Sonny showed so much love for Mike Corbin on GENERAL HOSPITAL at the end of his life, newer viewers might not be aware of the rocky relationship that the father and son shared in the past. Which is where we come in! The character was introduced back in 1995 and was played by Ron Hale until he announced his retirement in 2010. The character returned to GH in February of 2018, this time played by veteran actor Max Gail, to tell a very powerful story.
Sonny Corinthos resented Mike because he had abandoned him and his mother, Adela, when he was just a boy. Sonny blamed him for his mother’s subsequent marriage to Deke Woods, a police officer who was abusive towards them both, eventually ending in Adela’s death. Mike didn’t see Sonny again until he was an adult. And things didn’t get much better when Sonny learned that Mike also had a daughter, Courtney Matthews, who he had also abandoned along with her mother after gambling away all of their money. However, Courtney was more forgiving towards Mike.
Mike continued to struggle with his gambling addiction, and Sonny frequently had to bail his father out of trouble. Mike found employment as the manager at Kelly’s Diner and slowly began to repair his relationship with Sonny. In 2008, the Russian mafia beat Mike nearly to death and set fire to Kelly’s. After the diner reopened, Mike rented out a vacant room upstairs to Dominic Pirelli, who he later discovered was his grandson, Dante Falconeri!
In 2010, Mike fell off the wagon when Ethan Lovett invited him to play poker, not aware of his addiction. Tracy threw Mike out of the casino, and a few days later Ethan found the poor guy beaten in an alley. After racking up massive gambling debts again, Mike left his job at Kelly’s and checked himself into rehab. Sonny once more helped pay his father’s debts and hoped he’d finally get the help he needed.
In 2018, Sonny got word that his father was in financial trouble again, so he tracked him down in Bensonhurst. He brought Mike back to Port Charles where he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. Sonny took his father in to care for him but grew concerned when Mike began remembering a field back in Croton, where a young Sonny had buried a body under orders from mob boss Joe Scully. Jason helped Sonny dig up the field, but found no body! Mike admitted to hiding the corpse, and later remembered burying it underneath Charlie’s Pub! With Julian planning renovations to his new bar that could unearth the evidence — and Sonny’s secret — Mike attempted to cover the crime by smashing a gas pipe and setting off an explosion! The discovery of the body in the wreckage led to some trouble for Sonny courtesy of the new district attorney, but he managed to wriggle out of it.
Struggling to care for his father, Sonny admitted Mike to Turning Woods as a day patient, where he befriended fellow Alzheimer’s sufferer Yvonne. This led to some drama with her husband, Marcus, who wasn’t willing to let her go. And eventually, Sonny had to face the fact that he simply couldn’t give Mike the care he required at home and his father moved into the facility full time.
Everyone came together to celebrate Mike and Yvonne’s wedding, with Sonny officiating at the ceremony, and it may have been the last happy moment they all shared together as Mike’s condition continued to worsen and his bad days outnumbered the good. Mike has since suffered a couple of falls that landed him in the hospital, and Carly supported Sonny as he came to the realization that he would soon have to say goodbye to his father.
During one of his father’s more lucid times, Sonny took him to the track to try and bring a little joy and happiness into his final days. But as Mike’s conditioned worsened, the entire family gathered around to say a final farewell. They each imagined what their lives would be like if Mike was still around, and in the end, Courtney appeared to Mike to take him to the other side.
Mike’s heartbreaking story has come to an end, but he will never be forgotten by his family and friends who loved him. In fact, when Sonny nearly died after falling from a bridge, it was a ghostly visit from his father that inspired him to fight for his life. And suffering from amnesia, Sonny decided to call himself “Mike” after the name engraved on his watch.