Longtime 'General Hospital' Star Maurice Benard Gives Update on Possible Retirement

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Is Sonny Corinthos planning on leaving Port Charles? After nearly 30 years and 2,886 episodes of General Hospital, actor Maurice Bernard revealed he’s contemplating retiring from the soap opera in a new episode of his State of Mind YouTube series. Bernardo, 59, first made his debut as mafia leader Sonny back in August 1993 and has appeared in more episodes than any other actor in the show’s long history.

After so many years on General Hospital, Bernard revealed during an “ask me anything” live episode on his YouTube channel that he is considering retiring from acting altogether. “I’m really happy right now,” the daytime actor explained. “If you know me, you know it’s in waves how happy I am on General Hospital. Up and down, up and down.”

“Acting isn’t what it was when I was young,” continued Bernard, who first started his career on All My Children back in 1987. “Sometimes it’s difficult and it hits me in places to act that I don’t like. But right now, I’m really happy on GH.” Despite that, Bernard said he’s thinking about his future as time goes on, which includes a possible focus on his mental health advocacy over acting.

“If I ever left [General Hospital], I would want to bring this State of Mind in a place where I could make a good enough living to just do this,” he shared with fans. “I think there’s less pressure here for me, and I can still work with mental health.” And while Bernard’s fans might not ever want him to consider stepping back from General Hospital, his retirement might come sooner rather than later. “But acting… I don’t know when, but soon enough I’ll be done with it,” he admitted. “Sorry. I hate to say that, but it’s the truth.”

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General Hospital has had a few casting change-ups lately. This week, Stephanie Erb made her debut as Alexis Davis after taking over for longtime star Nancy Lee Grahn temporarily while she recovered from surgery. In late February, the show announced it had found another Jordan Ashford, casting Tanisha Harper in the role after Briana Nicole Henry left in September 2021, three years after signing on to the soap.