Sonny Corinthos on the ABC Television Network's "General Hospital"
Complex, confident and wise, Sonny Corinthos has taken his hard-earned experience as a street hustler and transformed himself into one of the most powerful figures in Port Charles. Emmy Award-winning Actor Maurice Benard brings his own deeply personal experiences to the portrayal of Sonny by adding color, menace and seduction to an already intricate character. He first appeared in the role on August 13, 1993. He briefly left the show for a year-long hiatus in December 1998. For his portrayal, Benard received the Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Daytime Drama Series in 2003. He was also nominated in 1996, 1997, 2004, 2006 and 2012.
Benard's multi-cultural upbringing began in San Francisco, where he was born to parents from Nicaragua and San Salvador. Uninspired by the traditional education route, he gleaned an education in the open job market after high school. His dark good looks and intense gaze brought him modeling jobs in his early 20s. Following that, he took up acting in numerous theatrical productions in the Bay area.
After auditioning for a role on the ABC daytime drama "All My Children," Benard was cast as Nico Kelly. Two years later he struck out to find new challenges and moved to Los Angeles, where he was soon cast as the lead in the much-publicized TV movie, "Lucy and Desi: Before the Laughter." He later added a pivotal role in the feature film "Ruby" to several other prominent film and television credits.
Benard has been a popular voice in the battle against bipolar disorder. He has been very open about his personal battle with the illness, appearing on television programs such as "The View" and "Entertainment Tonight," and has also been featured in People and LA Life Magazines. He is currently working with the National Mental Health Association (NMHA) on the "Bipolar Disorder: Do You Know It?" campaign to help educate Americans about the importance of recognizing the signs and symptoms of bipolar disorder.
Benard lives outside of Los Angeles. He enjoys the martial arts, working out and playing host to a menagerie of dogs and cats. He and his wife, Paula, are the proud parents of daughters Cailey Sofia, Cassidy Rose, Heather and son Joshua James.