Maurice Benard is spilling the secret on “General Hospital’s” success as the soap opera celebrates its 60th anniversary.
In an interview with Fox News Digital, Benard – who stars as Sonny Corinthos – says that “General Hospital” fans are one of a kind.
“Let me tell you, the fans of ‘General Hospital,’ there are no fans like those fans,” he said. “I know now creating another show how important it is to have those loyal fans because they’ll just stay with you to the end.”
The actor noted that even when episodes over the past 60 years have not always hit the mark, the fans still support the show and the actors.
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Benard has been on “General Hospital” for the past 30 years. Speaking on the show’s milestone achievement, he said, “No show has been on 60 years. I think it’s the longest, and it’s just an honor to be on 30. It’s great that I have a job that long, man,” Benard said.
According to Guinness World Records, “General Hospital” or “GH” is the longest-running American soap opera.
“No show has been on 60 years. I think it’s the longest, and it’s just an honor to be on 30.”
Over the years, there have been many cast members who have come and gone from the show. Benard described the cast as a family, but it “used to feel like high school, and now it feels like college.”
“Obviously your character has to be very popular to be on that long because people come and go. So I’ve had, I think, the best character ever. Just fun to play, man,” Benard said.
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Benard explained that television has become an “escape” for people.
“With the way things are going right now in the country and whatnot, it’s good to be able to sit down for an hour and just not think about anything but just acting and crazy stories and people getting cheated on, whatever you watch on these things,” he said.
As well as starring on “General Hospital,” Benard launched his own podcast “State of Mind” which streams on YouTube. The show promotes the importance of mental health awareness.
“To me, it means, surviving torment and making yourself better,” he said of the show.
Benard has had his own struggles with mental health in the past. In previous interviews, the actor revealed that he was diagnosed with bipolar disorder in his early 20s, but kept that private in order to protect his acting career.
After Benard publicly shared his diagnosis, “General Hospital” made his character Sonny bipolar on the show.
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Speaking on the current state of his mental health, Benard said he’s been doing “fantastic” over the last two years and has not suffered from anxiety or other mental health struggles.
“I’ve been feeling incredible,” he said before adding that “State of Mind” has been therapy for him as he gets to use his platform to not only talk about his own mental health struggles, but help others facing similar struggles.
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“Any kind of discussion, any time you cry, any time you talk about things that are deep, It’s going to help you,” Benard said on helping people with their struggles.