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It’s a sad day for “General Hospital” fans: Anthony Geary, who has played Luke Spencer on the daytime staple since 1978, will be leaving the show.

Geary dropped the bomb in an exclusive interview with TVInsider on Friday. The eight-time Daytime Emmy winner (including this year’s trophy for lead actor) will shoot the ABC series through June before retreating to his home in Amsterdam.

The actor explained his motivation to depart in the candid interview. “This show has been a huge part of my life for over half my life, and Luke Spencer is my alter ego,” Geary told TVLine. “But I’m just weary of the grind and have been for 20 years. There was a point after my back surgery last year where it became clear to me that my time is not infinite. And I really don’t want to die, collapsing in a heap, on that ‘GH’ set one day. That wouldn’t be too poetic.”

A rep for ABC Daytime told TVLine that Geary would be welcome should he ever wish to return for a guest appearance. “The door at ‘GH’ will always be open to Tony, and we hope that he will make a return visit at some point, even if just for a few weeks.”

Geary also mentioned that despite bouts of questioning his decision to leave, he’s at peace with saying farewell. “The closer it comes, there is less anxiety and dread at seeing the end of the tunnel, and it’s more like nirvana because my life is now wide open,” Geary said.

Correction: Geary first appeared on “General Hospital” in 1978, starring through 1984. He returned to the show in 1993.