10 Things You Didn’t Know About General Hospital Star Maurice Benard
For over two decades now, Maurice Benard has been playing the iconic Sonny Corinthos on General Hospital (GH). During his time on the show, the mob boss had some pretty incredible love stories, but also seen great tragedy and a whole lot of adventure. Audiences have been wowed by the tough guy with a heart of gold. Despite the fact that Benard has entered our homes daily via the soap, there is still so much GH fans don’t know about this talented and dynamic actor. Below is a list of 10 things you didn’t know about Maurice Benard.
10. AMC Role
When one thinks of Maurice it is natural to associate him with Sonny, as the actor has been in that role for about 24 years now. However, before Benard landed in Port Charles, he entered the world of soaps in the character of Nico Kelly on All My Children (AMC) from 1987 to 1990. Benard was in his early twenties when he started on AMC and would move on to his role as GH’s Sonny three years later in 1993.
9. Corinthos Role Meant To Be Short Stint
Do any long-time GH fans out there remember that fateful day in 1993 when Sonny Corinthos strolled onto the Port Charles scene? He immediately changed the dynamic of the show and storylines to include more mob action, adventure, and drama. Benard relayed in an August 2012 interview that the character was originally debuted with short-term plans in mind. The actor was given a six-month deal to begin with and once the mob storylines began to fly – half a year turned into over two decades.
8. Movie Roles
While Maurice Benard has enjoyed an incredible soap opera career that includes a Daytime Emmy award win in 2003, he also dabbled on a variety of movie sets. Some highlights of his movie roles include playing Desi Arnaz in a television film called Lucy & Desi: Before the Laughter, Joseph Hawthorne in The Ghost and the Whale, and the 2015 film Joy, alongside Jennifer Lawrence.
7. Sonny’s Dad
While Sonny’s dad was introduced to GH audiences in 1995 as Mike Corbin (played by actor Ron Hale), Maurice was hoping for another father for Sonny before this. Prior to the unraveling of the 1995 storyline, it has been reported that Maurice was hoping that Sonny’s dad would be revealed as either Alan Quartermaine or Steve Hardy. Either choice would have made for an interesting plot twist!
6. Benard On Sonny Corinthos
Some people love Sonny Corinthos, while others see him as a villain – so which is it? Benard chimed in on the dynamic Sonny Corinthos character in an August 2012 interview where he went into the fact that Corinthos is simply human. He stated that the way he views the character is that Sonny is a mobster with a good heart – and sometimes does bad things for good reasons. Benard also relayed the love Sonny has for his kids and family, but also noted if you cross him, he’ll take you down…as many GH fans have seen over the years!
5. Benard Loves His Co-Stars
And it sure does show! You can’t be on a soap opera set for over twenty years and not get a little attached to those people you work with. One only has to look at Maurice’s Instagram account which has countless photos of him and his co-stars to see the incredible fun and family-like environment that the GH set has. More often than not there are snap shots of him and Laura Wright (who plays onscreen love, Carly Corinthos), Chad Duell (the actor who plays his son, Michael), as well as a plethora of other GH colleagues.
4. He Didn’t Want Bryan Craig To Leave GH
In an interview with Soap Opera Digest, Benard relayed how much he loved working with Bryan Craig (the actor who played his other son, Morgan) and how there was a small part of him that wanted to say, ‘don’t leave’ when the young actor decided to step away from GH and pursue other acting opportunities. Alas, he held back and believed in Craig, knowing the talented actor had bigger roles to move forward to.
3. Favorite Storyline
Sonny has had many a storyline over the years … but what has been Maurice Benard’s favorites? In an April 2013 interview, Benard listed Sonny’s 2006 battle with bipolar disorder as the first thing that popped into his mind when thinking of favs. Benard would go to list Sonny’s wife Lily’s death (car bomb explosion) and the AIDS storyline as honorable mentions.
2. Advocate For Bipolar Disorder
Perhaps the 2006 storyline was his favorite, because the story itself is so close to his heart. At the age of 22, Benard was diagnosed with the mental illness and in the years to come he has used his star power to spread awareness about the condition. He speaks openly and honestly about his illness within interviews, has become an advocate for mental health disorders, and also acts as a spokesperson for Mental Health America.
1. What Does Benard Want For Sonny?
What more could Sonny Corinthos do or go through after twenty years in Port Charles? There are plenty more storylines to go around, but where would Maurice Benard like to see the character go? Apparently, he’d love to see Sonny hit rock bottom! During an August 2012 interview, Benard relayed an interesting idea, where he proposes an idea where Sonny would have to live life after losing all power. While it might not be something some fans would want to see, it definitely would be an interesting storyline.