Maurice Benard sonny "General Hospital" SetThe Prospect StudiosABC StudiosLos Angeles12/06/11©Howard Wise/jpistudios.com310-657-9661Episode # 12472U.S.Airdate 01/12/11

Howard Wise/JPI

The Emmy winner set the Internet on fire when he revealed just after New Year that he’d grown a full beard. But were fans on board with his makeover?

General Hospital leading man Maurice Benard really took to heart the whole “new year, new me” saying. On January 2, he damn near broke the Internet when he revealed that he’d stopped dyeing his hair black and had grown a full beard.

More: Ingo Rademacher’s bittersweet aloha to Hawaii

 

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As the Internet does with everything, it weighed in on whether it was a change for the better… or not. Upon getting a gander at his castmate’s transformation, Ingo Rademacher (Jax) exclaimed, “Santa!”

But no, that wasn’t who Benard resembled, countered mermaidmelanie777. He looked “more like General Zod from Superman.”

SUPERMAN II, Terence Stamp, 1980, ©Warner Bros./courtesy Everett Collection.

General Zod from Superman? Nope, we just don’t see it. Maybe if we squint…

Overall, though, the response to the soap star’s new look was overwhelmingly positive. “Wow,” wrote Emilie Newman, “love the silver.”

Carmen Cruzado said that she adored both “your beard and hair color, papi.”

More: Soap stars’ most extreme makeovers [PHOTOS]

Finally, on January 11, the actor revealed the results of the great beard-or-no-beard debate. “Beard wins by a landslide,” he wrote. “So that pretty much says to me I look pretty bad without a beard.”

 

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We don’t think anybody really said that. And besides, the new look might go hand in hand with the new storyline that General Hospital is building around Sonny, who as far as we can tell has no memory of who he is or where he belongs. Maybe shortly, he’ll discover that he also has no memory of where he left his razor.

Speaking of hairy situations, apparently, another one has developed behind the scenes at the ABC soap. As you can see in the backstage clip below, Benard’s new look may have inspired one of his castmates to alter his image, too — a development that is of hilariously great concern to both Benard and Lisa LoCicero (Olivia). Watch the “drama” unfold by clicking below.

 

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Before you share your own thoughts on these hairy development in the comments, you might also want to stop by the photo gallery below in which we return to Llanview through rare old photos from One Life to Live’s entire ABC run.