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Sonny Corinthos
Maurice Benard as Sonny Corinthos
General Hospital
Portrayed by Maurice Benard
Duration 1993-1997, 1998, 1998-present
First appearance August 13, 1993
Spin-off appearances GH: Night Shift
Aliases Michael Corinthos Jr.
(whole name)
Gender Male
Born April 20, 1968 (1968-04-20) (age 54)
Occupation Owner of The No Name
Coffee importer (legit)
Mob boss
Residence 120 Harbor View Road
Port Charles, New York

Michael "Sonny" Corinthos, Jr. is a fictional character on the popular ABC soap opera General Hospital. Maurice Benard has played the role, that of a manic depressive Mob boss living in Port Charles, since the character's storyline originated on August 13, 1993.[1]

Character conception[]


Michael "Sonny" Corinthos, Jr. is born in the blue-collar Bensonhurst neighborhood of Brooklyn. His biological father, Michael Corinthos, Sr., is of Greek and Irish descent, while his mother, Adela, is of Cuban extraction. Due to his gambling problems, Michael, Sr. feels that Sonny would be better off not knowing him. Hence, he divorces Adela and leaves the family, changing his name to Mike Corbin. Adela goes on to marry Deke Woods, a police officer who routinely abuses both her and Sonny. As a teen, Sonny enters into a chaste relationship with Connie Falconeri. He also has a brief sexual relationship with her cousin Olivia Falconeri, who hides the fact that she eventually gives birth to his son, Dante.

Adela eventually has an affair with her employer Trevor Lansing, that produces a son named Ric. When Trevor feels that Sonny is responsible for an accident that nearly causes Adela to lose Ric, he forces her to choose between her two sons. Adela refuses to abandon Sonny, and Trevor raises Ric on his own. Meanwhile, Mike enters into a relationship with Janine Matthews, that produces a daughter named Courtney. Mike's gambling also leads him to abandon this family. Sonny celebrated his birthday (April 20, 1968) almost every year when he was married to Carly because she, Michael & Morgan enjoyed them so much.

Casting and characterization[]

Although Bernard joined the cast in 1993, Benard left the show on September 24, 1997, and after a brief return in the spring of 1998, Benard has continued to portray Sonny since December 18, 1998. [1] In 2003, Benard won the Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series for the role.[2] Benard has described Sonny as "unpredictable," and stated that: "You never know from one second to the next what he is thinking, feeling or planning. He's a man in personal conflict who maintains an outward appearance of calm at all times, at any cost." [2]

Like the character of Sonny, Maurice Benard also suffers from bipolar disorder. [3] Benard stated, "When I let it be known I was bipolar, we wrote it into the character."[3] During 2006, Corinthos had an onscreen breakdown due to his bipolar disorder. The parallels between the story and Benard's real life expeirences had Benard believing he was having his own "fourth break down," though Benard credits staying on his medication as keeping him grounded.[3] His willingness to integrate his real life medical condition into Sonny's storylines have raised visibility of the disease, leading to Benard appearing on shows such as The Oprah Winfrey Show to discuss the disease as well as being the spokesman for the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance.[4]

The name of Michael "Sonny" Corinthos, as well as his occupation, is a reference to The Godfather's characters of Michael Corleone and Santino "Sonny" Corleone. These characters have a sister named Connie Corleone, which is alluded to in Kate Howard's real name, Connie Falconeri.[5] Similarities have also been noted between Sonny and Tony Soprano from The Sopranos and the characters that surround them both. [6] Vincent Pastore, who portrayed Big Pussy Bonpensiero on The Sopranos, came on the show to portray Maximus Giambetti, father of Sonny's bodyguards Milo and Max Giambetti. [7]



In 1993, Sonny Corinthos arrives in town as a minor mafia employee, running a strip club for Frank Smith where he feeds Karen Wexler drugs as a way of keeping her working there. He begins to date Brenda Barrett and befriends Stone Cates, Robin Scorpio, and Luke Spencer. Brenda, who is more attracted to Sonny than to his mob ties, introduces him to an old Bensonhurst friend, Lois Cerullo, who needed Sonny's money to finance her husband's music career. Fearing that him being there would be a danger to Lois and Ned, Brenda seduces him as a way of keeping him away. Sonny travels to Puerto Rico and informs the locals that Miguel, who Lois needs, is under the protection of Frank Smith's organization. Miguel soon begins flirting with a now-model Brenda, which makes Sonny jealous. The two reconcile after Sonny reveals he was abused as a child. When Luke Spencer kills Frank as a way of protecting Sonny, Sonny informs mob boss Hernando Rivera that he will be taking over the organization, which leads to Rivera kidnapping Lily, his daughter, Miguel, Sonny and Brenda. After they are rushed to safety, Sonny plots his next move, pretending to leave the mafia. Due to mafia ties, Sonny and Luke's club is blown up in which that night, Sonny disvoers that Luke's driver, Mike Corbin is actually his father, Michael Corinthos, Sr.. That year, Sonny's friend, Stone Cates is diagnosed with AIDS and helps him and his HIV positive girlfriend, Robin Scorpio. Frank's son, Damian Smith, is revealed to be Joe Scully's silent partner, and the two begin to sabotage shipments belonging to Deception Cosmetics and pressure Luke for hush money. Sonny is reticent to take action against Scully, as he is the man responsible for saving Sonny from his abusive step father. During a confrontation at the docks, Mike is shot, and Sonny kills Scully, who was attempting to finish Mike off. Scully's men vow revenge, attacking Brenda, Luke's family, and Stone. Lily discovers that Sonny's girlfriend, Brenda is planning on recording Sonny discuss his criminal activities to give to Mac Scorpio. Sonny discovers that this is true and throws Brenda out. Sonny and Lily begin a relationship, though they take things slowly. Sonny also learns that Robin is HIV positive, and Stone dies shortly after this.

After Stone's death, which Sonny illegally paid the hospital bills for, Sonny is arrested, and Lily agrees to reconcile with her father if he helps Sonny stay out of prison. Rivera agrees to help Sonny, but only if he marries Lily. Deciding he can live without love but not without trust, he agrees to marry Lily. Realizing that Sonny still loves Brenda, Lily offers to divorce Sonny, but fearing reprisals, Sonny declines and offers to take her on a second honeymoon. After being trapped in an avalanche at a ski resort on the honeymoon, Brenda and Sonny agree to reconcile but before Sonny could ask Lily for a divorce, she declares her pregnancy. While Jax and Brenda wed, Lily takes Sonny's car keys and starts the car, which activates the bomb planted by Rivera which was meant for Sonny, killing Lily and the baby. Sonny later kills Rivera upon finding out and searches for her first child with Miguel, Juan Santiago. Upon Lily's death, Sonny earns 30 million dollars, which he donated to General Hospital to create a hospital wing in Stone's name. Jason Morgan, who has suffered brain damage after his brother A.J. Quartermaine injured him while driving drunk, sells Sonny his stock in his family's company, ELQ, and joins the Corinthos-Rivera Organization. Sonny becomes involved the various intrigues at ELQ, as does Jax who is working with Ned's mother Tracy Quartermaine to take over the company. On Jax and Brenda's re-marriage date, Sonny brings home Jax's undivorced wife, Miranda Jameson. After Jax ditches Brenda, Brenda and Sonny reconcile. When attempting to save Brenda, Sonny is drugged. When Sonny is brought to the hospital, Sonny tells Brenda he loves her. Believing her marriage with Jax can work, she rejects Sonny. Lily's former lover, Harry Silver, arrives in town causes problems for Brenda and Sonny, leading Sonny to kill him. Fearing the mob life is too dangerous for him and Brenda, he offers to marry her and leave town together, but sends Jason to the altar to end things for him, leading her to have a mental breakdown and reconcile with Jax.

Carly Benson[]

Soon after returning to Port Charles and discovering that Brenda had died, Sonny soon engages in hate-sex with Carly Benson, Jason's girlfriend who is married to A.J. Quartermaine. After Jason leaves, Carly discovers that she is pregnant and is being blackmailed by A.J. Sonny, wanting the best for his child, discovers criminal evidence on A.J. and grants Carly a divorce. Carly and Sonny move in together and after Carly suffers a miscarriage, Sonny flies her to his island and begins to be a father figure towards her son, Michael Morgan. As their dislike turns to love, they eventually wed in Summer 2000 as a legal front. After discovering how much they love each other, Sonny and Carly rewed in 2001 in a Caribbean wedding. After discovering the mob life is dangerous, Carly forces Sonny out of the mob. Seeing this as a betrayal, Sonny divorces Carly and sleeps with Alexis Davis. Alexis later discovers she's pregnant and claims that her former fiancé, Ned Ashton, is the father of her daughter, Kristina Davis. After almost losing Carly to car accident, they reconcile and Sonny remarries Carly in July 2002. Sonny and Carly are forced with many dilemmas when Courtney Matthews, Sonny's sister, marries A.J. Quartermaine. Soon after, mob rival Luis Alcazar returns with an alive Brenda Barrett, who almost kills Sonny. Although Luis is soon murdered by Alexis Davis, Brenda marries Jason as a way of preventing reconciliation with Sonny or Jax, but the marriage prevented them from testifying against Luis's murder. When Brenda leaves Port Charles, she kisses Sonny, which Carly witnesses and tells Jax, who was planning on remarrying Brenda. Brenda annuls her marriage to Jason and moves to Italy. Sonny and Carly reconnect and are delighted to have a baby, which Carly had difficulty conceiving. Sonny's half-brother Ric is overjoyed when Elizabeth becomes pregnant with their child, but is infuriated when Elizabeth falls down a flight of stairs after Faith Roscoe pushed her, although Sonny is blamed. Desiring a child of his own, Ric kidnaps Carly and traps her in a panic room, taunting her that the child will be raised by him at birth. Lorenzo Alcazar, Luis's brother, later frees Carly but keeps her on a yacht as a way of using leverage against Sonny to transport Sonny. Although Carly escapes, Lorenzo kidnaps a pregnant Courtney, who also escapes, causing her a miscarriage. Sonny is devastated and Courtney is declared infertile, like Carly. After confusing labor pains for torture, Sonny finds Lorenzo over Carly helping her giving birth. Sonny shoots Lorenzo but the bullet lands in Carly's head, causing her to go in to a coma, after giving birth to Morgan Corinthos.

Sam and Sonny start a short-lived relationship that gets more complicated when Sam discovers she is pregnant. Having reunited with Carly, Jason requests that Sam lie about the baby's paternity and she agrees to tell everyone that he is the father instead of Sonny. While trapped in a fire at the Port Charles Hotel, Alexis admits to Carly that Kristina is Sonny's daughter. After Sonny admits that Sam is carrying his child, Carly tells the truth about Kristina. Realizing the depth of both of their deception, the two decide to separate again. When Kristina falls ill, Alexis badgers Sam in an attempt to force the expecting mother to undergo a risky procedure to have her unborn daughter donate stem cells to Kristina. An unrelated medical condition, coincidentally timed with the fight, causes Sam to go into premature labor, and she loses her baby. Unbeknownst to an unconscious Sam, Sonny agrees to donate the stem cells to Kristina. A.J. Quartermaine, still desperate for a relationship with his son, kidnaps Michael and fakes both of their deaths. When Sonny discovers that Faith also played a part in his son's supposed death, the two have a confrontation that leaves her dead. Carly suffers a breakdown, and is committed to a psychiatric hospital. Michael is eventually returned, and A.J. is killed by a doctor who tries to frame young Michael for it. Sonny briefly enters into a relationship with Jason's sister Emily Quartermaine, who is upset that her husband Nikolas Cassadine has become involved with Sonny's sister Courtney. Courtney is married to Jax, but problems arise from their inability to conceive. Courtney leaves town when she finds she is pregnant and doesn't know if Jax or Nikolas is the father. During this time Emily forces Sonny to confront his bipolar disorder. Fearing for Emily's safety, Sonny stages a kiss with Carly, who has in turn asserted her independence and is starting a business relationship with Jasper Jacks. When a deadly outbreak of encephalitis hits Port Charles, several residents die. Among them is Courtney, who gives birth to John Michael Jacks/Spencer Cassadine right before her death. Sonny and Emily attempt a relationship in secret, but when their relationship goes public, Sonny, fearing changes from his bipolar medication and for her safety, again ends things.

Kate Howard[]

Sonny still in love with ex-wife Carly discovers Jax and Carly become engaged, though she is disappointed when he leaves town to help his wayward brother Jerry Jacks. Preying on this, Sonny is caught in a legal dilemma when Carly witnesses him shoot Lorenzo Alcazar in self-defense, and forces her to marry him temporarily. While attending a party at the hotel she owns with Jax, Carly and several other Port Charles residences are taken hostage by the mysterious Jerry Jacks. Sonny declares his love for Carly, and when the two survive the hostage crisis, they make love. Sonny is heart broken when Carly divorces him and marries Jax right after their divorce was finalized. Sonny immediately began to see Kate Howard, a high profile magazine editor, who was really an old friend from Bensonhurst, Connie Falconeri, that Sonny dated. The two fall in love, which Carly despises. Trevor Lansing, Sonny's former step-father, arrives in town with Anthony Zacchara, who causes problems to many of the residence. Fearing Zacchara is a murder, Sonny sends his kids to live with Carly. Unfortunately, Diego Alcazar murders Emily in retaliation for the deaths of Luis and Lorenzo, in which Sonny is devastated. Kate, fearing this is her fate, rejects Sonny's marriage proposal, which leads him to sleep with Claudia Zacchara. As Sonny's 12-year-old son, Michael, is starting to act like a mobster, he accidentally shoots Kate Howard. Kate doesn't press charges and as a way of showing that his life can live without the mob, Sonny brings Kate and Michael to a warehouse, but when a gunman, hired by Claudia (for Sonny keeping Johnny kidnapped falsely) aims for Sonny, the bullet hits Michael, landing him in a permanent coma and causing Sonny to sign his paternal rights away to Carly. Carly and Sonny have a one night stand, in which Kate finds out and the two break-up, only to reconcile and get engaged for an October wedding. Kate is shocked when Sonny brings her cousin Olivia Falconeri to town to be her maid of honor. Before the two can marry, Anthony Zacchara shoots Kate and frames Russian mobster Andrei Karpov for the deed. Sonny immediately wants revenge, and is furious that Jason won't act on his behalf. Sonny begins to feel the pressure of not having mafia backed power, and ends things with Kate who is still recovering from her wounds.

The Zaccharas[]

Anthony offers Sonny control of his business if Sonny marries Claudia. Sonny agrees, much to Kate's disgust and dismay. Sonny is able to kill Karpov, and uses Carly as an alibi when questioned, causing Jax to leave her yet again. When Jerry Jacks, who knows of Claudia's culpability in Michael's shooting, begins sending her DVDs incriminating her, Kate, Olivia, Jax, and Ric each discover a DVD, but only Ric tells Sonny after he raped Claudia. Due to Jerry erasing the DVDs, Ric had no proof but the marriage was strained. Claudia told Sonny that she discovered that her father, Anthony, and Ric teamed up to kill Kate so that eventually Anthony can lure Sonny in. Claudia and Sonny find their marriage is actually working, and the two begin to make love. When Claudia realizes that Jason could learn the truth about her involvement in Michael's shooting, Claudia steps up her physical relationship with Sonny, hoping a child could save her life. Claudia succeeds at getting pregnant, and Sonny is dismayed to learn that Carly is also pregnant with Jax's child and could easily die due to health complications. When Michael wakes up from his coma, Sonny is thrilled and fights with Carly to have Michael live with him due to her health. Claudia supports him and Michael moves in temporarily but due to a confrontation with a hired Zacchara soldier, Dominic Pirelli, Carly moves Michael in with the Quartermaines, which causes Sonny grief. Sonny discovers that Claudia is actually carrying his child and later regrets it when she is in a car accident and miscarries their son. On September 8, 2009 Edward is drugged and drives his car into the carnival and Dante pushes Morgan out of the way, and suffers injuries that cause internal bleeding. Kristina was buried in the mess and Michael finds her. Sonny was there when they brought her in and told her he loves her.

On October 28th Sonny finds out Claudia is the one who responsible for Michael's shooting. Sonny called her out at a birthday party for her that he arranged at the Metro Court and Claudia retaliates by taking Carly and her baby hostage. When Sonny finds out that Michael had killed Claudia, he sets the wheels in motion to cover it up and offers his son his support in dealing with the feelings that come with murdering another person and explains that he did good.

Everyone thinks Sonny Killed Claudia and they are trying to pin the murder on Sonny.

See also[]

  • Supercouple


  1. 1.0 1.1 "GENERAL HOSPITAL CAST - SONNY CORINTHOS". SheKnows LLC. Retrieved 2009-04-23. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Maurice Benard". ABC, Inc.. Retrieved 2009-04-23. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Anderson, John. "This rebel has a cause". BP Magazine (bpHope). Retrieved 22 April 2009. 
  4. Castellanos, Melissa (3 June 2008). "Reality Is The Method For GH's Benard". CBS News (CBS Interactive). Retrieved 23 April 2009. 
  5. Media Village: Savoring Soaps by Marlena De Lacroix, May 17, 2007.
  6. West, Abby (4 April 2005). "Mobster Mimics". Entertainment Weekly (Entertainment Weekly and Time Inc.).,,1043995,00.html. Retrieved 22 April 2009. 
  7. West, Abby (28 July 2009). "Vincent Pastore Heads to Port Charles". Entertainment Weekly (Entertainment Weekly and Time, Inc.).,,20215245,00.html. Retrieved 23 April 2009. 

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