Maurice Benard, Max Gail, general hospital sonny mike
Credit: Image: Jill Johnson/JPI

“I’m gonna miss him like there’s no tomorrow,” said the Emmy winner.

From the start of Max Gail’s run on General Hospital, on-screen son Maurice Benard knew that this day would come. When Mike succumbed to Alzheimer’s disease, his portrayer would leave the show. Sonny’s portrayer knew it, and yet… of course, that did little to diminish the ache in his heart when finally it happened.

More: Opinion: Why Mike’s story was such a hit

“I love him like a dad,” he said in an Instagram video of himself and Gail that he posted on September 21. “He’s an incredible actor, and I’m gonna miss him like there’s no tomorrow.”

At that point, Benard threw to Gail, asking, “What do you got to say, Max?”

“There’s a tomorrow?” deadpanned his fellow Emmy winner, heretofore best known for his 1975-82 run as Wojo on the ABC sitcom Barney Miller. Kidding aside, Gail recalled that Benard “told me we were gonna have fun,” and that, they had. Tearful, emotional, heart-crushing fun, but fun nonetheless.

Benard also posted a farewell message to Gail, who succeeded Ron Hale (Roger, Ryan’s Hope) in the role of Mike. “I think it’s once every decade you find an actor who changes the landscape,” Benard wrote. “That is Max Gail.

“Thank you, Max,” he continued, “for always challenging me and making me a better actor. Go out and change the world!”

Previously, Gail had taken to Twitter to try to express his gratitude to his castmates. “What a magnificent experience to work with you all,” he wrote. “And at the center of that, from the first moment, thank you, Mauricio, for your presence and openness… and Laura [Wright, Carly]… and on through the whole circle.”

While you’re here, clearly still feeling the feels over Mike’s passing as much as we are, perhaps you’d be interested in another article, which notes the significance of the character’s demise to General Hospital and daytime in general (and it’s not what we suspect you’ll think). You could also check out the below photo gallery, which previews the major shakeups that could come about for everyone from Sonny to Sam as a result of Mike’s death.