|Born|| Mauricio Jose Morales|
March 1, 1963
|Spouse||Paula Smith (1990-present)|
|Children|| Heather Ann Smith Benard|
(adopted in 2008; b.1993)
Cailey Sofia Benard (b.1994)
Cassidy Rose Benard (b.1999)
Joshua James Benard (b.2004)
|General Hospital: Night Shift|
Benard was born Mauricio Jose Morales, on March 1, 1963 in Martinez, California. He is of Nicaraguan and Salvadorian ethnicity. On August 11, 1990, Benard married Paula Smith. Together the couple have three children; two daughters, Cailey and Cassidy and a son, Joshua. The couple also adopted Smith's sister, Heather in 2008. Benard and his family now live in Temecula, California.
At the age of 22, Benard was diagnosed with bi-polar disorder and Benard's on-screen counterpart Sonny, also suffers from the same disorder. Since the diagnosis, Benard has served as a spokesperson for treatment of the disorder with Mental Health America.
Benard began his acting career by playing the character of Nico from 1987 to 1990 on General Hospital's sister soap All My Children. During the early 1990s he had several guest spots on various television series and he also appeared in the 1991 CBS television movie Lucy & Desi: Before the Laughter, in which he portrayed Desi Arnaz. Benard has appeared in feature films such as 1992's Ruby and 1993's Mi Vida Loca. in 1993, Benard joined the cast of General Hospital as Sonny Corinthos and played the role until 1997.
After a short break from the series, Benard returned to the role of Sonny in 1998 and continues to play him to this day. In 2009 Benard began filming in a starring role, for a new independent film entitled Confessions. In 2000, Benard made a short appearance as Sonny, on the GH's sister soap Port Charles and he also made a short appearance on the GH spin-off General Hospital: Night Shift in 2007. In 2003, Benard won a Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series. He was nominated for this same award in 1996, 2004 and 2006. In 1997 he was nominated as Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series.