General Hospital’s Chad Duell Opens Up About Fatherhood: ‘What a Beautiful Shock’
During the May 7 episode of General Hospital Emmy winner Maurice Benard’s State of Mind, he admitted that, when he heard on-screen son Chad Duell was going to be a father, he had reservations. “We all had our feelings about it,” Benard said.
Duell understood. When the news broke that he and girlfriend Luana Lucci were expecting, “I’m sure a lot of people obviously were shocked to find out,” he said. “We were shocked to find out. It was obviously a surprise.
“My kid could probably watch this someday when I say that,” he goes on. “What you have to understand, though, is… me and Luana were praying not knowing we were praying for the same kind of thing at the same time… We weren’t really in a relationship at that time, either, when she was praying for it.”
And what was… it? Greater purpose.
The Missing Piece of the Puzzle
From the outside, Duell seemed to be doing terrific. But “when you live a life of routine, time goes by fast, and it’s depressing,” he said. “My greater purpose isn’t about being on a TV show and making good money. That shouldn’t be anybody’s purpose.” What was his, though?
Finally, Michael’s portrayer knows. With his and Lucci’s son due “around September,” he can tell that this is it for him. “I know that this is going to be my big purpose,” he said. “I feel like it’s going to change me. Your ultimate growth is when somebody’s in your life that you would completely die for.”
A Miracle in the Making
Not that Duell is in any hurry to check out, mind you. But if today were to be his last, he’d die happy, he said, knowing that “I contributed something so beautiful [to the world as this child]…
“It’s hard still to wrap my head around,” he added. “Seeing [the sonogram] is so surreal, I still can’t process it. It wasn’t like you go, ‘Hey, let’s have a kid,’ and there’s a whole plan for it. It was a shock, but what a beautiful shock, and it’s gonna be a blessing that keeps on giving, too.”
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Change for the Better
Though Duell is well aware that a roller-coaster ride lies ahead of him and Lucci, he’s as ready for it as he can be. “It’s gonna be a whole adventure. It’s gonna be scary. It’s gonna be overwhelming,” he acknowledged. “But I just want to make sure that I give everything I possibly can to him emotionally, most importantly.
“That’s going to be my purpose, to make sure that this boy, soon to be man, is going to be somebody who’s going to change people’s lives, hopefully in a positive way,” he concluded. “There’s no greater purpose than being a father or a mother.”
Oh, and about Benard’s reservations? After hearing Duell speak about fatherhood, he no longer had any. Before Duell adds a branch to his family tree, review the ties that bind the Corinthos clan in the below photo gallery.
Video: YouTube/State of Mind With Maurice Benard
<p>You might think that at the center of a soap called <em>General Hospital</em> you would find, you know, a hospital. But in fact, most of the drama in Port Charles revolves around its Teflon don, the dimpled mafioso whose life of crime has afforded him untold riches and power… <em>and</em> saddled him with a terrible tendency to look over his shoulder. Like here, for instance. He’s actually talking to someone directly in front of him, and yet his gaze is drawn… Well, you can see where it’s drawn, can’t you?</p>
<p>Though Monica and the late Alan Quartermaine’s son isn’t a blood relative of Sonny’s, make no mistake, Stone Cold was family. He was as devoted to his brooding BFF and his relatives as he was addicted to size XS black T-shirts — and obviously, he liked those a <em>lot</em>. Heck Jason even let go of ex-wife Sam McCall and their child rather than give up acting as a human shield for the big kahuna and his kids.</p>
<p>Ah, if Sonny’s dimples could talk, they’d say that many and varied are the women who have, ahem, mobbed him. But his true soulmate — his partner in crime, if you will — is Jason’s ex-lover, a moll so tough and cunning, she could scare off would-be assailants one-handed, as illustrated, and at the same time crank-call the Port Charles PD. “Who is this? Umm… My name’s Liz, officer. Liz Webber.”</p>
<p>Know why Carly is laughing in this photo? Because thus far, Sonny’s new squeeze hasn’t gotten his ring on her finger, making her at best <em>extended</em> family. Why is Nina still smiling? She seems to be the last to realize that.</p>
<p>Did we mention that Sonny can impregnate a woman from 20 paces? Because he not only can, he has. Case in point: Back in his Bensonhurst days, he left in a delicate condition girlfriend Connie Falconeri’s cousin, Olivia. (Full disclosure: We have no idea how many paces away she was at the time.) Decades later, he welcomed to the fold his surprise firstborn by shooting the undercover cop in cold blood. Lucky for him, Dante took as a sufficient apology, “Sorry, man, I didn’t know we were related.”</p>
<p>Even before he was hitched to Carly, Sonny wasn’t a big fan of Jason’s half brother, A.J., who knocked up the future Mrs. C, only to be misled about his son’s paternity, drugged and left in an alley to wake up thinking that he’d tumbled off the wagon. So Port Charles’ Al Capone thought nothing of shoving Richie Rich out of the life of his and Carly’s son and raising him as his own. (At least he eventually felt a <em>little</em> bad about pumping Michael’s biological father full of lead.)</p>
<p>We may never know whether the night that Sonny spent with attorney Alexis Davis was filed under “billable hours” (or who billed whom!). But what we <em>do</em> know is that the, erm, legal consultation resulted in the birth of the smooth criminal’s first biological child, a daughter who over the years has gone from teen terror to would-be reality-TV star to out-and-proud lesbian who is all too rarely spotted on screen. In fact, you’ll probably see more of her in the photo above than you will on the show this year.</p>
<p>Sonny’s first child with Carly inherited a whole lot from Dad — maybe even too much. In addition to getting Pop’s good looks and charm, Morgan grew into his father’s dangerous edge, bipolar-disorder diagnosis and refusal to smile when anyone said, “Cheese!” Also like Sonny, Morgan had an impossible time resisting the siren song of Port Charles’ most formidable femme fatale, Ava Jerome, who’d ultimately add to the family tree a branch for…</p>
<p>We could show you the daughter that Sonny and Ava conceived while having ill-advised grief sex in a mausoleum here. Or we could show you something even rarer: the youngster’s parents looking like they don’t want to murder one another and like they’ve all but forgotten that uncomfortable stretch when they didn’t know whether she was expecting Sonny’s child or his grandchild, and he bided his time by threatening to fit Connie’s killer with cement shoes. On second thought, we should’ve gone with a photo of Avery.</p>
<p>Given the difficulties that Carly had had with previous pregnancies, Sonny wasn’t exactly popping the cork when she revealed that their New Year’s Eve 2019 celebration had resulted in her being once again with child. But as soon as he met the tyke, who endured her first kidnapping in utero — thanks a <em>lot</em>, Ryan Chamberlain! — he of course fell head over heels in love so fast, he couldn’t be sure that he didn’t have vertigo. Oh, and another thing: He’s a much more doting dad than this picture makes him look like. He totally knows she’s there. (Probably just cross about that “Cheese!” joke and proving that he will sometimes smile on cue.)</p>
<p>There is only one thing about Jasper Jacks that Sonny likes, and it isn’t even that he, too, blew it with their lost love, Brenda Barrett. It’s Jax’s daughter with Carly, a natural born spitfire who fits in with the Corinthoses as snugly as a bullet in its chamber.</p>
<p>“Close” would not have been the word that you’d have used to describe the relationship between Sonny and the father who abandoned him and his mother — at least not until the older man was stricken with Alzheimer’s disease. Then, both of them knowing that time was running out, they took great pains to heal old wounds before it was too late. And hey, if nothing else, Mike introduced to Sonny’s life…</p>
<p>Oh boy. Sonny took to having a kid sister like a fish to concrete. He was so overprotective at first, it drove the independent young woman crazy. And after she’d fallen into and out of relationships with everyone from A.J. to Jason, from Jax to Nikolas Cassadine, it turned out that the great and powerful “coffee importer” couldn’t safeguard her at all, anyway: She succumbed not to a bad romance but to encephalitis.</p>
<p>If Sonny’s nephew wants to say, “My life is a soap opera!” he can go right on ahead and do so. How <em>else</em> could he sum up his existence when it was begun while mom Courtney was cheating on husband Jax with Nikolas, who was in turn cheating on wife Emily Quartermaine?</p>
<p>You’d generally only have called Sonny and his half sibling blood brothers because that was the bodily fluid that they most wanted to draw from one another. But if they could’ve just cut out the BS that Ric’s father, Trevor, implanted in his head — about Sonny pushing their mother down a flight of stairs to remain an only child — they probably could’ve much sooner become the sort of jolly goodfellas who could tell one another, “Uh, bro, the facial hair… that’s kinda <em>my</em> thing.”</p>
<p>Careful with the seating at these Thanksgiving dinners. After Sonny and Alexis brought into the world Kristina, she and Ric cooked up her formidable little sister, which makes her the godfather’s goddaugh… Wait, no. That makes her Sonny’s… Hold on. We can figure it out. Molly is Sonny’s… um… <em>Niece</em> — that’s it! Also both Kristina’s cousin <em>and</em> half sister. See? This is exactly why a family tree like this comes in so handy!</p>
<p>The moppet with Lulu Spencer above is her son with Dante. Now, it might seem strange for us to come right out and say that so plainly; you know we like to have our fun. But in this case, simple seemed better, because honestly, the kid’s history is <em>hella</em> complicated: At various times, Sonny’s grandson was believed to be the offspring of Patrick Drake, Britt Westbourne, Brad Cooper… See what we mean? His birth certificate had to be written in pencil in order to facilitate frequent changes.</p>
<p>Speaking of youngsters with identity crises… Michael’s son with human wrecking ball Nelle Benson began his life with Mom passing him off to Brad to raise with his husband, Carly’s adopted brother, Lucas Jones. As if that wasn’t confusing enough, the tot, who was meant to be named Jonah, was for that period believed to be the biological offspring of Willow Tait, with whom — are you still following all this? — Michael is now bringing him up.</p>
<p>Initially, Michael’s marriage to buddy Harrison Chase’s girlfriend was one of convenience. But a funny thing happened after the couple got pretend-hitched: They fell so deeply in love that they retied the knot once more, with feeling.</p>
<p>To ensure her and Michael’s baby a safe “debut,” Willow made the dangerous decision to put off treatment for leukemia. And on one hand, it worked: Amelia is as healthy as can be. On the other, Willow darn near left the tot a motherless child.</p>
<p>Sometimes it pays to have a family that’s so large that you always have a relative in reserve to call into action when the need arises. For example, Mike’s cousin and her “late”-turned-late son came in awfully handy to Sonny when he was looking for an American citizen to pass off as the biological father of…</p>
<p>When Sonny was searching for MIA son Dante in Turkey in 2019, this teenage pickpocket made such an impression that the godfather took him under his wing and into his home back in Port Charles. Alas, Dev’s life expectancy turned out to be as short as that of the moving target’s last ward, Stone Cates, whose name we still can’t type without getting misty-eyed and sniffly.</p>
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