Monday, June 17, 2024

Cliffhanger: Did “General Hospital” Kill Off Luke Spencer? No But They Got Publicity and a Story


I received a lot of messages today from fans of ABC’s soap, “General Hospital.” They were all: “General Hospital” killed off Luke Spencer.

No, they didn’t.

Anthony Geary, who played Luke Spencer for eons, retired and moved to Holland a few years ago. Then his long time scene partner, Jane Elliot, who plays Tracy Quartermaine, also “retired,” and they shipped her off to Holland, too.

But Elliot returns once a year, probably to keep her income up enough to get SAG AFTRA health benefits. They have to write her a story, and one that involves all the older cast members. So this time it was the “death” of absent Luke.

However: I looked at the tape. At the end of today’s show, the local villain, Victor Cassadine, indicated that he’d “neutralized” Luke, whatever that means. So Luke is alive. No one dies on soaps unless a body is produced, the death happens on screen, and even then resuscitation is always possible.

I go by the great movie parody, “Soapdish.” Whoopi Goldberg is the writer of the soap. She’s informed that Kevin Kline’s character is returning to the show after 20 years– even though he was decapitated when he left. Whoopi exclaims, “How am I supposed to write for a guy without a head!”

Easier than you think. (See the clip below.)

Good PR move by ABC Daytime. They got everyone talking about their show. And Anthony Geary, he’s at home in Holland, I suppose, arranging tulips, drinking beer, wearing wooden shoes, smoking pot, and laughing at everyone.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

Read more

In Other News