GENERAL HOSPITAL - ABC's "General Hospital" stars Maurice Benard as Sonny Corinthos. (ABC/Ricky Middlesworth)
Credit: ABC

The Daytime Emmy Award-winning actor talks candidly about the soap, his family and life.

On Wednesday, March 29, General Hospital’s Maurice Benard (Sonny) joined the ladies of The View to talk about the ABC soap’s 60th anniversary, which officially takes place on Sunday, April 1. The hosts got right to the point and asked what he thought keeps viewers so hooked to the screen and the goings-on in Port Charles, and in true funny-man Benard fashion, he joked, “Sonny Corinthos,” then continued, “No, you know, it gives you everything… romance, gives you love, gives you sex, gangsters, and we’re in people’s lives every day.”

The talk show then flashed back to a few of Sonny’s past scenes as they recalled how his role was only supposed to be for a year, and now three decades later… well, it’s been one heck of a ride for Benard as well as for his fans.

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However, the interview turned emotional when talk of his children came up. The ladies replayed a clip from his 2009 appearance on The View, when his kids, who were seated in the front row of the audience, were asked what kind of a dad he was. One of his daughters replied for them all and one answer had Benard objecting, “What?”

Seeing his kids so young and reflecting on how his son Joshua came to him for acting advice and later joined the cast of General Hospital brought Benard to tears — happy, proud tears — and when the ladies noticed how his boy’s journey still gets to him, Benard admitted, “I cry at everything.” Everyone shared a hardy laugh with the actor, who continued, “As I’ve gotten older, I’m even worse.”

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Benard then opened up about being bipolar and how he was told not to talk about it when he first started acting — that it would prevent him from getting hired — and how one little boy’s letter changed everything for him. After Benard wrote an article, “just for the hell of it,” a little boy sent him a letter, thanking him… because of the actor’s article, it helped the boy get through his brother’s suicide. “And after that, I said, I’m going to start talking and I haven’t shut up since.”

Watch the full interview segment for that and more…

Again, we want to send Benard and everyone at the soap much props for 60 great years and we look forward to going along on this incredible ride with you all for many, many more to come.

Join us as we look back on General Hospital over the years in our memory-filled photo gallery below.

Video: The View/YouTube