body bag? That last option seems far-fetched, but it would open the doors for an excellent storyline and narrative for the soap. Can you imagine a murder mystery involving Luke Spencer? I mean he has ruffled quite a few feathers in the recent months creating enemies who might want to take him out.

It is impossible to replace the character of Luke Spencer; Geary has proven to be one of the best on daytime television recently taking home his eighth Daytime Emmy award for his work. He will indeed be missed. “General Hospital” airs weekdays on ABC.