Sonny Corinthos has been a major force on GENERAL HOSPITAL for decades, and that doesn’t look likely to change anytime soon. Because no matter what kind of a tight spot the mob kingpin gets himself into, he always seems to find a way out of it! Sonny was introduced back in August 1993 and has always been played by actor Maurice Benard, who has earned 10 Daytime Emmy Award nominations and three wins during his illustrious career on GH. Although during a special “What If?” episode that aired in November 2018, the young Sonny was played by his real-life son, Joshua Benard.
Sonny was first seen running a strip club for notorious mobster Frank Smith. He got involved with Karen Wexler and got her addicted to drugs. But it was his romance with Brenda Barrett that really took off. Working security for Miguel Morez in Puerto Rico, Sonny got jealous when the singer flirted with Brenda, but he won her heart in the end. After Luke Spencer killed Frank, Sonny took over the organization. After Frank’s partner, Hernando Rivera, kidnapped his daughter, Lily, Miguel, Sonny, and Brenda, they managed to escape and Sonny pretended to leave the mob.
After Sonny and Luke’s club was blown up, Sonny discovered that his pal’s driver, Mike Corbin, was really his father, Michael Corinthos, Sr. When Joe Scully made moves on his territory, Sonny was hesitant to take action due to their past together, but when Mike was shot and Joe tried to finish him off, Sonny killed Scully. When Lily revealed that Brenda planned to record Sonny and turn evidence over to the police, he dumped her and began dating Lily instead.
When Stone Cates was diagnosed with AIDS, Sonny took the teen in to care for him, and after he passed away, paid his hospital bills. When Sonny was arrested, Lily’s father offered to keep him out of prison if he married her. The couple tied the knot, though Lily knew Sonny still loved Brenda. But when Lily got pregnant, Brenda backed off. Tragically, Lily was killed in a car bomb meant for Sonny, and when he learned her father was behind it, killed Rivera for revenge. Inheriting $30 million from Lily’s death, Sonny donated it to General Hospital to create a wing in Stone’s name.
The brain damage suffered by Jason Quartermaine in a car accident not only turned him into Jason Morgan, but also led him to become Sonny’s enforcer and closest confidant. Sonny interrupted Brenda and Jax’s wedding with the Aussie’s presumed-dead wife and then wooed Brenda back into his arms. But realizing his life was too dangerous, Sonny abandoned her at the altar and left town to protect her. And when he came back to Port Charles, he was devastated to learn Brenda had been killed in a car accident. Sonny then began dating Hannah Scott, who resembled Brenda, but turned out to be an undercover FBI agent!
Sonny slept with Carly Benson and she got pregnant, but later miscarried. Having fallen in love, they tied the knot, and Sonny adopted her son, Michael. But when Carly tried to get Sonny to leave the mob, he dumped her and slept with his attorney, Alexis Davis. Though Carly and Sonny later reconciled and remarried. Luis Alcazar brought a very-much-alive Brenda back to Port Charles and tried to kill Sonny. Then Ric Lansing came to town and revealed he’s Sonny’s half-brother. Blaming Sonny for Liz’s miscarriage (Faith Roscoe had caused it), Ric kidnapped a pregnant Carly to give the baby to Elizabeth. When Sonny tried to rescue her, he accidentally shot Carly in the head and she fell into a coma after giving birth to Morgan.
When Carly awoke, she was distant towards Sonny, and believing his marriage over, he had an affair with Sam McCall. She wound up pregnant, but since Sonny and Carly had reconciled, Sam enlisted Jason to claim to be the babydaddy. Sonny learned he was also the father of Alexis’ daughter, Kristina, and when his and Sam’s daughter was stillborn, her stem cells were used to save Kristina’s life. After Michael was accused of killing A.J. Quartermaine, Sonny confessed to protect him but was released when the real killer, Dr. Asher Thomas, was revealed. Sonny then began a secret relationship with Emily Quartermaine and learned he suffered from bipolar disorder. Jason didn’t approve of Sonny dating his sister, and when Sonny chose Emily over the business, Jason took over the organization for a time. But fearing for Emily’s safety, Sonny staged a kiss with Carly to convince Emily to leave him.
Sonny convinced Carly to marry him so she couldn’t testify against him shooting Lorenzo Alcazar, and after a hostage crisis at The Metro Court Hotel, he confessed his feelings and they made love. But Carly still divorced him to marry Jax. Sonny reconnected with his first love, Connie Falconeri, now going by the name of Kate Howard. But she rejected his marriage proposal, fearing for her safety. Upset, Sonny slept with Claudia Zacchara. A botched hit on Sonny put Michael in a coma, so he stepped down from the business. Kate agreed to marry Sonny but was shot at the altar by Claudia’s father, Anthony.
Although he married Claudia to get back into the mob, she and Sonny eventually developed feelings for each other. But when she later took a pregnant Carly hostage, Michael killed Claudia and Sonny again took the rap for his son. Dominic Pirelli, the man Sonny hired to act as a bodyguard for his kids, turned out to be an undercover cop, and after Sonny shot him, he learned that he was also his son, Dante Falconeri! When Sonny went on trial for Claudia’s murder, Michael confessed and went to prison.
Sonny rekindled things with Brenda, and they were about to be married again when she was kidnapped by The Balkan and he, Jason, and Dante raced to her rescue. Sonny also framed Jax for drug possession to help Carly get custody of their daughter, Josslyn. After Brenda left town, Sonny sabotaged Jax’s plane and he was presumed dead in the subsequent crash. Carly sent Morgan away to military school to keep him away from Sonny.
A rekindled relationship with Kate became complicated when she confessed to having a split personality, Connie, and when Sonny was about to marry Kate, Connie emerged to reveal she was already married to Johnny Zacchara! Sonny managed to get through to Kate and she went away for treatment, returning to break up with him to maintain her sanity. Sonny next became close with Olivia Falconeri, but she stepped aside when Connie wanted him back. When Connie was murdered, A.J. was the prime suspect, and after he was acquitted, an enraged Sonny shot him dead. Learning that Ava Jerome was the real culprit, he tried to kill her, but she revealed she was pregnant and the baby might be his. He grew closer to Carly again, and when Franco found out about the affair, he told Michael that Sonny had killed his father, A.J.! Arrested and sentenced to life in prison, Sonny put Duke Lavery in charge of his organization with orders to keep the Jeromes out of it.
But when threatened by Luke, Sonny ended up teaming up with Julian Jerome to break out of prison and stop him. After Sonny saved a boatload of people from a bomb on the Haunted Star, one of them was the daughter of the governor, who was so grateful he gave Sonny a full pardon. He also got custody of Avery, his daughter with Ava. Sonny and Carly got engaged, but he was shot on their wedding day and was temporarily paralyzed, so they tied the knot in the hospital chapel.
Sonny continued to fight with Julian but was ultimately convinced to call off the hit on his rival mobster. Unfortunately, Morgan stole Julian’s car and was killed when it exploded. Sonny was crushed, but later learned that the bomb had actually been planted by Olivia Jerome to kill her brother. The grief nearly tore Sonny and Carly apart, but they ultimately decided against a divorce. An associate of Julian’s tried to kill Sonny, but he survived and killed him in retaliation. Unfortunately, a hallucinating Sam shot Sonny and left him for dead, but the ghost of Stone inspired Sonny to fight for his survival.
Sonny was shocked when a man with Jason’s old face showed up and he realized this was the real Jason and the other one was later revealed to be his twin, Drew Cain. When Sonny found out his father needed help again, he brought Mike back to Port Charles, but soon learned he was suffering from Alzheimer’s. He also brought up some elements of Sonny’s original crimes when he first got involved in organized crime which led to the newest district attorney, Margaux Dawson, gunning for Sonny for revenge. Although he tried to care for Mike at home, Sonny ultimately had to accept he needed professional care in a proper facility.
After Lulu was almost murdered, Sonny became determined to bring Dante home from his secret mission to reunite him with the family who needs him. But things got complicated when Carly revealed that she was pregnant again, and he worried about her health because the pregnancy was so high-risk. Dante left town again to deal with his PTSD, and Dev Circi, the teen who had helped Sonny in Turkey, showed up in Port Charles looking for sanctuary.
Sonny took Dev in, and Carly gave birth to their daughter, Donna, who required surgery to correct her spina bifida. Then, another mob war broke out as drug runner Cyrus Renault made moves on Sonny’s territory, and put the lives of his family in danger! Even as Sonny struggled to keep Cyrus in check, he was forced to say goodbye to his father, Mike, who finally passed away.
Sonny worked with Jason to keep an eye on Cyrus as he wormed his way into Port Charles, and things took a shocking turn when Dev was killed by a bomb planted at the Floating Rib! Deducing that Julian planted the explosive under Cyrus’ orders, Sonny and Jason tracked Julian down to confront him before he could flee the country. During their struggle on a footbridge in New Jersey, Julian was shot, and as Jason arrived on the scene, the bridge collapsed, sending Sonny plunging into the icy waters below!
Although the cops went from rescue to recovery, Sonny had actually washed ashore and although rattled, a visit from his late father, Mike, inspired him to fight for his life. Suffering from amnesia, Sonny was found by a guy named Eddie who brought him to the hospital where he befriended nurse Phyllis Caufield and her husband. Going by the name of “Mike” he found engraved on his watch, Sonny got a job and a place to live at the bar run by Phyllis’ husband, Lenny Caulfield, as he tried to remember who he is. His manic behavior made Phyllis suspect he was bipolar and after she got him checked out, the meds caused him to start getting flashes of memory.
Things got interesting when Nina Reeves called Tan-O’s looking for Phyllis, and thought the guy who answered the phone sounded familiar! “Mike” settled into his new life, even selling off his rings to buy into a poker game and earn enough money to help Phyllis and Lenny save their business. But then things took a turn when Nina paid Phyllis a visit and was shocked to come face to face with Sonny! “Mike” found himself growing close to Nina, and the pair teamed up to help take down a shady developer named Elijah who was trying to ruin Nixon Falls. And when Nina returned to Port Charles for a visit, she promised “Mike” she’d be back and sealed her promise with a kiss! When Lenny passed away suddenly, Nina returned to pay her respects but she rebuffed “Mike’s” advances, feeling too guilty about keeping his identity from him.
Unfortunately, Peter August showed up in Nixon Falls and threatened to tell “Mike” exactly who he was. When Jax finally put two and two together, he also pressured Nina to come clean with her new beau. But it was when Peter set fire to the Tan-O and “Mike” helped rescue Phyllis and Nina that he became trapped in the blaze and his memories finally returned! After lashing out at Nina, Sonny rushed back to Port Charles where he was surprised to find that Carly and Jason had gotten married to cement the Corinthos power base. But Carly was thrilled to have her real husband back and Sonny was overjoyed to reunite with his family.
Carly was furious with Nina but Sonny asked her to just let it go and put the whole thing behind them. Unfortunately, Michael decided to bring Nina up on criminal charges. With everything going on, and Jason being presumed dead again, Sonny could never seem to find the right time to tell Carly about his relationship with Nina in Nixon Falls. So when that truth was revealed during Nina’s hearing, Carly was horrified and heartbroken. Sonny tried to explain to his wife, but she didn’t want to hear him and told him not to come home with her. So instead, he went to a bar and drowned his sorrows as he began spiraling out of control!
Nina recognized Sonny was having a manic episode and persuaded him to contact his doctor and go back on his meds. He then tried to make things right with Carly by recreating their wedding night on The Haunted Star but when she didn’t show up, he ended up sleeping with Nina! Naturally, Carly walked in on them and this convinced her to file for divorce.
Nina got Sonny to stop drinking and he attempted to broker a visitation arrangement with Wiley but Michael and Willow were determined to take it to court. Sonny testified on Nina’s behalf, but she still lost her appeal. Sonny hired Dex Heller to work for him, not realizing that he was secretly working with Michael to take him down. He tried to help Carly when she lost a lot of money (and her shares of the Metro Court) when a stock purchase went wrong, but she refused, blaming Nina for changing Sonny into someone unrecognizable. Sonny continued his romance with Nina as he threw his weight around protecting Sasha and Trina.
Sonny was angry to learn Dex had been keeping secrets from him but gave the guy another shot. But after Brando was murdered by The Hook and Sonny suspected Dex of being the serial killer, he had him tortured to find out what he knew. After being released, Dex plotted a new course of action with Michael to bring Sonny down. Sonny promoted Dex within the organization and they prepared to meet with Pikeman, who wanted to move arms through Port Charles. Sonny supported Nina when she learned that Willow Tait was her long-lost daughter and blasted Carly for keeping that information secret.
After Dex saved him from an assassin’s bullet, Sonny took precautions to protect his loved ones from any danger and asked Selina Wu for help in identifying who was trying to kill him. Dex and Josslyn went out of their way to keep their relationship a secret but Sonny revealed he’d known about it for a while. She asked Sonny to let her boyfriend go, but he responded that Dex could make his own decisions about who he wanted to work for. Nina accepted Sonny’s marriage proposal and they planned a fall wedding. But danger still followed as gunfire rang out at the Metro Court Pool and Sonny and Anna both suspected they could be the shooter’s target!
Ava told Sonny about how she’d killed Nikolas and was being blackmailed, so he agreed to hire Betty as Avery’s new nanny and use her to plant false evidence to smoke out whoever was behind all of this. When federal agents arrested Sonny, everyone wondered who turned him in, but when he went before the judge, the Feds declined to go forward with the case because they were lacking evidence. Sonny then revealed to Nina that he’d arranged the setup, so instead of weapons, the Pikeman crates held coffee beans. Michael also took the opportunity to make peace with his father.
Stay tuned to see what happens next!
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