chad duell as michael gh
Credit: Jill Johnson/JPI

Though raised separately, the sibs are close now.

You just never know where the conversation will go on Maurice Benard’s State of Mind. When he recently had General Hospital castmate Chad Duell on as a guest, he not only discussed his split from Courtney Hope (Sally, The Young and the Restless) and his rocky start on the ABC soap (one co-star in particular was “not nice”) but the circumstances that led to his reunion with the sister his mom gave up for adoption as a newborn.

“It was a situation where my mom at the time was having financial struggles and was with someone that she didn’t want to have around her or in her life,” explained Michael’s portrayer, “so it was like a painful cutting of a tie from that.”

Back then, Duell had been, he reckoned, in his mid to late teens. As he got older, “it was weird for a while when we weren’t really in contact,” he said, knowing “there’s somebody out there that shares my blood.” Soon, even more than his brothers, “I was really just feeling like we needed to know each other somehow.”

Happily, that didn’t present a problem. “My mom’s always been in contact with her kind of randomly here and there,” Duell said. “During Christmas, they send cards.

“The adoptive family let her know that she’s adopted,” he added.

When at last Duell met his sister McKenzie, it was… unusual. On one hand, he was meeting someone he’d never met before. On the other, she wasn’t exactly a stranger, she was family. Now the two of them are quite close — so close, in fact, that he said he’d encouraged the teenager to move West and break into showbiz.

Will she do it? To be continued. In the meantime, you can watch the whole interview unspool above and, in the below photo gallery, relive a life that makes Duell’s seem pale by comparison — that of his drama-magnet character!

Video: YouTube/State of Mind