Maurice Benard currently stars as Sonny Corinthos on General Hospital, but the actor got his start in television on All My Children as Nico Kelly back in 1987. Not only has Benard been working in TV for over 30 years, but he’s also a multi-Daytime Emmy Award winner.
Not only that, with his upcoming book, he’ll also be a published author. From being open about his mental health to working with an Oscar winner, here are five fast facts you need to know about General Hospital star, Maurice Benard.
In The Beginning
Benard was born on March 1 in Martinez, California to mom Martha, who was a banker, and dad Humberto, who was a bakery superintendent. He was then raised in San Francisco. He started modeling in his 20s and also started acting in theater productions around the Bay Area.
Benard was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and manic depression when he was 22 years old. He has been a spokesperson for mental health since receiving his own diagnosis and even asked the writers to give his GH character the same issues. Many of the things Sonny goes through as a character come from Benard’s real life.
Working With Academy Award Winner
While Benard is best known for being a television actor, he has also done movies. The biggest and most recent feature film he was in was called Joy and was released in 2015, It starred Academy Award winner Jennifer Lawrence. Benard played the character of Jared.
Benard married his wife Paula Smith on August 11, 1990. They have four children together — 24-year-old daughter Cailey, 20-year-old daughter Cassidy, 14-year-old son Joshua, and daughter Heather, who was adopted in 2008. Heather was Paula’s niece, and they adopted her after her mother passed away.
It’s A Zoo
Benard and his wife are obsessed with animals. In fact, they have over 30 pets in a menagerie, including Buddy the goat and Riley the dog. General Hospital (GH) airs weekdays on ABC. Check your local listings for airtimes.