Chad Duell as Michael Corinthos
|Created by||Robert Guza, Jr.|
|First appearance||December 29, 1997|
Michael Morgan (birth name)|
Michael Alan Quartermaine
|Date of birth||December 29, 1991|
Student at PCU
Student at Madison Prep
827 Emerson, Apartment 3-C|
Port Charles, New York
Michael is born on-screen on December 29, 1997 to Carly Benson and is being raised by his mother's friend, Jason Morgan. He is born with a severe heart condition, and Jason must make the decision to save his life through surgery. Carly, suffering from postpartum depression leaves town and leaves the infant in the care of Jason and his girlfriend, Robin Scorpio. Jason would later name him after his best friend, mob boss, Michael "Sonny" Corinthos. In February 1998, Michael is christened with Jason's sister, Emily and Mike Corbin standing up as his godparents. Meanwhile, Carly ex-fiancé, Tony Jones learns he isn't Michael's real father and kidnaps the boy. Fed up with Carly's constant dependence on Jason, Robin tells Jason's alcoholic brother, A. J. Quartermaine that he is Michael's biological father.
Carly and A. J. marry in the spring of 1999 and her plan to prove A. J. as an unfit alcoholic father is set into motion. Carly becomes involved with Sonny who forces A. J. into divorcing Carly. They marry in September 2000; but the marriage is very rocky, they divorce in 2001, and Sonny adopts Michael. Sonny and Carly would re-marry again in 2002, and soon welcome a son, Morgan. Meanwhile, it is also learned that Sonny fathered two daughters, one with his attorney Alexis named Kristina and another with Alexis's daughter, Sam McCall, named Lila, who is stillborn. In February 2005, A. J. kidnaps, Michael, Morgan and Kristina. A. J. soon releases Kristina and Morgan, and fakes Michael's death; A. J.'s plans to flee the country with Michael are put on hold when Michael is rescued. Consequently, Michael is the prime suspect when A. J. is murdered in April 2005. Carly and Sonny marry for the last time in 2007, but they divorce soon after and Carly marries Jasper Jacks who becomes like a second father two the boys.
Michael was portrayed by child actors, Blake & Dylan Hopkins from December 1997 to 2001. Child actor Tiarnan Cunningham took over the role from 2001 to 2002. On March 28, 2002, actor Dylan Cash stepped into the role of Michael. Cash is put on contract in April 2005 and departs from the show in May 2008 after Michael's shooting. Dylan Cash's last appearance as Michael is on December 29, 2008. Cash earned a Young Artist Award for his portrayal of Michael in March 2003. Actor Drew Garrett appeared as an awakened 17-year-old Michael starting on April 24, 2009. On March 22, 2010 Garrett was released from his contract and last aired April 19, 2010. Duell then stepped into the role on April 20, 2010. However, Garrett did earn an emmy nomination in the Oustanding Younger Actor category for his portrayal of Michael; ironically, the ceremony occured shortly after Duell stepped into the role of Michael.
Though initial recasting was met with negativity from many fans, many would accept Duell as the new Michael. The most noticeable different between the two, is that Duell's portrayal of Michael made the character seem a bit softer, and remorseful as opposed to Garrett's Michael always seemed a bit more edgy, and unapologetic for what he'd done. Duell ranked in at #5 on Daytime Confidential's list of top 10 Soap Newcomers of 2010. Duell also received a nomination for Outstanding Younger actor in 2011.
One of the first controversial storylines centered around the character is Michael's longtime admiration of his father, Sonny. Now, a young boy admiring his father, is quite normal and most of the time approved of, accept when said father is a mob boss. However, Michael's admiration for his father leads to the 12 year old purchasing a gun in February 2008, in order to protect his family after a string of murders rock Port Charles. However, after purchasing the gun, Michael is warned by his father, Sonny never to use a gun to solve his problems and like any normal kid would, he attempts to throw it away. What Michael doesn't expect is for a stray bullet from him dropping the gun to put his father's girlfriend, Kate Howard (Megan Ward) in the hospital. After the shooting, a very guilty Michael attempts to take a lesson from the incident, as does his mobster father Sonny who decides to lead by example and get out of the mob.
The controversial set up caused fans to question the motives of the writers. However it was soon revealed that the storyline was written and played out when Guza was participating in a writers strike and when he returned to his post as head writer, he figured the only way to address fans disapproval of no real repercussions for what Michael did was to have the character take a bullet himself. On the April 4 episode of General Hospital, fans were stunned by the accidental shooting of Michael which left Michael in a coma. The shocking turn of events lead to accusations of the show's writers glorifying violence. Head writer, Bob Guza admitted in an interview with Entertainment Weekly that he his writing team always highlighted the consequences of violence. The storyline occurred during Sweeps which didn't exactly hurt soap's chance of rising in the ratings. The storyline would also cause most of the adults in Michael's life to take a good hard look at themselves and how their actions led to Michael's shooting.
However, many fans became concerned that the epiphanies experienced by the adults in Michael's life wouldn't make much of a difference in the show's overall storylines. Guza points out that Sonny (Maurice Benard) and Jason (Steve Burton) both must make painful decisions about their career choice, meaning they must deal with the cards they were dealt and take back control of the mob in Port Charles in order to keep their loved ones and everyone else safe. The mob for Sonny and Jason would become a necessary evil, otherwise Port Charles would be left at mercy of others trying to get their hands on the territory. Consequentially, Carly (Laura Wright) would also have to make decisions in terms of her relationships with both Sonny and Jason.
Anger IssuesThe character awakens from his coma after an experimental surgery with severe anger issues. When some mentioned that Michael could be bi-polar, similar too his adoptive father, Sonny, Drew Garrett said that he didn't consider Michael's behavior to be that of a person dealing with bi-polar disorder. Michael is unable to control the way he reacts to certain situations, and he how several angry outbursts and does not understand why.Garrett explains that though his family appear to care for him, Michael has a hard time adjusting. Not only was he in a coma, but so many things have changed since his fell into a coma that Michael can't help but be angry; because his family isn't their when he wakes up, it makes him question if they actually cared about him. Critics expected Drew Garrett's Michael to get close to his uncle Jason (Burton) due to them being so similar, as Jason also suffers from brain damage. Michael turns to Jason more than Carly, which pulls the mother and son further apart.
Chad Duell descibes Michael as having a lot baggage, but always being pure at heart. Michael loves his family and wants to make them proud, but it's difficult for him due to the environment he's grown up in and what he's experienced since waking up from a coma, like killing his step-mother.
Prison and Rape
One of the most controversial soap plots of 2010 was Michael's rape at hands of another inmate Carter (Joshua Wingate) during his stay in Pentonville Prison for killing his step-mother. However, when the story is playing out, viewers are left to wonder if Michael was actually raped by Carter. GH's then head-writer, Bob Guza at first wanted to focus more the reality of many real life kids Michael's age who ended up in situations similar to his.
Though the potential storyline garnered the attention of many, some questioned if the show went too far in the storyline. Do to the rarity of television shows dealing with reality of prison rape, critics wondered if the story was being used progressively or just garner ratings. Showing the affects of the off-screen rape on a young Michael is so much more heartbreaking than if they show the actual attack. Fellow soap operas, All My Children, The Young and the Restless, and One Life to Live all featured storylines alluding to prison rape in the 80s, but GH is the first of the genre to actually address the reality in full.
TV Guide's Michael Logan compares the storyline to Oz! believing as he along with many others expected that to show people the full experience, they would eventually have to confirm the Michael was raped. Guza dances around the subject, reminding viewers that what happened to Michael (not rape), but the hostility from other prisoners who be normal, seeing that Michael, is the son of a powerful mob boss.
Guza recalls the day he pitches the idea for the storyline to then ABC Daytime president, Brian Frons. Viewers had suspected for months that Michael had been raped in prison, and he finally confesses to the rape on January 31, when Michael sees his girlfriend Abby Haver (Andrea Bogart) about to be raped by her ex-boyfriend, and begins to relive his ordeal while in prison.
Though there was nothing too revealing, [Bob] Guza wanted to make sure those watching noticed the visual and physical similarities between the attempted rape on Abby, and Michael's actual rape in prison. Michael saving of Abby before she is actually raped serves as a kind of "catharsis" for him, allowing him to finally admit to Jason, Sonny and Carly what actually happened to him. Guza also reveals that he liked Bogart's portrayal of Abby so much that he planned ahead of time for her to be the one to help Michael. Not only is Michael able to admit to his own rape, and save Abby from experiencing the same thing, but with Abby's help, he learns how to trust again, which is something he had a lot of trouble with after the rape. Michael loses his virginity to Abby on March 28, 2011.
In the fall 2007, Michael and Morgan's longtime nanny, Leticia Juarez, as well as his aunt, Emily Quartermaine are murdered by the Text Message Killer. Michael fears for his family's safety, and buys a gun. When he tries to get rid of it, he accidentally shoots Sonny's girlfriend, Kate Howard. Michael runs away from home, but later agrees to meet his mother at a warehouse. As the two are reunited the building explodes, but fortunately, both survive. Meanwhile, Sonny leaves the mob and tries to expose Michael to the his legit coffee business. In April 2007 at Sonny's coffee warehouse, a sniper hired by Claudia Zacchara to take out Sonny, accidentally shoots Michael, putting him into a coma. In May 2008, Michael is sent to a long term care facility when his doctor says the coma is permanent.
A 17 year old Michael wakes up from his coma in May 2009 after an experimental surgery performed by Dr. Patrick Drake. Sonny is now married to Claudia and they are expecting a child, while Carly and Jax are also preparing to welcome their baby. Michael lashes out believing his mother is trying to replace him, and his anger issues continue to get worse. To keep Carly from stressing out, Michael moves in with Sonny, briefly until Carly sends him to live with his A. J.s' family, the Quartermaines. Michael clashes with Kristina's new boyfriend, Kiefer Bauer who constantly harasses him. In July 2009, Michael's rage surfaces again while he is driving and he believes he may have caused Claudia's car accident which leads to her miscarriage. Michael decides to skip town to keep from getting arrested and Kristina accompanies him to Mexico. Claudia sends Jerry Jacks after the teens and holds them captive in a hotel room before they are rescued by Jason and Sam. It is also learned that Kristina accidentally caused Claudia's car accident.
Michael soon begins recovering repressed memories from his time in a coma and realizes Claudia was responsible for his shooting. At Claudia's birthday party in October 2009, Sonny calls Claudia out and she panics and takes a pregnant Carly hostage. Michael is on his way out of town when he discovers Claudia's car on the side of the road. He hears his mother's screaming as Claudia tries to escape with his new sister, Josslyn and he hits Claudia with an ax-handle instantly killing her. Jason, Sonny and Carly decide to cover up Michael's involvement in the murder, unaware that Maxie Jones saw Michael's blood on Sonny's shirt, and that the crazed artist, Franco took pictures of the entire incident. Michael decides he wants to be apart of the mob as well, and carry Claudia's accidental death as a badge of honor. Michael's cousin, Detective Lucky Spencer observes Michael's unusual behavior and realizes the boy knows something about Claudia's disappearance. Michael gets into a fight at Jake's and Lucky arrives to help break it up. In December 2009, on his 18th birthday, Michael is pulled over for drunk driving; fortunately Lucky goes easy on him and as he understands why Michael is being so self-destructive. Sonny takes Michael's car keys as part of his punishment, while Carly scolds him driving drunk, reminding him of what happened to Jason. Michael reminds Carly that it was his biological father, A. J. who caused the accident and that he may be more like A. J. than he thought.
In February 2010, it is learned that the new bodyguard, Dominic Pirelli is actually an undercover cop, Dante Falconeri and Sonny's son from his teen years. Meanwhile, Kristina accuses Ethan Lovett of attacking her but Michael is too familiar with Kiefer's hostile behavior to believe her story. Michael is sent into hiding when Sonny goes on trial for Claudia's murder and when Dante brings him back to Port Charles, Michael confesses to the murder, he is sentenced to 5 years in prison. Michael is raped by another inmate named Carter just before Jason arrives as his new cell mate. Before dying, Carter reveals that Frnaco sent him. Later, Dante is able to convince the judge to release Michael into his care while he is on probation. In July 2010, Kiefer's father, Warren pulls a gon on Kristina at the hospital and Michael steps in to protect her before Warren is shot by police commissioner Mac Scorpio. Life outside of prison proves to be difficult as Michael is suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. In October 2010, Michael catches the attention of Kristina's friend, Allie who has a crush on him and he confides in Jason that he doesn't have any "experience" with women. Sam introduces him to her stripper friend, Abigail "Candy" Haver, and they begin to bond. Michael's probation is lifted and he finally reunites with Sonny while he and Abby begin dating officially in late 2010. Abby's abusive ex-boyfriend, Brandon resurfaces and begins causing trouble for the couple. Meanwhile, Carly doesn't approve of the relationship and does her best to break them up. In January 2011, Michael witnesses Brandon's attempt to rape Abby, triggering his memories of Carter and he attacks Brandon. Michael finally comes clean about the rape to his family. With the weight off his shoulders, Michael loses his virginity to Abby soon after. Michael is the prime suspect in Brandon's murder due to his previous threats. However, Abby is arrested for the crime and later released when Anthony Zacchara's attempt to frame her in order to get Michael to work for him is revealed. Michael later gets Kristina to admit that Dr. Lisa Niles tricked her into using drugs due to being unable to cope with being rejected from Yale. Later, Kristina reveals that she applied to college for Michael and he gets into a fight at the ceremony with one of Kiefer's friends. Jason later hires Michael to work at the coffee warehouse, where he eventually works his way up to manager; the couple soon moves in together. Michael then agrees to work with his great-grandfather, Edward at ELQ on the condition that Abby can work there as well, much to the dismay of his great-aunt, Tracy. Michael makes a good impression on Edward, but he quits and returns to work at the warehouse. Michael disapproves of Carly's relationship with Shawn Butler until Shawn helps keep Michael out of prison by hiding the drugs planted at the warehouse by Johnny Zacchara. Michael convinces Tracy to send Abby out of town to keep her out of danger when someone begins attacking strippers. Michael is devastated when Abby is killed in an accident in Chicago in December 2010. When Michael goes to spread Abby's ashes in New Zealand, he finds Jax alive and outs his mother at the New Year's Eve party for framing Sonny for Jax's apparent murder back in August.
Hoping to honor Abby's wishes, and with encouragement from Jax, Michael chooses to attend PCU and Shawn is his academic counselor. Meanwhile, Michael manages to get past his grudge with his mom for allowing everyone to believe Jax was dead. In February 2012, Michael and Dante discover Starr Manning after a car accident. Michael is distraught when he fails save Starr’s boyfriend and daughter, Cole and Hope. Michael and Starr clash because his father is the prime suspect in the shooting that caused the accident, but he tries support her, and even allows her to stay at his apartment during the trial. In May 2012, after Sonny is acquitted, Starr kidnaps Sonny at gunpoint and threatens to kill him; fortunately, Michael manages to stop her. He later has her arrested; however, at the last minute Starr’s father, Todd blackmails Sonny and Michael into changing their story, leading to Starr's release. Starr and Michael begin to bond and he disapproves of her new roommate Trey Mitchell who is also the scheming producer behind Kristina's new reality show, "Mob Princess". Meanwhile, he warns Kristina that Trey may be using her.
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- ^ Tom Stacy. Meet GH's New Michael, Chad Duell. Soap Opera Digest. Archived from the original on 2010-11-15. Retrieved on 2012-06-19.
- ^ a b c Michael Logan (06-03-2010). What Exactly Happened to General Hospital's Michael?. TV Guide. Retrieved on 2012-02-26.
- ^ a b c d Daniel Villarreal (2010-04-28). Does General Hospital‘s Teen Prison Rape Storyline Go Too Far?. Queerty.com. Retrieved on 2012-02-26.
- ^ a b c d e f Michael Logan (2011-01-27). General Hospital's Michael Reveals He Was Raped. TV Guide. Retrieved on 2012-02-26.
- ^ Stone Cold Sober. Soaps She Knows (2011-03-28). Retrieved on 2012-02-27.