For 25 Years Daytime Emmy Winner @MauriceBenard Has Made #GH ‘s Sonny a Beloved Character via @stacyamiller85 @GeneralHospital #GH55

Daytime Emmy Award Winner Maurice Benard has played General Hospital’s Michael “Sonny” Corinthos since 1993. When a character has endured on a daytime drama for a quarter of a century that speaks volumes of the talent of the actor playing him.

My first introduction to Maurice Benard was in 1987 when he appeared on ABC’s All My Children as Nico Kelly.  I was immediately mesmerized by this actor. Yes, I can admit with a laugh that his charming good looks and dimples were what initially drew me in. But underneath the physical attributes, Maurice had a depth in his acting I knew would take him far. I grew up watching the classic MGM movies of the 1930s and 40s as my late mom was born in 1924 and these were the films she enjoyed and instilled a love of them in her children. I could see an Errol Flynn and Tyrone Power quality in Maurice Benard and he became a favorite of mine.

When we learned that Maurice would be creating a new character on our favorite soap General Hospital, my mom and I were elated. But Sonny was the manager of The Paradise Lounge, a nightclub and front for the mob. I was bummed as I believed the character (and Maurice’s) days were numbered in Port Charles. But then I was reminded of another mob character: Lucas Lorenzo Spencer. If Luke could be turned into a hero after raping Laura (I know there’s a long standing debate stating this was a seduction and not a rape, but I remember the scene well and have formed my own opinion), why couldn’t Sonny? But let me elaborate, I don’t view Sonny as a hero necessarily. I know he’s flawed and is guilty of several crimes including murder. He shot his own son Dante and the excuse that he believed him to be Detective Dominic Perrilli wasn’t a justification as his intention was to kill a cop before the undercover police officer brought him down. Fortunately, Dante and Sonny were able to get pass Sonny’s attempt to kill him and develop a close father son relationship.

Sonny’s romantic relationships have been complicated as well. His first wife Lily was mistakenly killed in a hit meant for Corinthos. Brenda and Carly were the two women in which Sonny had on again/off again romances. In fact, Sonny and Carly have married and divorced often only to find their way back to each other. Sonny is a loving and passionate man, but can also be controlling and arrogant. And the strong women he falls in love with refuse to sit quietly and let him have the final say. When “Tropical Storm Sonny” and “Hurricane Carly” get together, you can expect rough patches, but “Sonny” days are ahead and they are able to weather any turbulence in their marriage.

Family is the most important thing in the world to Sonny Corinthos. Sure he loves the power being a mob kingpin brings, probably due to how helpless he felt as a child with an abusive stepfather. But Sonny would trade the power and fortune in a second if it meant the happiness and safety of those he loves. In fact, he has attempted to sever his mob ties only to be dragged back into the business.

I can’t speak for other Sonny Corinthos/Maurice Benard fans, but the reason I think the character has endured for 25 years is because Maurice plays Sonny as a man who knows he’s not perfect. He knows the mistakes he’s made on his climb to the top and doesn’t make excuses for them. But he is loving and loyal to a fault.  In addition to his love for Carly and his children, Sonny has a long standing friendship with his right hand man Jason Morgan, who he considers a brother.

The District Attorneys who have attempted to send Corinthos to prison often wonder why Jason takes Sonny’s orders without question and is willing to go down for him. They fail to understand how Sonny could generate such loyalty.

Now Sonny’s past is coming back to bite him and could take him away from his family for a long time. D.A. Margaux Dawson is determined to send him to prison for the murder of her father Vincent Marino. Jason (with the help of Carly) has come up with a plan to show Margaux that her father’s choices were directly responsible for his death. But will that be enough? Will Sonny have to pay for the choices he made in the quest for power?

Maurice and Max Gail (Mike) have been playing the heartfelt story of Mike’s Alzheimer’s. After being abandoned by his father, Sonny could have abandoned Mike and left him to his own resources. Instead, Corinthos has taken Mike into his home and wants to create as many happy memories for his father. Usually when a child is abandoned and suffers abuse due to that abandonment, it’s difficult to forgive and accept the abandoning parent back into their life. But Sonny has done so with Mike, showing audiences a side of him that makes us love him more.

I also commend the General Hospital writers for making Sonny bipolar. Sonny is a character who likes to always be in control and his mental health is something that he has no control over. He takes medication to keep episodes from being triggered and has shown that those suffering from mental illness don’t have to be at the mercy of their condition.  In a case of reel life vs. real life, Maurice also suffers from mental illness and is a mental health advocate.  He’s been opened about the struggles he’s faced and strives to help others as well as support education. I applaud Maurice; he’s making a difference by helping those like him to live healthier lives.

In conclusion, Sonny Corinthos is a beloved character because his past and mistakes don’t define or deter him. He has a strength that defies odds and a magnetism that is hard to resist. Who wouldn’t want to be Sonny or be loved by someone like Sonny? Okay the mob thing, dangerous and definitely not good. But in terms of everything else he represents, having someone like Sonny in your life would be hard to walk away from…just ask Carly.

Photo Courtesy Jim Warren – © Copyright Jim Warren Photography

Comments? Sound off below.  Or tweet @thenerdygirlexp and @stacyamiller85 .

Related:

https://thenerdygirlexpress.com/2018/10/20/week-in-review-10-15-10-19-18-on-generalhospital-via-stacyamiller85-generalhospital-gh-gh55/

https://thenerdygirlexpress.com/2018/10/13/week-in-review-10-8-10-12-18-on-generalhospital-via-stacyamiller85-generalhospital-gh-gh55/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo Courtesy Jim Warren – © Copyright Jim Warren Photography

4 thoughts on “For 25 Years Daytime Emmy Winner @MauriceBenard Has Made #GH ‘s Sonny a Beloved Character via @stacyamiller85 @GeneralHospital #GH55

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