maurice benard birthday bash gh
Credit: Howard Wise/JPI

The ABC soap actor probably never imagined he would go on to become a Daytime Emmy Award winner.

General Hospital vet Maurice Benard (Sonny) recently made a very candid post on his Instagram. Along with a photo with his former producer/director Shelley Curtis, the actor revealed, “I remember when I started General Hospital I quit three weeks into the gig.”

He explained that during that time in his life it had been his third breakdown, having suffered from bipolar, and admitted, “I didn’t want to act again. I wanted to be a preacher.”

However, those behind the scenes, as well as Benard’s wife Paula, weren’t going to let him give up without a fight. “GH and Paula convinced me to go back,” he stated. “I’ll never forget I was in my dressing room with Shelley Curtis crying like a baby on her shoulder.”

Benard has confided in Curtis, “There’s no way I can say a line,” and she looked at the actor who was set to play one of Port Charles’ most legendary characters and said, “We will do it page by page, line by line, word by word, if we have to.”

He went on to finish his post with the advice to “never give up” and listed a few other people he wanted to send a special thanks to for being there for him, including producer Wendy Riche, Vanessa Marcil (ex-Brenda), Wally Kurth (Ned), Rena Sofer (ex-Lois), Steve Burton (Jason), Kimberly McCullough (ex-Robin), Sean Kanan (ex-AJ) and photographer Jim Warren.

More: Did Kimberly McCullough tease a General Hospital return?

We speak for a lot of fans out there — and are so glad you never gave up!

To honor Benard and the character he created, take a look at our gallery below featuring photos of Sonny’s greatest challenges faced over the years.

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