|Paolo Presta and Anthony Geary|
"The people," he replied, when asked what he would miss the most. "There are some wonderful people here. I could get very emotional thinking about them. I've spent a lot of time with these people. They work hard, they're talented, they're devoted."
The eight-time Emmy winner said he's been thinking of leaving GH for the past decade.
"I've been thinking about it for about 10 years," Geary revealed, "ever since I found the place where my heart is, which is the city of Amsterdam. I never felt as comfortable or as authentic as I have felt there."
"I love my work, I love this character, I've enjoyed so many benefits of being able to live on two continents for the last 20 years, an amazing gift the audience has given that to me," Geary added. "I'm very grateful for it but there comes a time when you reach a certain age (68 in late May)... I had a serious spinal operation, two of them, over the last two years, so I realized after the second operation in no certain terms that my time is not infinite on this planet, and I've loved my life, and it's time to take the benefits of what I've gotten from 37..actually I've been an actor for 50 years, half a century of putting on makeup and wardrobe. It was time. I just decided now is the time. It was synchronicity because they had just given me this incredible story of the dark side of Luke fighting the light side, and then with the anniversary show wrapping this character up so beautifully, I just didn't think there was much better we could do."
Later, when asked about working with Roseanne Barr, who played Jennifer Smith on GH in 1994, Geary told a funny story about when they met.
"She's a tough lady," Geary said. "When we first met, I asked her to marry me, and she said, 'I thought you were gay.' And I said, 'Is that a deal breaker?'"
Geary also recalled working with "wild and sexy" Demi Moore, who played Jackie Templeton in the early 1980s.
"Her husky voice drove me crazy," Geary revealed. "I thought she was hot stuff."
On working with Genie Francis, who played Luke's iconic love interest, Laura, Geary said, "Her talent was spectacular, and is spectacular. Her vulnerability, her ability to use her emotional range, is unsurpassed. It's hard to even go there because there's so much...our artistic souls met somewhere in outer space. In the early days, I felt extremely protective of her, which I think fed the relationship of Luke and Laura."
Watch the complete Anthony Geary episode of A Spoonful of Paolo below:
And check out a preview of Geary's travelogue film Amsterdam: On the Move With Anthony Geary, newly released on DVD.
- Anthony Geary's Final Air Date at 'General Hospital' Set for July 27