It is no surprise that Maurice Benard has captivated soap audiences for his portrayal of Sonny Corinthos on ABC’s, “General Hospital,” a role he has played since 1993. While the Emmy winning actor will be celebrating 30 years as Sonny, Benard is currently celebrating 35 years in daytime television!
In 1987, fans were first introduced to Benard when he hit the scene in Pine Valley as Nico Kelly on, “All My Children.” In a bit of irony, Nico and Sonny were somewhat similar. Both were involved in prostitution, drugs, scams, and more.
After a failed marriage with Julie Chandler, Nico’s life seemed to change for the better when he became involved with Cecily Davidson. Mo’s chemistry with Rosa Langschwadt was off the charts, but it was also the friendship of Nico and Tad Martin, played by Michael E. Knight, that also hit it out of the ballpark for me.
Benard would leave the role of Nico Kelly in 1990, but it wouldn’t be long before we would see him again. In 1993, the actor would return to daytime television in the role that would change the game forever, not just for him as an actor, but for us as viewers. Port Charles would be introduced to Sonny Corinthos on, “General Hospital.” From hiring Scotty Baldwin’s daughter, Karen Wexler, to strip at his club, to becoming involved with Brenda Barrett (which at one point, Jason Quartermaine said that Sonny was no good), and inadvertently had his own wife, Lily, killed, Sonny has been involved in some dastardly deeds in Port Charles.
One of the things I will touch on is that Benard brought to the daytime audience was telling the story of bipolar disorder. I do love and appreciate how open Maurice has been about this in his own personal life. I was even more proud to see “GH” bring this to the show for his character. Not only do we see Mo’s courage to tell this story, but we get to see it get told right.
There’s so much more I want to say, but we will be tackling that when we celebrate the infamous mob kingpin’s 30th anniversary next year! For now, I will say: Happy 35 years in Daytime, Maurice! It’s been a hell of a ride! Let’s keep it going for another 35!