Who Is ‘General Hospital’ Actor Maurice Benard’s Wife?

It is common for soap opera characters to have short-lived marriages allowing them to remarry time and again. Victor Newman (Eric Braeden) on CBS’ The Young and the Restless and Asa Buchanan (Phil Carey) of One Life to Live, which aired on ABC from 1968 through 2012, tied for the record of 14 marriages each. The character of Sonny Corinthos on ABC’s General Hospital has been married seven times. But the actor who portrays Sonny, Maurice Benard, has had only one wife. She is that one special woman whom he has been married to for more than 30 years.

Maurice Benard on 'General Hospital'
Maurice Benard | Christopher Polk/Getty Images

How old is Sonny Corinthos in real life?

Benard was born in San Francisco on March 1, 1963. The 58-year-old actor’s parents were originally from Nicaragua and San Salvador. Following high school, Benard began modeling and performing in the Bay Area theaters, according to IMDb. His first soap opera role came in 1987 with All My Children, cast as Nico Kelly. The role took him to New York.

Two years later, he returned to California, moving to Los Angeles. He was cast as Desi Arnaz in Lucy & Desi: Before the Laughter. It was in 1993, Benard found a home on General Hospital. His role as Sonny was supposed to be short-lived. In 2021, Sonny is still a major character on the show. Although a mobster, Sonny is no longer seen in the negative light as when he first moved into Port Charles. 

How many kids does Maurice Benard have?

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At the age of 22, Benard was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. He has been incredibly open about his illness and has worked closely as an advocate with the National Mental Health Association. He was once told directors wouldn’t hire him. “They’d think I’d go crazy on the set,” he had said. His illness is a factor he has integrated into his role as Sonny, who lives with a similar diagnosis. “What’s more important – directors or producers who might not cast me because they’re ignorant, or helping people? So that’s what I’ve been doing,” he said. 

To Benard, family is everything. Sonny feels the same about his family and closest friends. Bernard has been married to one wife for 30 years. Although the character of Sonny has been married several times, he has had one special woman since 2000, Carly Benson Corinthos, first played by Sarah Brown. They have been married and divorced three times and are currently in their fourth union with Carly being portrayed by Laura Wright.

Benard has four children. Sonny has had seven children, although all were not his biological children, only four of whom are alive on the show. He adopted Carly’s first child, Michael. They had a son, Morgan, who was killed off in 2018. In 2019, Carly gave birth to their youngest on-screen, a daughter, Donna.

Who is Maurie Benard’s wife?

Benard has had no qualms talking about his love for his wife, Paula. Every year on their August anniversary he shares sweet messages for her on Instagram and Twitter. While they have been together longer, this past August was their 30th wedding anniversary. Paula Smith Bernard is a talent agent and producer, according to IMDb.

Exactly when the two met is unclear. As for how, well, both work in TV and film. Mrs. Bernard isn’t active in social media like her husband is, according to Soaps. But this past year she jumped in while her husband was video chatting an Instagram post. “It’s been an incredible 30 years,” he said. “I don’t know what I would have done without her, to be honest with you.”

“Do we count the first five years we were together,” she asked as she popped into the video. Her husband’s smile grew much wider! “There she is, the one and only Paula Benard,” he responded. She “never does any of this (social-media) stuff, but on her anniversary, she did.”

The couple has three daughters and one son. One daughter was Mrs. Bernard’s much younger adopted sister until their mother passed away. The Benards then adopted her. Their son, Joshua James, portrayed a young Sonny in a November 2018 episode of General Hospital.