Ian Buchanan as Duke Lavery (2012)
|Portrayed by||Ian Buchanan|
Pat Falken Smith|
|Introduced by||H. Wesley Kenney|
|First appearance||June 6, 1986|
Duke Lavery is a fictional character from the ABC Daytime soap opera General Hospital. The character was created in 1986 and portrayed by Ian Buchanan until 1989. Greg Beecroft took over the role from 1989 until 1990, when the character was believed to have been killed off. On August 27, 2012, Buchanan returned as a very much alive Duke amidst intense secrecy on the part of the series.
Ian Buchanan first appeared in the role of Duke Lavery on June 6, 1986. After a three year run, Buchanan departed from the series on November 10, 1989. Greg Beecroft stepped into the role on November 15, 1989 as Duke with plastic surgery. However, the initial recast was met with much disapproval due to Beecroft's lack of chemistry with costar, Finola Hughes who portrayed Duke's love interest, Anna Devane. Just as viewers seemed to be accepting the recast, Beecroft's Duke was killed off on March 19, 1990. In 1988, Buchanan won the Soap Opera Digest Award as the Best Newcomer for his portrayal of Duke. Buchanan also earned in the Oustanding Hero category in 1989. Buchanan also earned two nominations with Hughes as the Favorite Supercouple in 1988 and 1989. In the summer of 2012, General Hospital's new executive producer, Frank Valentini began hinting at a huge surprise set for the August 27, 2012 episode through his Twitter account. Days earlier, Buchanan himself fed into fan speculation that he would be reprising his role as Duke with a very vague Twitter message to fans. Buchanan reappeared on August 27, 2012, but was initially unclear if he was actually portraying Duke. However, Valentini later confirmed that Duke was alive and well in an interview with Michael Logan of TV Guide. Valentini and head writer, Ron Carlivati immediately pursued Buchanan who had recently been fired from NBC's Days of our Lives as Ian McAllister. His returned would immediately cause trouble for Hughes's Anna and Anthony Geary's Luke Spencer who had recently become romantically involved. Valentini stated:
|“||Our audience is very excited about the growing relationship between Luke [Tony Geary] and Anna [Finola Hughes] and their story looks like it has really good legs...so what's the best thing to do? Make a triangle! We will eventually find out that the Duke Lavery we saw die all those many years ago was an imposter. This is the real Duke.||”|
Duke is born in Scotland to a 17 year old Mary Fitzhugh. Duke is the product of Mary's affair with mobster Angus McKay and she later marries into the Lavery family to make sure her baby has a name.
The character's first scene was at the Port Charles Police Department's charity ball, at which police co-chief Anna Devane dropped her scarf and Duke retrieved it and returned it to her.
There was an instant attraction between British Anna and Scottish Duke. A courtship swiftly ensued, though Anna remained suspicious of Duke to a degree. Duke owned the eponymous Duke's Club, an art deco nightclub. Duke had an office above the club, and lived in a penthouse above the office.
What Anna didn't know is that Duke Lavery was working for the mob, which used his club to launder their dirty money. More importantly, Duke was ordered to romance Anna, to keep the co-chief of police preoccupied and monitored while the mob stepped up its plans to take over Port Charles.
Duke quickly realized he had developed genuine feelings for Anna, and, recognizing his true love for her, he turned to mob boss Angus McKay for a way out. A fellow Scotsman, Angus promised Duke he could leave the mob with clean hands to marry Anna and begin his new life as soon as "the organization" completed its goal of infiltrating Port Charles. This didn't go over well with others in the organization, including hot-headed Damon, who continually threatened Duke with Anna and her daughter Robin's lives if Duke didn't stay in line and cooperate.
Things spiraled out of control after Damon ordered Anna's house bombed as a warning to Duke. The bombing of Anna's house brought her ex-husband Robert Scorpio back to town. Not merely a protective ex-husband and father (of Robin), Scorpio was the previous police commissioner of Port Charles and (like Anna), an ex-WSB agent.
Scorpio made it his mission to bring to justice whomever was responsible for the bombing, and, smelling a rat with Duke, correctly surmised that the bombing had something to do with Duke and his rumored ties to organized crime.
What Robert, Anna, and Duke didn't know was that "Mr. B.," the local head of the mob, was none other than Burt Ramsey—Anna's co-chief of police, and Robert's longtime right-hand man in the police department.
When it became evident that Angus and Mr. B. had no intention of ever letting Duke leave the mob in one piece, Duke confessed all to a devastated Anna, and helped Anna and Robert bring down the mob in a clever plot that Robert engineered. Unfortunately, Duke got caught in the crossfire of a mob assassin, and took a bullet meant for Robert. The shooting left Duke paralyzed.
Duke rebounded from his paralysis and received a light prison sentence for his mob activities. In early 1987, it was revealed that the imprisoned Angus McKay was Duke's father. In early January, a young beautiful nun, Sister Camellia, arrived in Port Charles. The troubled Camellia was the daughter of Angus and the half-sister of Duke. In earlier years, she had met and fallen in love with Duke, unaware they were related. The mystery deepened when it became apparent that Sister Camellia was deeply troubled by a night in her past which she could not remember. It was a night she spent in Canada in a town called L'Orleans.
Angus McKay, elderly and imprisoned, desperately wanted to end the vendetta between the warring McKay and Jerome families. To call a halt to the mob war, Angus made the ultimate sacrifice - he drank poison and died. With his dying breath, Angus begged Duke to look after Camellia. Soon after, Duke was paroled. A free man, he returned to the club and set out to raise the necessary funds to pay his heavy fine. When his debt was repaid, Duke would be free to marry the love of his life, Anna Devane.
Accompanying Duke to L'Orleans for Angus's funeral, Anna's intuition went into overdrive. She began to realize that there may have been far more in Duke and Camellia's past than just a sibling rivalry. Though Duke vehemently denied it, the truth was that he was Camellia's brother and drove her to commit a murder she couldn't remember. Now, four years later, Camellia was determined to find out what happened on that fateful night—although Duke warned her that it could destroy both their lives.
Camellia discovered that Angus was not her real father after all—nor was Duke her brother. Sister Camellia abandoned the sisterhood and schemed to win back Duke by contacting a sleazy investigative reporter, Mark Carlin. Digging into Duke and Camellia's past, Carlin unearthed that Duke had covered up a murder in L'Orleans.
On Duke and Anna's wedding day, Mark exposed Duke's secret. Mid-ceremony, reporters crashed the wedding. Camellia's memories came back and she realized she killed Evan Jerome. When she was acquitted in Canada, Camellia realized she could never win Duke's love, and left Port Charles. Eventually, Anna broke up with Duke and started her own PI agency. She was delighted to have her ex-husband Robert Scorpio return to Port Charles to be her partner. Robert came back with sad news: Holly had died in a plane crash.
Robert strove to win back his former love, Anna, but she chose to reunite with Duke. Forlorn, Robert quietly observed Duke and Anna's rekindled bliss, and watched with a broken heart as they married in a glorious Scottish wedding.
To find Anna, Duke desperately turned to underworld crime boss Victor Jerome. Putting together the clues, both Duke and Robert independently tracked down Grant in the Adirondack Mountains. In a final snowmobile chase, Robert caught up to Grant. In a heart-stopping climax, he rescued the evil killer just as he was about to plummet from a cliff. After subduing Grant, Robert turned to Anna, who raced into his comforting arms, her ordeal finally over. Just then, Duke arrived on the scene and stood in stunned silence as he witnessed the sight of his wife in her ex-husband's arms.
Duke Lavery struggled to keep his underworld involvement under wraps. When Victor Jerome's son, Julian, took a bullet meant for Duke, he made a deathbed request of Duke to help his father legitimize the mob. Back in Port Charles, a grieving Victor intended to hold Duke to his promise. Meanwhile, Victor's brassy blonde daughter, Olivia, showed a strong attraction to Duke. Secretly, Olivia was obsessed with ruling the mob. Only a select few knew that it was Olivia who ruthlessly ordered the hit on her brother, Julian.
When Olivia Jerome realized she couldn't lure Duke from his pregnant wife Anna, she decided to kill him. But Anna became her unintended victim when she was caught in an elevator rigged to crash. Anna was rushed to General Hospital, where the fall cost her the life of her unborn baby. Later, Olivia was gunned down in her hotel suite. When the police arrived, they discovered Anna, holding a gun, standing over Olivia's fallen body. While Olivia lay comatose in General Hospital, Anna was charged with attempted murder. The real killer turned out to be Olivia's one-time henchman, Dino, who was also revealed to be Victor Jerome's illegitimate son. Olivia was shipped to a mental institution.
A triumphant Anna watched with glee as Olivia Jerome was found guilty and shipped to a mental institution. Though she would escape on several occasions, Olivia Jerome's long reign of terror against Anna was finally over. But so was Anna's marriage. After Duke testified against the mob, his life—and that of his loved ones—was in danger. Fearing that Anna and Robin were in danger, Duke sacrificed himself. He faked his own death in a warehouse explosion. Resigned to his fate, Duke secretly entered the Witness Relocation program. Later, learning of Victor Jerome's death, Duke believed it was now safe for him to live in the outside world. He left the Witness Protection Program. Unbeknownst to him, Victor's son Julian was hell-bent on revenge.
The Jerome crime family, weakened by Victor's death, regrouped under his son Julian, who had two objectives: to neutralize his dangerous sister Olivia and to see Duke Lavery truly dead. Julian planned to kill Duke (who had undergone plastic surgery and had a new face) and frame Olivia for the crime. Duke Lavery finally returned to Port Charles...with a new face, a new name, and no Scottish accent. As art dealer Jonathan Paget, he handled Sean Donely's purchase of some rare Chinese porcelain, the Wellington Collection. Duke wanted to go right to his beloved wife Anna, but he knew Julian Jerome was on his tail. Julian shot and killed his sister, Olivia, who clued Anna in on the fact that Duke was alive. Before they could be reunited, Duke was gunned down by his bitter enemy, Julian Jerome, and he died in Anna's arms.
In August 2012, an alive Duke Lavery appears in Lucerne, Switzerland following a failed attempt by Anna to locate a presumed dead Robin. It is subsequently revealed that Duke arranged for Robin's abduction, but his motive for doing so continues to remain a mystery. Two months later, Duke makes his presence known to Anna, presenting an elaborate story in which he was abducted by the Jeromes' and placed in a Turkish prison, where he shared a cell with the man known as Jonathan Paget. It was Paget's task to learn as much as he could about Duke in order to properly emulate him, and subsequently convince Anna that he was who he claimed to be. Anna's reunion with Duke is cut short by her new beau, Luke Spencer, who finds it difficult to believe that Duke is who he claims to be. While "Duke" is surprised to learn of Anna's involvement with Luke, he informs Luke that whatever pre-existing relationship he had with her is now over, as Anna is still Duke's"wife, before taking his leave.
Duke is subsequently revealed to have orchestrated an elaborate plot to take control of the criminal assets of mobster Sonny Corinthos, which began in December 2011, at which time "Duke" had arranged for Sonny's accountant, Bernie Abrahms, to be shot. By threatening the safety of Bernie's loved ones, "Duke" was able to get him to transfer Sonny's assets to his daughter, Kristina Davis. In colluding with Sonny's enemy, Joe Scully, Jr., Duke was able to convince Joe to push his son, Trey Mitchell to pursue and marry Kristina, so that when Kristina was murdered, her assets would be transferred to Trey, who remained oblivious to the entire plot. When the plot ultimately collapsed, Duke ordered Joe to murder Bernie, who was planning to reveal the entire plan to Sonny's enforcer, Jason Morgan. Jason receives Bernie's message, and runs to his aide, fatally wounding Joe. As Jason attempts to save a gravely injured Bernie's life, Duke shoots Jason, and kicks him into the freezing cold harbor, before murdering Bernie.
While Port Charles continues to remain oblivious to Duke's nefarious activity, Luke continues to doubt the legitimacy that Duke is in fact whom he claims to be, prompting Anna to subject Duke to an analysis of his fingerprints, which confirm "Duke's" story. This does little to dispel Luke's uneasy feelings about him, prompting Luke's daughter, Lulu Spencer to offer Duke a job tending bar at The Haunted Star in order to keep a close eye on him. Duke continues to reconstruct his relationship with Anna, even sharing a romantic tango with her on Halloween. Meanwhile, in Switzerland, Robin makes a daring attempt to contact her family, eventually calling her daughter, Emma Scorpio-Drake. However, Emma's claims that she received a call from her mother are dismissed as simply the claims of a child missing her mother. Robin's efforts prompt "Duke" to visit her, claiming that he had been abducted as well upon hearing rumors of her being very much alive. While Robin is stunned to see Duke very much alive and well, she is troubled when he has a difficult time recalling meaningful memories from their mutual past. Robin eventually concludes that Duke is not who he claims to be, prompting him to pull off a mask revealing him to be Cesar Faison. It is eventually discovered that Faison has the real Duke at the facility. On December 17, 2012, Anna and Duke are reunited in Switzerland. Cesar Faison is later arrested.
According to the real Duke he was abducted from the witness protection program in 1989 and locked-up in a Turkish prison under false charges. Jonathan Pagett was his cell mate for a time and he learned enough details about Duke's life in Port Charles that he was later able to impersonate Duke. This "false Duke" was killed by Julian Jerome in March 1990. Only much later was it discovered that Julian had survived the shooting and his death faked in return for Julian's testimony against the mob. Duke remained in the prison for two decades until Faison broke him out in order to use him as part of his (Faison's) scheme ti impersonate Duke and win over Anna's love.
The real Duke Lavery and Anna Devane try to rekindle their relationship. However after Anna Devane realizes that Duke has done some illegal activity, they breakup for now. The crime being stealing the prized Quartermaine pickle ralish, the "key" to revitalize the family business.
After Duke swore to stay on the straight and narrow he and Anna did rekindle their relationship and become a couple. Duke worked for A.J. Quartermaine at ELQ, until A.J. lost control of the corporation to Tracy. Tracy then fired Duke. Duke then found a job as Chief of Staff to media mogul Derek Wells, unaware that Wells is in fact Julian Jerome's new identity.
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