Sonny Corinthos - General Hospital Characters From The TV MegaSite

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The General Hospital Character Descriptions Pages

Learn about your favorite General Hospital characters!

Michael (Sonny) Corinthos
Played by Maurice Benard
Written by Sarah

Sonny Corinthos is one of most complex characters in daytime. He started out as a sleazeball bad guy but has become a central character in the show that we are supposed to sympathize with. This is difficult for some people because he is a gangster. However, the charisma and great acting of Maurice Benard make many people look past that and into the tortured soul that is Sonny.

When we first met Sonny, he was running the strip club called The Paradise. Poor Karen started stripping there (she was having troubles because she had been molested by her mom's boyfriend) and Sonny gave her drugs and seduced her. Later, Sonny became a more sympathetic character when he took in Stone, a homeless kid, who had been on drugs. Then still later Stone died and Sonny grieved.

At some point they made Sonny more than just a low-level hood. After mobster Frank Smith died, Sonny took over and became the head local mobster. Sonny got involved with Brenda Barrett, a woman who had been kind of a "bad girl". She had been dating Stone's brother Jagger. Brenda was very messed up herself, having been neglected by her father. She was very needy. She and Sonny had a long, tumultuous relationship. They had a great passion for each other, but there was a lot of mistrust.

It came out that Sonny had a very dysfunctional past. When he was a little boy, his father Mike ran off, leaving he and his mother alone. His mother married a man named Deke who was very abusive to Sonny and his mother. He beat both of them and he locked Sonny in a closet. So now Sonny is claustrophobic and has big issues with trust. We also know that later, Sonny ran off and started working for the local mob in Brooklyn, and eventually he killed Deke, but not before Deke killed Sonny's mother. Deke was a cop and also mentor to a young Marcus Taggert, who later turned up as a cop in Port Charles. Sonny's hatred of the police, and Taggert's hatred of Sonny, go a long way back.

Since Sonny is the local mob boss, he has people doing his dirty work for him. He doesn't like to get his hands dirty with violence, although he won't shrink from it when necessary. Because of his past with the strip club and what happened to Stone, he doesn't involve his business in drugs or prostitution, and he won't allow drugs to run through his territory.

Brenda wanted Sonny out of the mob (because she was tired of them both getting shot at), so she wore a wire to try to get him in trouble, figuring that he would be forced to cooperate with the police and have to get out of the mob. Sonny figured out the plot and that was the end of their relationship, for the most part. They still had trouble keeping away from each other even after that, even after he married Lily and she married Jax. Neither relationship lasted. Since Sonny has trouble trusting anyone, then what she did was the worst kind of betrayal. Later, Carly did the same thing, but their love eventually got them back together.

Sonny loved Lily, but not with the passion hed had for Brenda. She was pregnant with his child, and he wanted to settle down with her and the child. But right after celebrating their engagement, Lily and the baby died in a car bomb meant for him (planted by her father). Sonny viewed this as punishment from God, a sign that because of his lifestyle, the money and power he had, he couldn't be happy or have children. This was reinforced later when he and Carly lost their first child.

In my opinion, it's very unrealistic that Carly and Sonny ever hooked up. I can understand the initial sexual attraction, but beyond that it makes little sense. Carly was already known as the biggest liar in town, so for someone like Sonny, who has trust problems, this would be the last person he would seek out. But they did get together and one of their main problems has been that Carly is impulsive and her first instinct is to lie. Also, because of his past and his power, Sonny is controlling and has a terrible temper. We also have learned that he has manic depression, but at first he wouln't seek psychiatric help. In other words, he's difficult to live with, and it doesn't take much to send him over the edge.

Carly doesn't like the fact that Sonny tries to control everything she does, says, eats, etc. and that he won't tell her about his business or when things are bothering him. He has a problem with the fact that she constantly lies to him (usually to protect him, or to protect someone else from him). They stayed together because they loved each other, and for their children. They are always drawn together, even when they are no longer married, because of that passion they share, as well as their shared history and their children. They usually have each other's backs, even when they disagree.

Sonny has had many women in his life. He viewed Brenda as the love of his life, and they got back together in 2011, but it didn't last. He is currently, in 2012, with Kate Howard, his old high school flame, but she has mental illness, so we'll see how long that lasts.

Sonny is not a good man, but he can be very good. He is a flawed man. He is selfish and, due to the lack of power and money growing up, he is greedy and power-hungry. Now that he has what he wants, he fights to keep it. He achieved money and power the only way he knew how, through breaking the law and stomping on others. But he does know the difference between right and wrong. Respect is important to him, and he does not disrespect people that are honest and trustworthy, unless they disrespect him. He especially respects women, because of his mother, and doesn't like to see them disrespected, even though he has some old-fashioned (some might say chauvinistic) ideas about women. He does not tolerate fools, but he can be a good and loyal friend and a great person to have on your side. He is especially loyal and protective of his family. He is capable of great love and affection, and he is a good father. It will be interesting to see how he grows further as a character and how he will deal with a growing son. Only time will tell.

Jason is like a son or younger brother to Sonny. He took Jason in when Jason had been brain damaged and had left his family because they had too many expectations. Due to Jason's amnesia and brain damage, he made a good worker and eventually was able to kill for Sonny. He became Sonny's right-hand man and has even taken over his business a few times when Sonny gave it up or was incapacitates. Jason is very loyal and honest, but sometimes Sonny still has trouble with trust issues, even with Jason.

Sonny's son, Michael, grew up interested in his business, but Sonny won't let him work with him because of the danger. It took a long time for Michael to realize that he is right. Sonny also has a grown son, Dante, that he didn't know about until Dante showed up in town, undercover as Dominic, to work for Sonny and to try to put him in jail. It's been a really rocky road between them, but it looks like Sonny is finally winning Dante over with his love.

Sonny also has a daughter, Kristina, and they have their ups and downs as well. She was very rebellious when she turned 16. She resented Sonny because he had not spent much time with her growing up (since her mother kept Sonny away due to the violence).

What keeps us watching is the powerful performances by Maurice Benard. He brings a sympathy and sorrow to Sonny that is needed. Without us feeling sorry for Sonny and the trials he has endured, we would not like him. He would just be an unsympathetic bully.

Proofread by Laura 1/5/11

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Page updated 4/24/12

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