Santa was good to fans of General Hospital leading man Maurice Benard this year. The star recently reported that he has renewed his contract with the daytime serial.
As reported by Soap In Depth, Benard will continue to portray his alter ego Sonny Corinthos. Whether or not the actor would continue playing the dimpled don had some fans and industry insiders speculating, when in the November 24 issue of Soaps In Depth it was hinted that re-signing may not be a done deal. “My contract is up in December, and we’re talking. I’m just happy to take it day to day. I’m happy here. It’s not about that. Usually, I have some strategy in negotiating, but maybe for the first time, it’s simple.”
Benard, who had previously starred on All My Children as Nico Kelly, originate the role of mob kingpin Sonny Corinthos in 1993. His portrayal of the complicated mobster quickly became popular amongst the show’s fans and the supercouple pairing of Sonny and Brenda Barett (Vanessa Marcil) elevated him to heartthrob status. Benard won the Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in 2003 for the role.
Most recently he appeared in the film The Ghost and the Whale in which he plays a bi-polar man who’s wife mysteriously disappeared. Benard himself was diagnosed with bi-polar disorder at the age of 22 and he has become a spokesperson for its treatment. His wife Paula Benard is the film’s Executive Producer.
On the show, Sonny is currently serving prison time for the murder of his long time nemesis AJ Quartermaine. GH made a bold move by taking away the anti-heros freedom, family, and power. The risk has paid off with much fanfare and positive response from critics.