Maurice Benard Celebrates 30 Years of Sonny Corinthos on “GENERAL HOSPITAL”

Maurice Benard

It’s the summer of 1993. Port Charles was about to have an explosion of Corinthos proportions, as Maurice Benard made his debut on, “General Hospital.” Celebrating 30 years on the daytime soap, Benard would soon land to be one of the show’s leading men, and involved in some steamy romances, including with Brenda Barrett, Carly Roberts, and Alexis Davis to name a few. During his tenure, he would receive two Daytime Emmy Awards for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series. Prior to joining the cast of “GH,” Benard was first seen as Nico Kelly on, “All My Children,” a role he would play from 1987-1990. However, it’s his role as mobster Sonny Corinthos that made him a household name.

In celebration of 30 Years of Sonny, the BUZZ has some memorable moments that stand out. Here are a few of my favorites:

Sonny and Claudia Zacchara Face Off!

This build up, confronting Claudia in front of EVERYONE at the Metro Court, which eventually led to Claudia taking Carly hostage…what a powerhouse scene! Originally aired on October 30, 2009, Sonny blasts Claudia over the fact that she shot Michael Corinthos, when in actuality she was aiming for Sonny! Sonny left no stone unturned on the mob wife as he brought every lie and machination to light in front of everyone! The best line through this entire scene was when Sonny called her, “You psychotic piece of trash!” Benard’s delivery of this line had me cheering in my living room when I watched this live! It was a long time coming for Claudia to get her comeuppance, and both Benard and Sarah Brown delivered. This episode will always be one of my all time favorites.

Clink Boom!

One cannot deny that this is one of the most iconic scenes in daytime history. As Jax and Brenda are toasting their new life together, Sonny was ready to start anew with Lily and their unborn child. Unfortunately, that was cut short as Lily and their child were involved in a car explosion…an explosion that was meant for Sonny! The clinking of the glasses, followed by the explosion, has been one of the most talked about scenes which originally aired on May 31, 1996. Sonny’s reaction to seeing this happen in front of him was gut wrenching. A simple word, one word, and that was, “NO,” ripped out my heart! Not only did I feel the pain he was going through watching his wife and child get blown away, I also got to see how Sonny’s life could cause consequences for those around him. A devastating scene, but it kept us glued to the edge of our seats as this was far from over! On an interesting note, this was revisited in 2011, when Brenda and Sonny were married. A toast from Alexis and Jax, leading to another car explosion. This time, however, Brenda was alive but was being held hostage by the Balkan, while Sam McCall suffered injuries related to the explosion.

Sonny and Brenda: The Wire

This has to be one of my all-time favorite episodes to revisit. Vanessa Marcil and Maurice Benard came to play, and this still remains one of the best scenes in Sonny Corinthos history. This originally aired on July 14, 1995. Sonny is furious when he discovered the wire on Brenda, even admitting to her how much he loved her and he opened up to her in ways he never did with anyone. Brenda is trying to tell Sonny that she did this FOR him, and not against him. Sonny felt the trust was officially broken with Brenda, and eventually tells her their relationship is over. Brenda begs Sonny not to leave her as he stormed out of the room, which left Brenda in tears. As someone who was, and still is, a Sonny and Brenda fan, I lost it! I also saw both sides of the spectrum here. As Sonny told Brenda, he allowed himself to be open with her and let her in. This is something that Sonny has not been able to do for practically his entire life. Brenda now tarnished this to the point he cannot trust her again. On Brenda’s side, I get why she did this. She felt he was not being honest with her. Did I believe she was not going to do anything with the recording? Yes. Do I think she could have done something else to find out if Sonny was being upfront with her? You bet! This would catapult into the back and forth angst between Sonny and Brenda for years! Brenda vs. Lily, to Sonny vs. Jax, it provided more story for a couple I wanted to see get back together. I cannot watch this scene enough. Benard and Marcil proved how powerful they were together by this scene alone. Definitely in my top three favorite Sonny moments.

Let’s get into some honorable mentions that I would like to share:

Sonny Shoots Dante Falconeri – His Son! – I have to bring this one to the table for a couple of reasons. The first one is that the confrontation leading up to Sonny learning Dante was a cop already was going to have disastrous consequences. To make matters worse, Sonny would soon find out that he shot his own flesh and blood! Olivia Falconeri rushed to Dante’s side and revealed the truth. This was another pivotal moment for Sonny as not one, but TWO of his sons got shot because of him. This gave so much for Benard to play, especially as in the next couple of months, Michael would stand trial for killing Claudia Zacchara thanks to Dante revealing the truth in open court. Sonny took the rap for Michael, and Dante told the truth thinking Michael would get probation or community service. This would not work out in anyone’s favor as Michael was sentenced to go prison. As we all know, Sonny has enemies behind bars, and this would be the perfect opportunity to get revenge by going after Michael. Unfortunately, this did happen even under Jason Morgan’s watch. This easily could be another full discussion, but the shooting of Dante and learning his father’s true paternity played out so many beats for the rest of the year.

Now, why else would I give this an honorable mention? This storyline brought Benard to our BUZZCast in 2010, and it was an honor to get to speak with him about this, as well as other memorable Sonny moments. I will always cherish that memory. So, thank you, Mo, for allowing me to share within the Sonny journey.

Ava Switches Sonny’s Lithium Pills – In 2013, Ava Jerome was able to get Sonny to not take his Lithium pills for his bipolar depression, which led to him having an outburst at the Art Gallery. He would go on to admit that Morgan deceived Michael and Lauren (Kiki) Jerome in order to keep them apart. It was not the confrontation that won me over, it was the scenes with Carly and Sonny back at his home that stuck with me. Laura Wright and Benard played this perfectly. Carly knew he was off of his meds, and she was the one who brought him back. The level of care in that scene/story alone, and the beats both actors played was impressive. For these type of real life stories and situations, you want to make sure you play it right so you do not offend, and they really did put in the work. I loved that as much Sonny was treating Carly badly, she was able to give it right back to him so he can get better. Carly did not give up on Sonny, and that was just a work of art. I appreciated every aspect of those scenes.

Sonny Jilts Brenda at the Altar – Boy, did this anger me! In 1997, Brenda was in for the biggest upset of her life when Sonny left her at the altar. The heartbreak that she felt in front of her friends and family, and the heartbreak I felt as a fan watching, still sits with me. When it cut to the scene where we see Sonny outside in the rain, you can tell how much it hurt him to leave the woman that he loved behind. This also would help facilitate Benard’s exit from the show before returning a year later. In just those two years alone, so much damage was done between Sonny and Brenda, and this was possibly the best alternative Sonny could do to not only spare her any more pain, but to also move on. In an ironic twist of fate, this would be revisited when Brenda returned in 2002. Sonny sees Brenda in the rain, however the reunion is cut short after he is shot. This couple can never seem to get it right, but I definitely want to see them try.

There are so many more memories to choose from in the “GH” arsenal, but these are my personal favorites. Maurice, congratulations on 30 years at, “General Hospital,” as Sonny Corinthos. We wish you nothing but the best! Here’s to another 30 years in Port Charles!

Maurice Benard

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