Time to bust out the Champagne and give a toast to Tristan Rogers, who is celebrating his 40th anniversary of playing Robert Scorpio! The Australian actor took on the role of the heroic WSB agent on December 2, 1980, and says that even he can't believe that four decades have passed since his first day in Port Charles.
"To look back and think I've been associated with this show for 40 years is pretty incredible, but to try to put that into words is difficult," he shares with Soap Opera Digest. "As someone once said, you can't dwell on the past; you're as good as your next show. As long as I can entertain people, I'm doing the right thing."
Rogers surmises that one of the reasons that Robert has stuck around for so long (minus sporadic breaks from the soap, which we break down below) is because the character has somehow managed to resonate with a wide spectrum of viewers of all ages.
"As the years have gone by, I've managed to attract an across-the-board demographic across the audience, which is great," he says. "To think that from the '80s to now, 40 years down the line, people still like what I'm doing, that's really gratifying. You think to yourself, 'Yeah, I did the right thing. I'm not sure what I did, but I did the right thing!' I look back on it with a degree of pride."
Rogers' 40-year history with GH is one heck of a roller coaster. As longtime fans might recall, his Port Charles journey began with an action-packed 1981 storyline in which Robert was following Luke Spencer (Anthony Geary), who he thought knew the whereabouts of a rare and elusive diamond called the Ice Princess. Robert was posing as a playboy financier who wanted the diamond for financial reasons, and when the two men butted heads, Robert revealed to Luke and his fiancée, Laura Webber (Genie Francis), that he was actually a WSB agent working undercover to find the Ice Princess and retrieve it before it got into the hands of the Cassadine family. Luke agreed to help him get it back and fight the Cassadines before they tried to take over the world, using this diamond to do it -- thus beginning a friendship between Robert and Luke, with Robert even standing up as Luke's best man at his wedding.
Congratulations to the amazing @tristanrogers on an historic 40 years on @GeneralHospital! #GH wouldn't be the show it is today without this legend of daytime television. Happy Anniversary! https://t.co/w1n499sTFy— Frank Valentini (@valentinifrank) December 2, 2020
Some of Robert's other storylines over the past four decades include a loving relationship with his daughter, Robin (Kimberly McCullough); an at-first rocky relationship with his brother, Mac (John York); a battle with a deadly virus that nearly killed everyone in Port Charles; delivering Lorenzo (Ted King) and Skye's (Robin Christopher) baby; catching Faison (Anders Hove) when he was pretending to be "Duke"; a couple of serious comas; being presumed dead in a boat explosion; and romances with scores of beautiful women like Jackie Templeton (Demi Moore), Holly Sutton (Emma Samms), Katherine Delafield (Edie Lehmann), and Anna Devane (Finola Hughes).
At this time, it's unclear if GH is planning a tribute to Rogers for his 40th anniversary or if any special material will air to mark the special occasion. Soap Central will keep you updated if further information becomes available.
After joining GH in 1980, Rogers stayed with the ABC soap opera until 1992, when Robert was (wrongly) declared dead in a boat explosion. He returned to the series in 1995 in spirit form to comfort Robin, who had found out she was HIV-positive and was dealing with the death of her boyfriend, Stone (Michael Sutton), from AIDS-related illness. Rogers returned again for two short arcs in 2006, during which Robert was discovered to be very much alive.
Rogers once again stepped back into the role of Robert in 2008, for GH's primetime spin-off series General Hospital: Night Shift. He made it back to the original GH in 2012, when Robert believed Robin had died in a lab explosion, and again in 2013, when Robin was revealed to be alive. However, in November of 2013, it was announced that the actor would be departing the series to return to The Young and the Restless, where he'd played the role of Colin Atkinson from 2010 to 2011.
Rogers returned as GH's Robert in December of 2015, but he was also portraying Colin on Y&R at the same time, so his return was rather short; he only stayed until February of 2016 and made another brief return from August to September that same year. Rogers returned to GH in April of 2018 for a short story arc in which he aided Anna in trying to locate her long-lost son, Henrik Faison. He returned yet again from July to September that same year for another story arc in which Anna and Finn (Michael Easton) went missing. Fortunately, he reprised the role of GH's Robert once again in January of 2019 and has remained on the soap since on a recurring basis.
Would you like to leave Tristan Rogers a happy anniversary message? What are some of your favorite moments from the actor's 40 years on GH? We want to hear from you -- and there are many ways you can share your thoughts.