Dark, good-looking, brooding mob kingpin Sonny Corinthos has been a tour de pressure on General Hospital since 1993. Since then, Daytime Emmy winner Maurice Benard has portrayed Sonny for two,513 episodes. This eclipses the opposite longest-running GH alum, Leslie Charleson’s Monica Quartermaine, by roughly 70 p.c. This makes Sonny Corinthos the character who’s appeared in probably the most episodes of the cleaning soap.
General Hospital in a Nutshell
General Hospital premiered in black-and-white on April Fool’s Day 1963, following the lives and loves of the medical doctors, nurses and sufferers of General Hospital. It’s value noting that worldwide intrigue and arranged crime weren’t the main target again within the early days of the present. Dr. Steven Hardy (John Benardino) and nurse Audrey March’s (Rachel Ames) romance enticed viewers, however with competing soaps and a give attention to 1970s social mores, it was harder to maintain the older viewers. Even the wealthy and highly effective (albeit dysfunctional) Quartermaines couldn’t maintain scores up.
After faculty college students rearranged their schedules to look at supercouple Luke and Laura’s marriage ceremony in 1981, extra youthful viewers began watching. Along with this was the addition of the Scorpios, Cassadines, and the WSB within the 1980s. This was when GH turned identified for horny intrigue, plot twists that defy rationalization, crime, and fervour. Rick Springfield’s Dr. Noah Drake and Jack Wagner’s Frisco Jones most likely didn’t harm both.
The older characters inevitably took a backburner to the brand new; however till the 1990s, the lives and loves of General Hospital continued to be the gravy of the cleaning soap. Eventually, Maurice Benard as Michael “Sonny” Corinthos got here on board. He partnered with former enemy Luke Spencer. Like The Godfather’s Michael and Sonny Corleone, the 2 turned intertwined in organized crime and intrigue that may stymie Sherlock Holmes.
Benard’s Staying Power
Benard’s preliminary position was speculated to be short-term, about six months. It was that approaching 6-month mark that prompted Geary to pop this life-changing query:
“Do you want to be the Tonto to my Lone Ranger?”
Benard didn’t thoughts taking part in sidekick to Geary. Geary had different instincts about the way forward for Sonny Corinthos and instructed Benard to “go upstairs and tell them you want a family.” That’s all it took. Benard made them a suggestion they couldn’t refuse; quickly dad, Mike Corbin (Ron Hale), and girlfriend, Brenda Barrett (Vanessa Marcil), got here into the image.
That was 26 years in the past. Since then, Maurice Benard has grow to be an influence participant in his personal proper.
If you’ve ever seen the Godfather trilogy, you recognize that in organized crime, household is the whole lot–till you cross a patriarch. When you’re the Godfather of Port Charles, nothing’s totally different. Sonny Corinthos loves his household in his personal method, and that method is normally his method or the freeway–normally a harmful one.
Benard says, by all accounts, Sonny ought to both be useless or in jail. The man’s been shot, paralyzed, married seven occasions, has 4 kids, and sufficient unusual bedfellows to warrant a colourful Corinthos flowchart. Clearly, Sonny Corinthos is a love him or hate him type of character; a foul man with sufficient redeeming qualities to endear him to audiences for over 1 / 4 of a century.
As for the actor, he’s by no means been shy about revealing what many actors would possibly maintain secret: his bipolar dysfunction. He’s written a memoir about how bipolar dysfunction has almost damaged him and redeemed him.
Love and Lithium
Maurice Benard’s memoir, Nothing General About It: How Love (and Lithium) Saved Me On and Off ‘General Hospital‘ shall be launched in Spring 2020 amidst excessive expectations. When he was 22, he was identified with bipolar dysfunction. Since then, he has efficiently included the psychological sickness into Sonny Corinthos’s life, utilizing General Hospital as a venue to get data out concerning the dysfunction.