Maurice Benard as Sonny Corinthos
|Portrayed by||Maurice Benard|
|Created by||Bill Levinson|
|Introduced by||Wendy Riche|
|First appearance||August 13, 1993|
|Spin-off appearance||GH: Night Shift|
|Alias||Michael Corinthos, Jr.|
|Date of birth||April 20, 1969|
Greystone Manor |
120 Harbor View Road
Sonny Corinthos is introduced during the final weeks of Bill Levinson's regime as head writer on August 13, 1993. After four years with the show, Benard left on September 24, 1997, and after a brief return in the spring of 1998, has continued to portray Sonny since December 18, 1998. In 2003, Benard won the Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series for the role. 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." 
Like the character of Sonny, Maurice Benard also suffers from bipolar disorder. Benard stated, "When I let it be known I was bipolar, we wrote it into the character." 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. 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.
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. Similarities have also been noted between Sonny and Tony Soprano from The Sopranos and the characters that surround them both. 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.
Michael “Sonny” Corinthos, Jr. is born on April 20, 1969 in the blue-collar Bensonhurst neighborhood of Brooklyn. His father, Michael “Mike” Corinthos, Sr is of Irish and Greek descent and his mother Adela is Cuban. Due to his gambling addiction, Mike believes Sonny would be better off without him and he later divorces his wife and changes his surname to Corbin to hide from loan sharks, according to Sonny.
As a teenager, Sonny has a brief relationship with Olivia Falconeri which results in the birth of their son, Dante in 1984. Sonny would soon fall in love with Olivia’s cousin, Connie. Sonny also grew up with Lois Cerullo and her family; Sonny develops a close relationship with her father, Carmine and would also be her daughter, Brook Lynn’s godfather.
Adela later becomes involved with her boss, attorney Trevor Lansing. When Adela is pregnant with their son Ric, she accidentally falls down a flight of stairs and Trevor blames young Sonny for the accident. Trevor forces Adela to choose between her sons, but Adela can’t bear to abandon Sonny, so she leaves Ric with Trevor. Adela later marries, Timothy Deacon “Deke” Woods, a police officer. Sonny and Adela are constantly abused by Deke both physically and mentally, including locking Sonny in a closet which eventually leads to his developing claustrophobia. After another beating from Deke lands Adela in the hospital, Sonny goes to criminal Joe Scully promising to work for him if he gets Deke away from his mother. After Deke is murdered, Sonny starts doing odd jobs for Scully despite planning to runaway with Connie after he 18th birthday and get a legitimate job in Trenton. However, on the night they are to leave, Connie suddenly disappears and Sonny starts working for Scully full time. Scully favors Sonny much to the dismay of his son, Joe Jr. When Sonny is sent to Atlantic City to run a strip club, The Sea Breeze due Joe ruining it, he befriends one of the strippers, Theresa who Joe is infatuated with. In a jealous rage, Joe kills Theresa and Scully helps him disappear. Sonny lies to the cops, one of which is Theresa's brother, John McBain.
Sonny arrives in Port Charles in 1993 running a strip club for Frank Smith. He becomes involved with Karen Wexler and drugs her to get to work for him. Meanwhile Sonny begins dating the young Brenda Barrett and he also befriends Stone Cates, Robin Scorpio and Frank's longtime employee, Luke Spencer. Brenda tries to draw Sonny away from the mob by convincing him to finance L&B Records for his childhood friend, Lois Cerullo. Sonny travels to Puerto Rico to work security for L&B's artist, Miguel Morez. While Brenda and Miguel bond, Sonny opens up to her about his abusive childhood at the hands of his step-father, Deke. In November 1994, Luke kills Frank and Sonny informs Frank's partner, Hernando Rivera that he is taking over Frank's organization. Rivera kidnaps them along with his daughter, Lily; they later escape and return to the U. S. In 1995, Sonny learns that Luke's driver, Mike Corbin is actually his estranged father, Michael Corinthos, Sr. After Stone is diagnosed with AIDS, Sonny takes him in. It is soon learned that Frank's son, Damian is actually working with Joe Scully to sabotage shipments from Deception cosmetics. Though reluctant, Sonny kills Scully to keep him from killing Mike. Scully's henchmen, go after Brenda, Stone and the Spencers looking for revenge. Later, Lily learns that Brenda is planning to record Sonny discussing his mob business and hand it over to the police. Sonny furiously throws Brenda out and begins dating Lily. In November 1995, Stone dies from AIDS and his girlfriend Robin learns she has contracted HIV. Sonny is arrested and Lily turns to her father for help. In exchange for keeping him out of prison, Sonny marries Lily in February 1996. Sonny refuses to leave Lily even when she offers him a divorce but can no longer deny his love for Brenda. When he is finally ready to leave, Lily reveals she is pregnant. Much to Sonny's dismay, Brenda moves on with Jasper "Jax" Jacks.
In May 1996, Hernando plans a bomb on Sonny's car attempting to kill him, but kills Lily instead. After killing Hernando, Sonny tracks down Lily and Miguel's long lost son, Juan Santiago. He then donates Lily's $30 million dollar estate to General Hospital to build a wing in Stone's honor. Sonny later befriends the brain damaged, Jason Morgan after Jason sells him stock in ELQ; Jason would later become Sonny's hitman and closest friend. Sonny stops Jax from taking over ELQ and destroys his life with Brenda by tracking down Jax's presumed dead first wife, Miranda Jameson. Sonny wants to reconcile with Brenda but she rejects him and reunites with Jax. Meanwhile, Lily's former lover, Harry Silver arrives in town and causes trouble for Sonny and Brenda. After killing Silver, Sonny proposes to Brenda and promises to leave the mob. After a nightmare in which Brenda is killed in the same manner Lily was, Sonny leaves her at the altar on September 22, 1997 and leaves town shortly after.
Sonny returns to Port Charles in December 1998 and is devastated to learn Brenda died months before. He is later approached by Robin who wants help getting Carly Quartermaine, the wife of Jason's brother, A. J., away from Jason. He soon begins dating waitress, Hannah Scott who looks a lot like Brenda. Sonny is devastated to learn that his new love is actually an undercover FBI agent and he feeds her false information until November 1999 when he dumps. Sonny and Carly later have a one-night-stand and she learns she is pregnant.
Sonny digs up dirt on A. J. and forced him into granting Carly a divorce and signing over his rights to their son Michael, whom A. J. had been threatening to take away. After Carly miscarries their child, she and Sonny bond and marry in September 2000; they renew their vows in February 2001 after realizing how much they love one another. Sonny divorces Carly after she tries to force him out of the mob and sleeps with his attorney, Alexis Davis. Sonny and Carly reconcile and remarry in June 2002. Meanwhile, A. J. marries Sonny long lost sister, Courtney Matthews hoping to use her to get Michael back. Luis Alcazar soon arrives in town and brings Brenda back to Port Charles. Luis, jealous of Brenda's past with Sonny nearly kills Sonny outside the church where she and Sonny almost married. Attorney, Ric Lansing after Jason and Brenda are accused of Luis's murder. Ric gets them acquitted and he soon reveals that he is Sonny's half-brother who was given up by their mother Adela. Ric blames Sonny for his wife Elizabeth's miscarriage, despite Faith Roscoe pushing her down the stairs, and kidnaps a pregnant Carly in the fall of 2003, planning to give the child to Elizabeth. Carly is rescued by Lorenzo Alcazar, Luis's brother who tries to use Carly as leverage against Sonny. When Sonny comes to rescue Carly, he accidentally shoots her and she falls into a coma shortly. Sonny begins an affair with Sam McCall who gets pregnant. Carly recovers and to keep her from learning about the affair, Sam moves in with Jason and pretends he is the face. Sonny and Carly after they realize they've both been keeping secrets; Carly had learned that Alexis's daughter, Kristina was actually Sonny's child. Sonny and Sam's daughter, Lila is stillborn in November 2004 and her stem-cells are used to save a sick Kristina. A. J. with assistance from Faith Roscoe kidnaps Michael and fakes his death. Carly suffers a severe psychotic break and Sonny must have her committed. Michael is later rescued from A. J. Sonny begins an affair with Jason's sister, Emily Quartermaine. Emily forces Sonny to confront his bipolar disorder. Fearing for Emily's safety, Sonny stages a kiss with Carly convincing Emily to leave him.
In February 2006, Courtney dies shortly after giving birth to her son, Spencer during an encephalitis outbreak. Sonny is very much jealous when he learns Carly and Jax have become engaged. In January 2007, after Carly witnesses Sonny shooting Lorenzo, he convinces her to marry him so she can't testify against him. In February 2007, guest at the Metro Court Hotel are taken hostage by James Craig, who is actually Jax's brother, Jerry Jacks, who has rigged the lobby to explode. Sonny tells Carly he still loves her and they make love after the hostage crisis, but she still divorces him to marry Jax. Sonny soon reconnects with his first love, Connie Falconeri now known as Kate Howard. Soon Ric's father, Trevor comes to town with Anthony Zacchara and his son, Johnny. After Diego Alcazar kills several citizens, including Sonny's nanny, Leticia and Emily, as revenge against Jason and Sonny, Kate rejects his marriage proposal fearing for her safety; in turn Sonny sleeps with Anthony's daughter, Claudia. Sonny's attempt to keep Michael away from the mob ends in tragedy when a botched hit puts Michael in a coma. Sonny decides he wants Jason to take over the organization and Carly forces Sonny to sign over his parental rights to Michael in order to keep him safe. Sonny and Kate get engaged and plan for a fall wedding. Sonny brings Kate's cousin, Olivia to town for the ceremony. Anthony shoots Kate at the altar and frames Andrei Karpov for the shooting; Sonny kills Karpov in November 2008. In December 2008, Sonny marries Claudia to get his power back while Jason warns that she may have been involved in Michael's shooting.
Sonny and Claudia actually bond and eventually make love. When Claudia realizes that Jason may reveal her secret, she attempts to get pregnant believing a child would save her life if Sonny ever discovers the truth. Michael recovers after a surgery and moves in with Sonny and Claudia, temporarily until to keep Carly from getting stressed during her high risk pregnancy. Claudia discovers she is pregnant but is ran off the road by a teenage Kristina and she miscarries. Sonny later hires Dominic Pirelli as the new bodyguard for his kids. Sonny begins to trust Dominic after he saves him from a bullet and Morgan from being hit by a speeding car. In October 2009, just before Claudia's birthday party, Sonny informs Jason that Claudia was indeed behind Michael's shooting and Sonny calls her out at the party. By the end of the night, Claudia is dead, thanks to Michael hitting her with an ax handle to stop her from stealing Carly's daughter, Josslyn. Sonny is willing to take the blame for the murder to protect Michael.
In January 2010, Sonny learns that Dominic is actually an undercover cop and when he comes arrests him, Sonny shoots him. Sonny is shocked to learn that Dominic is actually Olivia's son, Dante and also his son. Dante survives and his hatred for Sonny becomes even more evident. When Sonny is put on trial for Claudia's murder, Michael attempts to confess. Jason, Carly and Sonny send him to Sonny's island to keep him from confessing. Meanwhile, Jax determined to put Sonny away for good, brings in federal agent, Claire Walsh to prosecute Sonny. Sonny is devastated when Kristina is beaten and she claims Luke's son Ethan as her attacker. Sonny attempts to kill Ethan, but Dante stops him after a plea from Kristina. It is soon revealed that Kristina's real attacker was her boyfriend, Kiefer. In May 2010, as the verdict for Sonny's murder trial is about to be announced, Dante puts Michael on the stand. Sonny, Carly and Jason are devastated when Michael suddenly admits to Claudia's murder and he is sentenced to five years in prison. Kristina begins acting out and pretends to date Johnny Zacchara; Sonny retaliates by planting a bomb on Johnny's car and nearly kills Kristina; Sonny and Alexis team up to co-parent Kristina so she can get to know Sonny better. Claire teams up with Johnny to put Sonny in prison, but the plan falls apart. Sonny has a brief romance with Claire before Brenda returns and they reunite. In December 2010, Sonny and Brenda announce their engagement.
In February 2011, Sonny and Brenda finally marry, but the ceremony isn't without its share of surprises. All are shocked when Carly reveals that Dante and Brenda had a child when he guarded back in 2007. Dante reveals that he only pretended to be the child's father to keep it away from its crime figure grandfather, Theo "The Balkan" Hoffman; Brenda then reveals that she miscarried her baby. As the couple is about leave on their honeymoon, Sonny watches in horror as their limo explodes and Brenda's body is nowhere to be found. Sonny, Jason and Dante rescue her from Hoffman. When Suzanne Stanwyck returns with Brenda's son, Lucian it causes problems for the new couple. After Sonny convinces Brenda to get a DNA test, Suzanne kidnaps Lucian forcing Dante, Sonny and Carly to rescue him; they find Brenda's real son Alec and bring him back to Port Charles. Brenda wants Sonny to adopt Alec, but he refuses. In June 2011, Sonny and Alexis rush to the Dominic Republic believing Kristina is about to marry Ethan but he is only divorcing his current wife. During Carly and Jax's custody battle, Sonny sends someone to drug Jax, and plants drugs in his room. When Brenda learns of Sonny's betrayal, she leaves town with Alec. Sonny is furious when he learns that Brenda left with Jax and sabotages Jax's plan leading everyone to think he's dead; Carly is devastated and sends Morgan away to military school to keep him away from Sonny. Sonny reconnects with his first love, Kate Howard after divorcing Brenda. At a New Year's Eve party, Michael reveals that Jax is alive and Carly knew.
In early 2012, after Sonny is getting shot, he blames Johnny and shocks everyone by revealing a birth certificate which confirms that Claudia wasn't Johnny's sister, but his mother. In February 2012, Sonny saves Dante from getting shot and goes after Anthony believing he was behind it. Dante arrests Sonny after he is accused of shooting out Anthony's tires, and causing the deaths of Cole Thornhart and Hope Manning, the boyfriend and daughter of Starr Manning. Though Sonny maintains his innocence, he arraigned and forced to go on trial. After Sonny is granted bail, Starr's father, Todd shows up and attempts to kill Sonny until he is stopped by Sonny's old nemesis, Detective John McBain who blames him for the death of his sister, Theresa. After Sonny is acquitted, Starr kidnaps him at gunpoint and threatens to kill him but Michael talks her down. Meanwhile, Kate throws Sonny a birthday party and disappears leading to Sonny finding her in bed with Johnny. Todd later blackmails Sonny and Michael into changing their statements so Starr can get released. Sonny later learns that Kate's alternate personality, Connie actually slept with Johnny to ruin the relationship. Sonny then reveals to McBain that Joe killed Theresa. Sonny decides to support Kate through her mental illness and is shocked to learn that his old nemesis, Joe Scully, Jr. raped Kate and got her pregnant.
- ^ a b General Hospital significant dates: Births: Off-screen. Retrieved on 2012-02-22.
- ^ a b GENERAL HOSPITAL CAST - SONNY CORINTHOS. Soaps.com. SheKnows LLC. Retrieved on 2009-04-23.
- ^ a b Maurice Benard. ABC.com. ABC, Inc.. Retrieved on 2009-04-23.
- ^ a b c Anderson, John. "This rebel has a cause", BP Magazine, bpHope. Retrieved on 22 April 2009.
- ^ Castellanos, Melissa. "Reality Is The Method For GH's Benard", CBS News, CBS Interactive, 3 June 2008. Retrieved on 23 April 2009.
- ^ Media Village: Savoring Soaps by Marlena De Lacroix, May 17, 2007.
- ^ West, Abby. "Mobster Mimics", Entertainment Weekly, Entertainment Weekly and Time Inc., 4 April 2005. Retrieved on 22 April 2009.
- ^ West, Abby. "Vincent Pastore Heads to Port Charles", Entertainment Weekly, Entertainment Weekly and Time, Inc., 28 July 2009. Retrieved on 23 April 2009.