We could be bidding goodbye to Sonny Corinthos, as Maurice Benard hints he could retire from the role on General Hospital after almost thirty years.
Maurice Benard has held the role of Port Charles’ very own manic depressive mob kingpin Sonny since the character debuted in 1993. So, what has Benard said about potentially hanging up the role and moving on from General Hospital?
What did Maurice Benard say about retiring?
General Hospital’s very own Maurice Benard hinted that he might be leaving the series at some point soon. After thirty years in any job, there comes a time when one might need to move on.
As reported by Soap Opera Digest, Benard shared his feelings on his current role on the soap:
“I’m really happy right now. If you know me, you know it’s in waves how happy I am on General Hospital: up and down, up and down. Acting isn’t what it was when I was young. Sometimes it’s difficult and it hits me in places to act that I don’t like. But right now, I’m really happy on GH.”
But Benard also suggested that the time might soon come that he retires as Sonny Corinthos: “Soon enough, I’ll be done with it. Sorry. I hate to say that, but it’s the truth.”
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Getting to know the Benard family
With retirement on his mind, Maurice Benard will be spending less time with his Port Charles family to favour with the Benard bunch. The 59-year-old actor has been married to Paula Smith since 1990. Together the couple have four children: Cailey Sofia, Cassidy Rose, Joshua James, and Heather Ann Smith Benard.
Cailey, Cassidy and Joshua are Maurice and Paula’s children, although the couple adopted Heather Ann in 2008. Heather Ann is Paula’s sister who they decided to adopted after Paula and Heather’s mother passed away.
The Benard family are as far away as possible from Maurice Benard’s fictional Corinthos family on General Hospital. Benard often shares loving social media posts in praise of his children. Back in 2017, Benard posted to Instagram: “The greatest feeling in the world for a father is to know that your kids have grown up to be beautiful souls you never have to question who they are in there hearts. Thank you God for allowing me this gift (sic).”
Maurice and Paula Benard are now grandparents, as their daughter Cailey has a daughter of her own. Maurice Benard has shared updates on his adorable granddaughter to Instagram. Heather also has a daughter, named Eloise.
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What could be next for Maurice Benard?
While family time is undoubtedly on the cards for Maurice Benard, the General Hospital actor also hints that he has plans for his YouTube series called State of Mind.
As reported by Hollywood Life, Benard explained: “If I ever left [General Hospital], I would want to bring this State of Mind [to] a place where I could make a good enough living to just do this. I think there’s less pressure here for me, and I can still work with mental health.”
Benard is a mental health advocate, having been diagnosed with bipolar disorder at the age of 22.
It looks like Maurice Benard is coaching his son, Joshua “JJ” Benard, to follow in his footsteps. JJ has previously played a ‘Young Sonny’ in General Hospital, but this year has joined the soap’s cast as Adam. So, Maurice Benard might not be fully detached from the GH family in the future!