Maurice Benard

Birth Name: Mauricio Jose Morales
Birth Place: Martinez, California, United States
Profession: Actor


Maurice Benard was born Mauricio Jose Morales in Martinez, California, to hard-working parents, Humberto, a baking superintendent, and Martha, a bank attendant. Of Salvadorian and Nicaraguan ethnicity, Benard grew up in the San Francisco area in a very diverse community.

After high school, Maurice took the non-traditional route in his job search. He participated in a lot of theater in the Bay area and modeled to pay the bills. When he was ready, Benard headed to New York in 1987 to audition for All My Children. He didn’t get that particular role, but they hired him for another role, Nico Kelly.

His stint in Pine Valley ended in 1990, Maurice decided to take a chance in Los Angeles. He landed roles on television such as DEA, Her Wicked Ways and Stat, before scoring the pivotal, much-publicized role of Desi Arnaz in Lucy & Desi: Before the Laughter in 1991.

Benard followed that role with another widely publicized role in Ruby, a behind the scenes story about Jack Ruby with an all-star cast that included Danny Aiello, Arliss Howard, David Duchovny, Sherilyn Finn and Jeffrey Nordling. Maurice played the pivotal role of a Cuban exile named Diego, who was one of Ruby’s contacts.

In 1993, Maurice booked the Emmy award-winning role of Sonny Corinthos on General Hospital, forever changing the canvas of Port Charles and the trajectory of Benard’s life in the process.

Other credits include Dark Justice, Mi Vida Loca, To Face Her Past, Operation Splitsville, Restraining Order, Confession, Joy, Castle, The Ghost and the Whale and A Lover Betrayed, all while he juggled his day job as fan favorite mobster Corinthos.

When he is not on a set, Maurice enjoys a private life with his family, wife Paula, and four children, Cailey, Cassidy, Joshua and Heather, and their menagerie of exotic animals, in Temecula, California. Benard is also an outspoken activist on the diagnosis and treatment of Bipolar Disorder, something he has been struggling with since his early twenties.

Fast Facts

  • March 1, 1963 — Birthdate
  • Did some modeling work in his early twenties.
  • Auditioned for the soap All My Children in 1987; did not get the part he tried out for, but producers were so impressed they created the role of Nico Kelly for him.
  • Played Desi Arnaz in the 1991 TV-movie Lucy and Desi: Before the Laughter.
  • Diagnosed with bipolar disorder when he was 22; in 2006, asked General Hospital producers to make his character also have bipolar disorder.
  • Is a spokesperson for the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance.
  • Enjoys boxing and is a fan of martial arts.
  • Is an animal lover and owns many pets, including cats, dogs, birds, chinchillas and rabbits.


  • Humberto Morales — Father
  • Martha Morales — Mother
  • Paula Smith Benard — Spouse
  • Cailey Sophia Benard — Daughter
  • Cassidy Rose Benard — Daughter
  • Heather Ann Smith Benard — Daughter
  • Joshua James Benard — Son


Maurice Benard polished his acting skills while modeling and doing theater in San Francisco. His big break came when he signed on to play Nico Kelly on All My Children and his critically-acclaimed portrayal of Desi Arnaz in Lucy & Desi: Before the Laughter.

Bernard added memorable roles in Ruby, A Lover’s Betrayal, Joy and The Ghost and the Whale.

Perhaps his greatest achievement was taking the role of street thug turned Mob Boss Sonny Corinthos on General Hospital in 1993 and giving layers and vulnerabilities that has made him a fan favorite and garnered him multiple Emmy nominations before taking home the statue in 2003.

Maurice Benard Photos

Actor (7 Credits)

Title Role Year

General Hospital (TV Show)

13924 — 2017
13923 — 2017
13922 — 2017

Sonny Corinthos 2017

Castle (TV Show)

Dead Again — 2016

Horatio Spate 2016

Joy (Movie)

Ridge 2015

Restraining Order (Movie)

Sicko 2000

Mi Vida Loca--My Crazy Life (Movie)

Creeper 1994

Ruby (Movie)

Diego 1992

General Hospital Thanksgiving (TV Show)

Remarks by  (1 Credits)

Title Role Year

20/20 (TV Show)

General Hospital: The Real Soap Dish — 2013


Guest (6 Credits)

Title Role Year

The Dr. Oz Show (TV Show)

What Really Happened: Tamar Braxton's Near Fatal Blood Clots & Soap Star Maurice Benard's Brutal Battle With Bipolar Disorder — 2016


Katie (TV Show)

General Hospital's 50th Anniversary Extravaganza! — 2013


The View (TV Show)

The View — 2009
The View — 2006
The View — 2005

2005 - 2009

The Oprah Winfrey Show (TV Show)

Exclusive: Did Bipolar Disorder Drive A Mother To Kill Her Child? — 2007


Wayne Brady (TV Show)

Wayne Brady — 2004


Soap Talk (TV Show)

General Hospital 40th Anniversary — 2003


Appearing (3 Credits)

Title Role Year

ESPN First Take (TV Show)

ESPN First Take:From Los Angeles — 2014


The Dr. Oz Show (TV Show)

Ask Dr. Oz: Soap Edition — 2010


Daytime Emmy Awards (TV Show)

Subject (person only) (2 Credits)

Title Role Year

American Latino TV (TV Show)

American Latino TV — 2010


Soapography (TV Show) Soapography — 2004