Maurice Benard is an Emmy award-winning actor. Since 1993, he has been best known for his role as Sonny Corinthos on the ABC soap opera General Hospital.
“I was told directors wouldn’t hire me. They’d think I’d go crazy on the set. What’s more important – directors or producers who might not cast me becuase they’re ignorant, or helping people? So that’s what I’ve been doing.”~ Maurice Benard
Maurice Benard’s story is one of resilience, determination, and hope. Born on March 1, 1963, in Martinez, California, his life has been filled with incredible highs and daunting lows. As a talented actor, he has graced the screens of millions with his memorable performances, most notably as Sonny Corinthos on the long-running soap opera General Hospital. However, behind the glamour and success, Maurice Benard has fought a silent battle with bipolar disorder, a mental illness characterized by extreme mood swings and emotional turbulence.
He then began appearing on General Hospital, a daytime soap opera on ABC. The character he plays is Sonny Corinthos, a manic-depressive mobster Kingpin. His first air date on GH was August 13, 1993. Benard has been nominated for several Daytime Emmy awards for his role of Sonny Corinthos, winning Outstanding Lead Actor in 2003, 2019, and 2021, as well as winning three Soap Opera Digest Awards for Outstanding Lead Actor in 1996, 2003, and 2005.
Maurice was diagnosed with bipolar disorder at age 22. He has become a spokesperson for treatment of the disorder with Mental Health America. He made the decision to have the General Hospital writers make his character also have the disorder. Many of the struggles he faces on the show due to the disorder are ones he faced in his own life. Much praise has been given to the show for its realistic depiction.
In addition to guest spots on several television series during the early 1990s, Benard appeared in television movies including the CBS television movie Lucy & Desi: Before the Laughter (1991), in which he portrayed Desi Arnaz. He also starred in the independent film The Ghost and the Whale, executive produced by his wife Paula.