Anthony Geary of ‘General Hospital’ Holds the Record for Most Daytime Emmys for Outstanding Lead Actor

The Daytime Emmys are not only the opportunity to recognize the best in daytime television. The awards – which holds its 49th ceremony in 2022 – is also the highest honor for soap opera television. And as television continues to change, one actor has long remained among the most Emmy-winning daytime stars of all time: Anthony Geary of General Hospital fame.

Anthony Geary smiling, accepting a Daytime Emmy Award
Anthony Geary accepts the Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series award for ‘General Hospital’ onstage during the 42nd Annual Daytime Emmy Awards | Allen Berezovsky/Getty Images

Anthony Geary debuted as Luke Spencer in 1978

General Hospital fans, of course, know Geary as Luke Spencer. The character first appeared in 1978 and went on to become one of the most beloved characters in the show’s history.

In particular, his pairing with Genie Francis’ Laura remains the gold standard of soap opera super-couples. Luke and Laura’s 1981 wedding is still one of the most-watched episodes of daytime television ever.

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Geary continued to play Luke Spencer for decades. From 1991 to 1993, he even had a brief stint as Luke’s cousin, Bill Eckert, before that character was killed off. Luke remained an ongoing presence in the show’s fictional town of Port Charles. Geary left the show in 2015. Francis still remains on General Hospital even despite her popular co-star’s absence.

The ‘General Hospital’ icon is a record holder

Because of Geary’s popularity and his decades-long run as Luke Spencer, the actor’s net worth reportedly rose to $9 million. But his epic General Hospital run also earned Geary a love of love at awards shows like the Daytime Emmys. The actor earned his first Emmy nod as Luke in 1981 and went on to earn a staggering 16 nominations right up to his exit.

Among those, Geary earned a record eight Daytime Emmys for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series for his work on General Hospital. For context, another popular General Hospital star, Maurice Benard, has won three Daytime Emmys in the same category for his fan-favorite performance as crime boss Sonny Corinthos, losing twice to Geary.

Anthony Geary made his final appearance in 2017

Although Geary left General Hospital in 2015, the actor returned briefly in 2017 in a cameo appearance. His return marked the end of another longtime General Hospital star’s run on the show. At the time, Jane Elliot was vacating the role of Tracy Quartermaine, though she has since returned to the show.

Geary, meanwhile, has left little indication he plans to return as Luke Spencer again. Given the nature of soap operas, there’s always the chance it could happen. But after devoting so many years of his life and career to playing Luke Spencer, General Hospital fans likely understand if the 75-year-old actor is ready to move on.

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