GENERAL HOSPITAL - The Emmy-winning daytime drama "General Hospital" airs Monday-Friday (3:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m., ET) on the ABC Television Network. GH18(ABC/Craig Sjodin)MAURICE BENARD
Credit: Image: ABC

Hallmark cards are gonna have to step up their game if they wanna keep up with this hopeless romantic.

Since Maurice Benard is such an open book — hey, he literally wrote one! — we know him almost as well as we do his General Hospital alter ego, Sonny Corinthos, aka the Teflon don. So we’re well aware of his great loves: acting, his menagerie, his family and especially… especially Paula, his wife of 30 years.

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So on Mrs. Benard’s September 24 birthday, the Daytime Emmy winner pulled out all the stops to make sure that she could tell how he felt. “People say time flies,” he captioned a vintage photo of himself with his better half. “I don’t care if it flies or not, as long as I’m with my soulmate.

“Thank you,” he added, “for putting up with me.”

Just last month, the Benards celebrated their 30th wedding anniversary. “It’s been incredible,” he said in an Instagram video. “I don’t know what I would have done without her, to be honest with you.”

At that point in his recording, something extremely rare and special happened: Mrs. Benard jumped into the frame to ask, “Do we count the first five years we were together?” Because if so, that would make it their 35th anniversary, not their 30th.

Briefly, the couple debated the matter, then the actor gave his better half credit for making a cameo appearance in the video. “There she is, the one and only Paula Benard,” he said, grinning from ear to ear. She “never does any of this [social-media] stuff, but on her anniversary, she did.”

Hey, if you’re feeling as nostalgic as Benard today, we’ve got just the photo gallery for you. Below is a collection of rare old images from the entire ABC run of Benard’s first soap, All My Children (you’ll recall that he played Nico Kelly). Take a peek, why don’t you, and return to Pine Valley for a little while.