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|Maurice Benard as Sonny Corinthos|
|Portrayed by|| Maurice Benard|
(young Sonny; 1995)
(young Sonny; 2011)
|First appearance||August 13, 1993|
|Created by||Bill Levinson|
|Introduced by|| Wendy Riche (GH)|
Julie Hanan Carruthers (PC)
Jill Farren Phelps (NS)
|Book appearances|| Robin's Diary|
The Secret Life
|Spin-off appearances|| Port Charles|
GH: Night Shift
|Namesake(s)|| Michael "Mike" Corbin|
Michael Corinthos III
|Nickname(s)|| Mike Jr.|
Papa Corinthos (by Nina)
Mr. [Corinthos] Sir, The Godfather (by Spinelli)
|Born|| April 21, 1965|
(Revised to 1969)
|Residence|| Greystone Manor|
120 Shoreline Road
Port Charles, New York
According to General Hospital casting director, Mark Teschner, Benard was one of the few actors being considered for the role. Benard came in for a meeting with Wendy Riche, and the two immediately clicked. It was only a matter of how long it would take to get Benard on screen.
Initially, the character was only supposed to last for six months as Benard was not interested in anything more than a year. Benard revealed that after his stint on All My Children, he was not interested in doing another soap. He joined the cast of General Hospital because he had gone broke and acting was all he knew at the time.
The producers offered him two separate roles, that of mobster Damian Smith, with a two year contract, and that of Sonny. In addition the role being short term, Benard also chose the role because he liked the character's name.
Benard revealed that just two weeks after starting work, he suffered a manic depressive breakdown. At one point he had stopped coming in to work but expressed his gratitude to the network for keeping faith in him instead of firing him immediately.
The role of Sonny Corinthos originated in the final weeks of Bill Levinson's tenure as head writer, in August 1993, prior to Levinson's replacement by Claire Labine. The role was originally intended as a six-month stint.
After four years with the series, Benard vacated the role on September 24, 1997. After a brief return on May 15 to July 8, 1998, Benard returned to the role full-time on December 18, 1998.
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 experiences 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 characters 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 Giambetti and Max Giambetti.resww2
Benard has described cSonny 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." 
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