maurice benard son joshua timeline gh
Credit: Jill Johnson/JPI

On December 5, 2004, General Hospital’s Maurice Benard and his wife Paula welcomed their first son, Joshua James, into the world.

Eighteen years ago today, General Hospital’s Maurice Benard (Sonny) became a father once again — this time, to his first son, Joshua James. Throughout the years, he and his wife Paula have watched their boy grow up among his sisters Cailey Sofia, Cassidy Rose and Heather Rose and as Joshua reaches the last of his teenage years, the future is right at his fingertips.

Join us as we look back at Joshua’s journey, which has led him to follow in his talented father’s footsteps…

Celebrating dad

Benard said it best, “There’s nothing better than a hug from one of your kids on your birthday.” We think other parents would agree that Joshua gave his father the best gift ever!

Sibling Love

And here’s another time Joshua and one of his older sisters gave their pop, or as Benard said, “the old man,” something to smile about.

More: Watch Laura Wright’s daughter grow up in photos

Movie Set Madness

There are some perks to be had when your dad’s a superstar. Joshua joined Benard on the set of his film The Ghost and the Whale, where he had a little fun with his son and joked, “Don’t make me mad… No one’s safe.” Fun fact: In the movie he played a younger version of his father’s character, Joseph.

A Father’s Premonition

In 2013, Benard shared a photo of Joshua with his hair slicked back and wearing a sport coat with the caption, “The next Sonny Corinthos.” Little did he know, five years later his premonition would come true.

Who’s the Better Actor

In a cute video, Joshua stated, “I know one thing, I’m a better actor than my dad,” before the father/son duo each recited a line, “You talkin’ to me?” After Benard said to his followers, “You be the judge,” many of them couldn’t decide and thought they were both just “too cute.”

A Family Moment

Pictured with his sisters and their parents, Joshua wrapped his arm around his dad’s shoulder and the General Hospital vet shared the special shot of his loved ones on Father’s Day 2014.

More: Two big soap stars’ daughter’s life in pictures

A Reel-Life Family Moment

Flipping the coin into Benard’s reel-life, the actor shared a photo of Joshua with his former co-star Bryan Craig (ex-Morgan) and explained, “Sonny’s son having a serious conversation with Maurice’s son.”

Let’s Game Together

Joshua is a big fan of video games… so much so, that in 2015, his dad took him to the gaming industry’s big awards show and expressed, “Nothing makes me more happy than to see my son happy.”

Happy 11th Birthday

To celebrate 11 years, Joshua’s dad described him as having a “sensitive big heart,” being a “gamer” and “a great kid.”

Suited Up for the Field

Joshua was all set to play soccer and had his proud papa in his cheering section.

Suited Up for the Court

Add basketball player to his resume… On his 12th birthday, Joshua played in his first basketball game.

More: Milestones of Young & Restless fave’s precious girl

Suited Up for the Ring

And hey, why not add boxing to the mix? Joshua joined his father and world-renowned trainer Freddie Roach for a session at Wild Card Boxing.

Friends ‘Til the End

At 14, Joshua welcomed a new furry friend into his life, an adorable pup named Dakota.

First Play

Having already appeared in a film alongside his dad, Joshua took the stage in his first play in September 2018.

Big Daytime Break

And in that same year, Joshua landed his first daytime role playing the younger version of his father’s Port Charles character Sonny. “I can’t tell you how incredible it was working with my two sons,” Benard stated in regards to his real-life and reel-life intertwining once again.

More: How Joshua contributed to his father’s remastered film

Actor Perks

Not only did Joshua attend the General Hospital Christmas party that year as Benard’s son, he did so as an actor of the ABC soap!

Sing-A-Long with Biebs

Those who follow Benard have likely seen his talented boy share his vocals in various videos. Here’s one of Joshua singing along to Justin Bieber’s “Love Yourself.”

More: Benard and son’s duet will melt your heart

Piano Magic

The talent Joshua exhibits has no boundaries. “My son Joshua wrote a song for you,” Benard shared. We promise, you’ll be blown away by his performance in the video…

Happy 16th

On his special milestone, Benard sent a very touching message to his boy, “Thank you for teaching me how to be a better father!”

A Message From Son to Father

In the beginning of 2021, Joshua was a guest on his dad’s State of Mind show, where Benard stated, “You said that I needed to spend more time with you, what was that all about?” Hear what he had to say, as well as their “beautiful conversation” about “life, acting and more.”

Happy 17th

Of his boy on his special day, Benard shared, “What can I say about Joshua my son that I haven’t said 1 million times. Another thing I love about him he’s like a mini psychiatrist! It’s pretty self-explanatory.”

Magic Number 18

And on his big milestone birthday, Joshua’s proud pop expressed, “I am very proud of Joshua, he’s a great kid incredibly talented, so much confidence I wish I had it at his age! I love so much that he’s a hard worker. He’s always been like that. I’ve always had a strong feeling about him and I can’t wait to see where he ends up. I love you buddy.”

We hope Joshua has a wonderful birthday with a very bright future ahead!

Now is the perfect time to take a moment and view other photos of soap stars and their real-life kids in our gallery below.