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. 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 and recently returned to General Hospital in December of 1998 after a year-long hiatus.
"This role is what I do best," Benard explains. "Sonny is unpredictable. You never know from one second to the next what he is thinking, feeling, or planning. "Sonny's a man in personal conflict who maintains an outward appearance of calm at all times, at any cost." For his portrayal, Benard received a 1997 Emmy Award nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Dramatic Series. He also received an Emmy nomination in 1996 for Outstanding Lead Actor. During the same year, Benard received the Outstanding Lead Actor trophy at the nationally televised Soap Opera Awards ceremony.
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, Maurice 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, Benard 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, Benard 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 lives in the Hollywood Hills area of Southern California. He enjoys the martial arts, working out and playing host to a menagerie of dogs and cats. Maurice and his wife, Paula, are the proud parents of daughters Cailey Sofia and Cassidy Rose.