The soap opera world went into meltdown mode when General Hospital's legendary star Anthony Geary decided to retire after 37 years of playing iconic character Luke Spencer. So what would happen if Maurice Benard, who's been playing equally iconic Port Charles mobster Sonny Corinthos for the past 25 years, also decided to retire? That question remains a mystery, at least for now, because Benard has signed a new contract with the ABC soap opera.
"I feel fantastic. I feel humbled," the actor tells Soap Opera Digest of re-upping with the series. "How many actors can say they've been on a show for 25 years? I feel very grateful."
Despite the positive contract news, some fans are still worried that Benard may have one foot out the door -- and it all comes back to something he said last fall when retirement rumors started circulating.
In an interview with Soaps In Depth, the New York native insisted that he loves GH. But in doing so, he seemed to give a very subtle hint as to how much longer he sees himself as part of the ABC soap.
"I've said it over and over, and I'll say it again: I love GH," he said at the time. "I love the people, and I love working here. I can't wait to be here another year -- at least one more year."
Time will tell how long Benard will actually stay put at the ABC soap -- if it'll be just one more year or longer. In a tweet that has since been deleted, Benard seemed to imply that he was considering hanging up his hat after another two or three years. Perhaps the tweet was deleted because Benard changed his mind. Either way, his new contract allows fans to breathe a sigh of relief... at least for now.
Are you happy to hear Benard signed a new contract with GH? How would you feel if he chose to leave GH at the end of this contract cycle? We want to hear from you -- and there are many ways you can share your thoughts.