Aussie Robert Scorpio arrived in Port Charles in 1981. He was following Luke Spencer, hoping to locate the whereabouts of a rare and elusive diamond called the Ice Princess. He believed Luke knew where it was and was hiding it somewhere. Luke denied its whereabouts. Robert was posing as a playboy financier who wanted the diamond for financial reasons. The two men butted heads until finally Robert revealed to Luke and his fiancée, Laura Webber 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. Robert and Luke became best friends and Robert stood up as Luke's best man at his wedding. Eventually, Robert resigned from the WSB and became the new police commissioner of Port Charles. Robert had brief relationships with Tiffany Hill and Jackie Templeton. Tragedy soon struck home when Luke's wife Laura was presumed to have drowned in the Port Charles River one night and died. Luke later found comfort and intimacy with a beautiful British woman named Holly Sutton. Another bizarre twist of fate happened later when Luke was caught in the middle of an avalanche and presumed dead. Holly learned she was pregnant with Luke's child and was about to be deported to England. Robert stepped in and agreed to marry her so she could stay in the United States and have a father for her child. Robert and Holly soon fell in love after Holly miscarried and needed comfort and understanding from Robert. Luke returned home months later alive and well. He became angry with Robert after learning he married Holly. The two men became estranged and butted heads again. Later they patched up their differences.
Two people from Robert's past returned to his life. Robert's former boss and friend at the WSB, Sean Donely came to town after hiding Luke in Mexico and ended up being involved in some corrupt business that ruined their friendship. Robert's ex-wife Anna also came to town and nearly ruined his marriage to Holly, who was unaware he was married before. Anna had been a double agent when married to Robert when they were fellow WSB agents. Later, Robert learned that Anna had another secret she had kept from him all these years, she had given birth to a daughter named Robin after their divorce and he was the father. Robert bonded with 6-year old Robin when she lived with him for awhile for protection from kidnappers. Robert patched up some of his differences with Anna for Robin's sake as well as with Sean Donely who saved his life once again. He moved with Holly to Australia. A year later he returned to investigate who was targeting Anna for assassination. He eventually returned to live in Port Charles more permanently after Holly was presumed dead after a plane crash in Australia. Robert started working as a private investigator but eventually took his old job back as police commissioner. He started dating other women like Cheryl Stansbury, his friend Tiffany's sister, and pianist Katherine Delafield. His good friend Bobbie asked him to be her adopted son Lucas's godfather and he agreed. He was briefly engaged to Katherine Delafield but the engagement was broken off. Soon after Robert was surprised when his ex-girlfriend Cheryl told him he was the father of her baby, who ended up being Bobbie's adopted son Lucas, his godson. Robert had a paternity test done which revealed he wasn't Lucas's biological father. Robert's ex-wife Anna started to stir up old bitter feelings about their divorce years ago when Robert was unable to forgive his friends for their faults. He explored those feelings with her again and realized he still loved her.
Robert's long-lost younger brother Mac showed up on a ship into Port Charles. It was revealed that Robert blamed Mac for the death of their parents as a result of a plane crash because Mac was piloting the plane and Robert believed he was careless and accused him of leaving him there to die so he could run away. Several attempts on Robert's life started happening and Robert almost died because of an explosive device thrown into his office. Robert recovered and eventually went after Mac. Mac saved Robert's life by killing a hit-man who shot at Robert. Robert and Mac resolved their differences again. Robert remarried Anna and bought a house for them to live in with their daughter Robin, now in her teenage years. Anna's old boss at the DVX, Cesar Faison resurfaced again and continued his obsession of Anna. He orchestrated a complex plot to kidnap Anna. Robin managed to avoid being kidnapped. Robert also got another shock of his life when his presumed dead wife, Holly came face to face with him at a party in New York City. Robert found out that Holly never got on that plane and ended up back in England helping her corrupt family. Robert left Robin in the care of his brother Mac and his friends while he went in search of Anna to bring her back home. Later, the WSB informed everyone that Robert, Anna, and Faison were killed in a boat explosion in South America. Faison shocked everyone years later by showing up in Port Charles and wreaking havoc on everyone including Mac.
Over a decade later it was revealed that Anna Scorpio was alive and she reunited with her daughter Robin and brother-in-law Mac. She told them that Robert was dead even though no body was recovered.
When Luke Spencer returned to Port Charles with a deadly virus and a monkey, Robert Scorpio followed his old friend. Robert had been presumed dead for nearly fifteen years and shocked everybody in Port Charles when he made an appearance, mostly affecting daughter Robin and brother Mac. The deadly virus started to bring everybody down in Port Charles and with the permission of Police Commissioner Mac Scorpio, Robert was given permission to quarantine General Hospital. After Luke recovered quickly from the virus, Robert encouraged his friend to donate a serum to help other people recover. Robert and Luke soon found out someone was holding the cure for the virus for ransom, and they teamed up with Carly Corinthos and Jason Morgan to find a solution. After blowing their cover, the ransom holder called Robert asking for an enormous amount of money. It soon turned out that Holly Sutton, Robert's wife at the time of his 'death', was holding the cure, and soon Jason and Carly brought it back to General Hospital. After Robin didn't want Robert interfering with her life, Robert decided to leave town after a last drink with Luke.
A few months later, Robert showed up again after he was summoned by Lorenzo Alcazar. Robert had helped Skye Quartermaine disappear from Port Charles while she was pregnant with Lorenzo's child. Lorenzo threatened Robin, which prompted Robert to return to town. He refused to reveal Skye's location and Lorenzo's associates beat him up as a warning. Robert responded by leading Lorenzo on a false chase for Skye. When Lorenzo eventually tracked Skye down, Robert helped Lorenzo and Skye deliver their baby. Robert also used his time in Port Charles to advise Robin in her relationship with Patrick Drake.
Robin's relationship with Patrick progressed and they made plans to marry before the birth of their child, although Robert was not able to be present on the wedding day Robin had chosen due to his battle with colon cancer. Mac filled in for Robert and walked Robin down the aisle, but the wedding was interrupted when Robin went into labor. A few weeks after the birth of the child, Robin and Patrick planned another ceremony and Robert returned to Port Charles. He met his granddaughter and gave Robin away at the wedding. Anna was present at the wedding as well and they reminisced their own wedding.
Robert did not remain in Port Charles after the wedding but he returned to town a few years later when he received word that Robin had been killed in a lab explosion at the hospital. He refused to belief his daughter was gone and he made a trip to the morgue and reminisced the first time he ever met his daughter. Robert was overcome with regret over the years he had spent away from her and blamed himself for not being able to save her. Mac and Anna reached out and tried to comfort him but he refused. Instead, he stood on the ledge of a bridge and contemplated ending his life.
As Robert struggled with his grief over Robin's death, Luke found Robert and gave him a reason to keep on living. He told Robert that Ethan Lovett was his son with Holly, not Luke's. Luke explained that Holly had lied about Ethan's paternity to get closer to Luke but the truth was out. He also shared that Ethan was in danger because Helena Cassadine was after him and he had left town. Robert vowed to protect the child he still had and he left Port Charles to offer assistance to Ethan. He was not present at Robin's funeral but he gave Luke a letter to read at the service in his place.
Eventually Luke confessed to Robert that Ethan was not his son. Robert returned to Port Charles shortly after when Luke believed that Anna was in trouble and needed him. Anna's presumed deceased husband "Duke Lavery" arrived in town and Luke suspected that something was not right about his return. Robert agreed with Luke's theory and advised Anna to proceed with caution. Robert believed that "Duke" was actually Faison in disguise.