Maurice Benard has played mobster Sonny Corinthos on General Hospital for the past 29 years. The actor also hosts the successful State of Mind podcast, where he shares his journey with mental health and his bipolar diagnosis. His guests are other actors and friends who chat with him about their own lives and careers.
He recently sat down with Eric Braeden, who plays Victor Newman on the long-running soap The Young and the Restless. The two touched on many topics, especially Braden’s acting career. They also spoke about their experiences in high school, and Benard gave up some interesting information.
Maurice Benard struggled through school
Benard asked his guest about his school experience. After Braeden shared a little about his schooling, Benard began to speak about his own school years. “Now, reading out loud, for me, was horrible,” the GH star stated. “School, all I did is cheat, all my way through school … cheated every day. Even got caught.”
“To stand up in front of class … you can do that, you can just recite?” Benard asked Braeden. The Young and the Restless actor explained that he had some “normal” anxiety but nothing more than that. Benard seemed in awe of his Y&R guest because that was something that was very difficult for him when he was young.
Did Maurice Benard graduate high school?
The actor married wife Paula Kelly in 1990 after dating for five years. The couple recently celebrated their 32nd wedding anniversary.
“There are no words to describe my relationship with Paula,” Benard declared on Instagram, “except to say I always tell Paula when the day comes I want to pass away first because I never want to live without her.” The loving couple has four children together.
While the General Hospital actor spoke with Braeden about his high school experience, he said, “Even now, I’m not sure whether I graduated or not, ‘cause my wife says I didn’t ‘cause they were looking through something…” He laughed and continued, “So I think I did, but anyway…”
It seems like Benard and his wife might disagree on this one!
Maurice Benard’s acting career
Benard was not interested in more school after high school. He chose to forgo college and began modeling at a young age. He then began theater acting in San Francisco, where he grew up. He got his first role as Nico Kelly on All My Children soon after.
Two years later, he got the starring role in the TV movie Lucy and Desi: Before the Laughter. He got his career-defining role as Sonny Corinthos on General Hospital in 1993. He received an Emmy for playing the mob boss in 2003.
Benard has been very open about his experience with bipolar disorder. He wants to bring awareness to the disease and has spoken about it on talk shows such as The View and Oprah. The actor works with National Mental Health Association (NMHA) on the “Bipolar Disorder: Do You Know It?” campaign in hopes of educating people about recognizing the signs and symptoms of the disorder.