Luke Spencer and Laura Webber, portrayed by Anthony Geary and Genie Francis, are the signature couple from General Hospital. They’re credited with defining the term “super couple,” and they were on-screen on-again-off-again romantic partners until Geary’s retirement in 2015.
Luke and Laura’s wedding on November 17, 1981 brought in 30 million viewers and remains the highest-rated soap opera episode in American daytime television history. Elizabeth Taylor cameoed during the event, and Princess Diana even sent champagne.
At the time, Francis said, “I didn’t really understand how big it was. I really enjoyed all my time at work. The hard time was when I was not working. Fortunately, there were not many of those hours.”
Geary echoed those sentiments, saying “It wasn’t anything that I was prepared to deal with as an actor, because I was in daytime. We were international celebrities but still considered small screen. People didn’t take it seriously and those that did took it too seriously. It was a very, very odd place to be.”
Geary Now Lives at His Home in the Netherlands
After walking away from his role on General Hospital in 2015, Geary moved to a home he’d purchased in the Netherlands.
“Every day is an adventure,” he told Soaps In Depth. “Amsterdam is a city of amazing qualities: cobblestone streets designed 400 years ago for walking and cycling, tree-lined canals and quirky history buildings, people from all over the world wishing you a good morning in every conceivable language… I love it here.”
Geary certainly doesn’t seem to miss his role as Luke as much as fans might have expected him to. After leaving the show, he told the Los Angeles Times that the couple was kind of a burden to him.
“It’s amazing that people still talk about it,” he said. “For me, Luke and Laura became as much of a burden as an advantage. Whenever I go on a talk show, they run that clip. It’s like having your high school picture dragged out every time you meet someone. I appreciate it was a seminal moment for daytime.”
“But personally it was not a wonderful time for me. It’s difficult for me to appreciate it the way other people do. Plus, I had that awful ’80s ‘fro!” he concluded.
He also added that soap operas don’t catch his attention as much, citing the little resolution in storylines and the idea that there are no consequences for characters like his.
“A man who has killed people but always felt so bad about it that he was forgiven. Or the victims were bad people to begin with and his vigilantism was overlooked,” he said.
He has since clarified that he would be open to coming back to General Hospital only for the love of the art, “Whatever makes people happy.”
Francis Spoke Out About the Rape Controversy
Francis still portrays Laura on General Hospital. On the show, she’s a mother who works hard to take care of her now-adult children.
In real life, Francis will appear on The Story of Soaps, a documentary about soap operas and how they became as big as they are today. In the special, she speaks up about the rape that led to her character and Geary’s getting together.
“It was such a big deal in the media and it took the country by storm,” the now 57-year-old actress says in the special. “I’ve had to justify it for so many years and I have to say, it feels good to sit here and say I won’t justify it. It’s awful. They shouldn’t have done it.”
The Story of Soaps will also feature some of today’s biggest stars including Bryan Cranston, Jon Hamm, Susan Lucci, Carol Burnett, Andy Cohen and Vivica A. Fox. The special airs Tuesday, May 19 at 9 p.m. ET on ABC.