Emmy Award-winning Actor Maurice Benard joined GENERAL HOSPITAL as "Sonny Corinthos" on August 13, 1993. His multi-cultural upbringing began in San Francisco, where he was born to parents from Nicaragua and San Salvador. Uninspired by the traditional education route, he gleaned an education in the open job market after high school. His dark good looks and intense gaze brought him modeling jobs in his early 20s. Following that, he took up acting in numerous theatrical productions in the Bay area. After auditioning for a role on the ABC daytime drama ALL MY CHILDREN, Benard was cast as "Nico Kelly." Two years later he struck out to find new challenges and moved to Los Angeles, where he was soon cast as the lead in the TV movie, LUCY AND DESI: BEFORE THE LAUGHTER. He went on to star in the feature film RUBY, among other film and television credits. Maurice has been a popular voice in the battle against bipolar disorder. He has been very open about his personal battle with the illness, appearing on The View and Entertainment Tonight and has also been featured in People. He worked with the National Mental Health Association (NMHA) on the "Bipolar Disorder: Do You Know It?" campaign to help educate Americans about the importance of recognizing the signs and symptoms of bipolar disorder. Benard enjoys the martial arts, working out, and playing host to a menagerie of dogs and cats. He and his wife, Paula, live just outside L.A. and are the proud parents of daughters Cailey Sofia, Cassidy Rose, Heather and son Joshua James.