Maurice Benard

Best known as smoldering gangster Sonny Corinthos on ABC's longtime soap "General Hospital" (1963- ), Maurice Benard has arguably been the hottest actor in daytime for over a decade. His very human portrayal of an often conflicted but still violent "good fella" was years ahead of Tony Soprano, bringing Benard a devoted fan base, an Emmy award and an opportunity through his TV character, to shed light on a still-whispered-about disease. Diagnosed with manic depression from a young age, Benard became notable outside soap circles for his work promoting mental health awareness for a disease that, though it nearly destroyed him, helped propel him to the heights of daytime stardom.