General Hospital is celebrating it’s 50th anniversary this year, a long history that includes storylines with plenty of love, lust and law-breaking! But that’s not all, the ABC soap opera has featured a number of Latinos in important roles, including Ricky Martin and Lilly Melger, daytime’s first leading Latino couple. To commemorate GH’s rich history, we’re taking a trip down memory lane at our 23 favorite Latinos in the fictional town of Port Charles, including a couple of high-profile guest stars.
Maurice Benard, 1993–97, 1998–Present
It’s hard to imagine modern-day General Hospital without Maurice Benard. The 50-year-old Salvadorian- and Nicaraguan-American actor has portrayed beloved mobster Michael “Sonny” Corinthos, Jr. on the daytime sudser since 1993. Despite portraying a gangster, Benard – winner of the Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series in 2003 – has managed to win the hearts of America with his multi-layered performance as a bipolar disorder-afflicted rebel with a heart. “In my mind, I always said, ‘I’ll make this guy bipolar.’ He started out being a bad guy, a really bad guy. And I thought to myself ‘How can I make this guy come off in a way where it’s justified, in his head, what he’s doing?’ I had always thought about the history of the character, what happened to him as a child,” Benard told BP Magazine in an interview. “When I let it be known I was bipolar, we wrote it into the character.”