Sonny and Carly named their newborn baby girl Donna on GENERAL HOSPITAL after someone from Sonny’s old Brooklyn neighborhood, but in fact, this was a very special tribute to Donna Messina, the beloved head of the GH hair and makeup department who passed away in December of 2018.
“Donna Messina was a great lady from the old neighborhood,” Sonny explained to Josslyn and Michael. “People loved her or hated her, sometimes both. We love Donna because she was kind and loyal and… she knew how to keep a secret. You could talk to her about anything, your problems, who you loved, your fears… and she would just listen. She wouldn’t judge and she wouldn’t tell a soul. She was tough as nails, she had no patience for fools, and if you were annoying she’d get in your face. And she hated bullies, no matter young or old, didn’t matter. And she was fearless. But… most of all, she was kind, loyal, generous… one of the greatest things about her was… she could always make you smile no matter how you’re feeling. That was just the way she was.”
The emotions Maurice Benard (Sonny) delivered in that scene were all-too-real even though the words he was speaking were scripted. Donna was beloved by the entire cast and crew, and her passing last year brought out a flood of emotional memories. The soap also dedicated the bench outside of the GH studio where she used to enjoy taking her breaks in the fresh air and sunshine to their much-missed friend. And now, in another lovely gesture, Sonny and Carly’s daughter has been named in her memory.
Carly promised that their Donna would carry on the same legacy to honor the Donna Sonny once knew, and viewers can watch as the little girl grows up over time and proves her right. (By the way, Donna’s middle name, Courtney, was named for Sonny’s sister, Courtney Matthews.) For more GH news, keep reading the ABC edition of Soaps In Depth magazine.
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