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GENERAL HOSPITAL: Sam Shoots Sonny Then Kicks Him To The Curb!

Courtesy/ABC

On Tuesday’s General Hospital, Sam (and it’s nice to see “Badass Sam” return albeit psychotic version) finally had her showdown with Sonny Corinthos (Maurice Benard).

Believing that Sonny is going to harm her children and Jason (Billy Miller) by having his former favorite hit man be part of his crime syndicate and getting pulled back into that life (although Sonny is saying he is getting out of “Mobsville”) she goes after Sonny with her gun.

On the docks, she finds Sonny with her gun pointed on him, tears in her eyes, telling him he is not going to destroy her family.  Sonny tries to calm her down and gets his hands on her wrists with the gun. However, the gun goes off and Sonny is hit in the leg.  Now believing she did not intend to do it, he is positioned inside a deep hole that is usually covered at the docks. Sam turns on him and then kicks him all the way down the hole!  She leaves him there, tosses the gun in the dumpster, rubs off her fingerprints, and takes off.

Courtesy/ABC

Later Sam shows up at the Morgans, saying she did what she did to protect them to Jason.  Next thing you know … she passes out! Medical alert!
Meanwhile we cut back to Sonny alone, shot at the docks in the deep hole.  Bets are that  the covering will go over it by some dock-worker, or nemesis of Sonny’s and we are off to no one knowing where Mr. Corinthos is.  Fans already know Michael Sutton (Stone) is due for a return in August. Will he appear as an hallucination to Sonny, as he did when Robin (Kimberly McCullough) was left for dead in a well years ago?

Kudos to Kelly Monaco in these scenes, but also to another member of the cast, Carolyn Hennesy (Diane) for in scenes with Carly (Laura Wright), she is emotionally torn-up upon learning that the love of her life Max (Derk Cheetwood) is now the interim head of Sonny’s organization, until Sonny finds a permantent replacement for him.  Hennesy difiintely has one of her Emmy scenes for next year!

So where you jumping for joy when Sam kicked Sonny to the curb and shot him? Where you upset she did it?  What do you think will happen next? What did you think of Ms. Monaco and Ms. Hennesy’s performances? Comment below.

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Jimh
Jimh

Finally, Sam done something to make her likeable-lol

Jimh
Jimh

Liz and Hayden get close…Finn tells Griffen Hayden the love of his life-all signs she is about to be killed off!!…what if Ava rescues Sonny-i would hate her for good!!!-lol

Shay
Shay

If a masked Ava strolling under the darkness of night were to fall down that Port Charles version of “The Rabbit Hole” would Sonny and she reprise their tawdry tango for two ala The Crypt Tryst? Between his delusional hallucinations and her Phantom of the Opera-like disfigurement, it would make for a truly surreal sight…a macabre horizontal mambo between two loathsome creatures.

Shay
Shay

I say give that girl a medal!

Celia
Celia

She did well. Kelly’s “seizure” was surprisingly well portrayed. I believed it. I noticed minute details….the eyes —the stffness of limbs and fingers—the shaking. Kudos!!!!
As far as shooting Sonny? Well, now….we knew this was coming, and as everyone else, I questioned a few posts ago, this guy has nine lives and then some. How many times can one be riddled with bullets and survive?
He actually invoked God!!!!! Does God listen to murderers? God is good. God forgives. But, but, but….
Until the last minute Sonny ‘retained’ Jason’s services to beat a confession out of Valentin.
Is that ok with God?
I’m pretty sure we only get three chances with God. Three strikes, you’re out.
No such luck. Sonny is invincible in all things, come hail or high water.
Now, what was that bike “excursion ” Oscar and Joss went on? So that Oscar could find a bullet casing?
Hmmmmm. I was sure they’d find Sonny….oh, but the Stone ‘spirit’ hasn’t appeared yet.
Yeah, Sonny will live, no doubt about it. He will not exsanguinate. Only the good die ( young?).
It used to be that in soaps the bad guy always died or was caught. I don’t get it.
I apologize to all the Sonny lovers for my resentment of him……that means you, my Timmmy, and Suzie Q. LOL.

Phyllis Fontaine DeMarco
Phyllis Fontaine DeMarco

If I am Donna Beck- without the client list- what soaptown do you hail from? I would venture New York and venture further to Rae Woodard. Adored her. Despite the money, furs, power, prestige and political clout, the glittering jewels always seemed beyond her grasp. Oh, she certainly grasped Frank Ryan’s jewels, but never gained a firm grip on the task at hand.She was cunning and ruthless and beautiful and really only wanted to be loved. And the mob-always menacing, but never to the point of things with Sonny. I forget what became of Rae and Seneca and Rae’s daughter, Kimberly. But I suspect you have information.

Celia
Celia

Hola, Shay,
Horizontal mambo? HaHaHaHaHa!!!!! That’s rich!! I like the tango!! LOL.

Jimh
Jimh

I could see Ava as The Phantom Of The Soap Opera…can we have a chandelier drop on Sonny instead !!!

gloria
gloria

Does anyone remember that Sam & Sonny had an affair & Sam became pregnant & gave birth to Sonny’s daughter who died shortly after birth? Sonny was very involved/concerned-Sam & Jason bonded at that time-I can’t rem. the details but Sam & Sonny have always had a bond, not to mention that Sonny is the father of one of Sam’s sisters! I LOVE SONNY.

Max Daddee
Max Daddee

Was I upset when Sonny was shot, the article asks. Big no…we all knew it was coming. And we know he’ll be rescued. Who knows, maybe the PCPD will actually be the ones to rescue him. It seems the citizens of PC solve most of the crimes and perform most of the rescues. Particularly Jason, but he’s tied up right now…

Jovin
Jovin

Anyone who harms Sonny gets an A Plus in my book! If only one of these bullets would really take and finish him off!!! But no, he will be rescued and will continue to blow sunshine and unicorns all over Port Charles.

Shay
Shay

Even a lengthy coma would have sufficed….Then again, that would have meant lots of Carly lovingly emoting at Sonny’s bedside as she willed him back to the land of the living. Oh, that makes me sick just thinking of it!!!!

Phyllis Fontaine DeMarco
Phyllis Fontaine DeMarco

Because you long for Sonny. Or Julian. You are bored with it all and long to walk on the wild side and both Carly and Alexis are in your way. I feel your angst and then some. I strongly feel that together, you and I could reach those dazzling heights and I will simply not take no for an answer. I will, certainly abide by any restraining order- but in that case, lunch is off.

Lee (Phyllis)
Lee (Phyllis)

Sonny has always been a friend, cancer/tumor or not, Sam should not have gone after Sonny.

Shay
Shay

So, are you “Lee” as played by “Phyllis,” or “Phyllis,” as portrayed by Lee??? Some clarification would be much appreciated even though you are an utter delight regardless!…Oh, by the way, would you per chance be acquainted with the lovely Peggy and her sister who graced these threads a year ago spring??? They were quite marvelous additions to the website! Alas, their stay here was all too brief and once they departed, they failed to make any return engagements. If you do know them, please send them my best!

Phyllis Fontaine DeMarco
Phyllis Fontaine DeMarco

I am in DC and can surely make space on my calendar for you.

Mister Media
Mister Media

Let me be clear at the start – General Hospital is MY soap. I have watched it for decades. It currently has the best cast in daytime. I want it to succeed and flourish for decades to come. Having said that, I must voice my opinion that the show is presently terrible; nearly unwatchable. This is mainly due to the writing. Individual scenes can be fine and the dialogue is often very good but the long term stories the show is telling are dire and directionless. God bless the actors for selling this sludge. The lack of continuity and follow through is appalling. The constant re-writing of backstory and having key events take place off screen is maddening. The inconsistency of character development is a disgrace. There are so many characters who are ill-defined that sometimes I’m straining to connect the dots as to their actions and history. Other flaws with the current show include pacing, editing and an overloaded cast. Sustaining interest is difficult at best when characters and stories disappear for weeks or even months at a time. Finally, there is the inclusion of terrible ideas which should never have left the writers’ room. Every time I hear the phrase “Ask Man Landers” I want to turn the show off and never turn it on again. Please GH – you can do better. Other soaps are leaving you in the dust quality and ratings wise. A thorough house cleaning may be in order. Viewers may watch out of loyalty and habit but I wonder how much they actually enjoy what they are seeing. Again, kudos to the cast and long live GH!

John Paul Murphy
John Paul Murphy

No offense to Maurice Bernard, but I’m sick to death of the Sonny show. I wish the writers would stop making Sonny out to be some wonderful man and fantastic father. It really undermines the integrity of the characters. It was incredibly satisfying to see Michael wake up and turn on him, but then they eventually did a 180 and reunited the two. Even Monica waivers depending on the season, and Sonny virtually destroyed her entire family. Those hatreds should be deep and permanent. And let’s not forget that he shot Dante straight in the chest, yet Dante and Olivia let him slide on the father card. He’s not some deeply misunderstood guy, and it waters down the potential of his character to paint him as heroic. Sonny and Carly get too much screen-time and way too much focus (and as much as I love Laura Wright, she is too damn loud). It’s past time for there to be permanent repercussions for Sonny’s behavior.

Iakovos
Iakovos

Sonny shot? What? What a surprising twist! Not. Sonny could be a human sprinkler as many times he has taken bullets or been near death. I just cannot care anymore. Maybe a solid story about the rise of senseless gun violence in our country could be done. Hospitals certainly are treating such all the time, even General!

rose
rose

Iakovos…I am so with you on the senseless gun violence in the US. And am very frustrated by groups and “responsible” gun owners who look the other way while the shootings continue every day. And the courts that seem to think it’s okay to be a gun culture which allows multiple guns per person, and not just one “regular” small handgun per. And allowing concealed carry from churches to schools and it seems everywhere else. But major fire power. The excuses, and reasons to own them is so self serving. I’m sure even the founders would have adapted to current society, and not the militia reason and the type of guns they had then.

And where are my rights being protected from all of these guns out there, everywhere I go, from road rage, a bad hair day or kids when parents are careless enough to leave loaded guns around, etc. Shame!

Morgan860Farantino
Morgan860Farantino

A HUMAN SPRINKLER? AS I WATCH THIS EPIE LATE NIGHT,GETTING CAUGHT UP I LOL @ that. Good one, IAK,
lmfao

Sam need help.Glad this SL almost over. I am just getting caught up. I don’t like her most times,and i definitely do not like her acting this way.Can’t wait to see how this all turn out.
G-nite all.

Steve
Steve

Sam finally had a good reason to wear those boots! There’s probably many viewers who wished they were in her boots right then.

And yes, Diane was a highlight as well as the charming Scorpio family reunion.

In my dreams, Sonny succumbs to his gun shot wound. There’s a be-all, end-all funeral. The following week, Maurice Bernard walks into the MetroCourt lobby to check in. When the clerk asks his name, MB replies “Nico Kelly”.

nancy dillingham
nancy dillingham

Now how many times has Sonny been shot? Oh, I guess no one is counting at this point–LOL!
Wondering what his insides must look like–oh, well–s’cuse my wondering. 🙂 🙂
One last musing, however. After being shot countless times, is there any dramatic effect?
Oh, well–just musing!

Timmm
Timmm

Kelly was awesome. She finally gets to sink her teeth into something!

Carolyn is too over the top! She goes from zero to sixty too fast! NOT Emmy worthy.

Why no love for Maurice? Too many Sonny haters! Ridiculous!

Jimh
Jimh

We need different kinds of weather in Port Charles…its been way too Sonny lately…i hear its going to get real Stone Cold soon-lol

Patrick
Patrick

Laughing out loud , I love you,

That was my immediate thought.

You bring light laughter humor.

jimh, always Salute

Timmm
Timmm

Jim, you are the best!

Shay
Shay

Very clever, jimh! Given I prefer crisp and chilly temps—think autumn—I shall welcome “Stone Cold” with a passion! (Besides, too much sun-ny is bad for one’s health….)

gloria
gloria

Agree. I love Sonny. Sick of the haters! He is a huge part of the show. LOVE HIM. There is not a character on a soap that has not done hideous things & gotten away with it. Seriously, people just think about it.

Timmm
Timmm

Thank you Gloria!

Patrick
Patrick

any impact this latest “stunt” by Shelley and Frank to give the audience reason to care

was lost that quick… no sooner had Sonny come too

the very next scene, @GH… Sam has another vision… or hallucination.. with Sonny asking her… what are you going to do now that i’m dead ?

well he’s not.. and the impact of him dwelling in the pit is now lame. till Carly goes all banshee

perhaps Griffin will hold a vigil replete with memorializing the stud

Celia
Celia

Lol. Not that I hate anyone, T, but, if Sonny looked like Nathan or Griffin….sigh….yeah, I could melt at his feetsies.

su0000
su0000

Poor Sonny.. lol
He could have disarmed Sam at least 4 times, sigh..
One thing about GH and guns know one knows how to take another down, no one.
Sam should be dead :).. Sonny needs to up his game.

Now I’m mad at my Sonny. Because he couldn’t disarm and kill Sam I have to either suffer her or FF ..
Sonny will be just fine (hopefully not paralyzed, again lol)

rose
rose

“The “pit” Sonny is in seems a bit cramped. Wonder if it will trigger his claustrophobia?

Rebecca1
Rebecca1

He needs to hallucinate Stone first.

Soaphound
Soaphound

Glad Sam has something to do but you’d think someone with Sonny’s fortune could get a cell phone that works on the docks or in a warehouse, wherever he is. Of course, my favorite part was later, when Jason just picked her up like a feather and carried her to GH. But Billy’s delts have always made me weak in the knees.

Patrick
Patrick

OK – my appreciation for Sam JUST JUMPED .

Sonny to Sam : “You didn’t mean to do this”

Sam to Sonny : ( without hesitation ) “Yes, I did” and BAM kicked his dead self right in to the pits of hell.

why is this so exciting

DEAD SONNY – MIA SONNY – DOA Sonny – DEAD just be DEAD.

ROT

Patrick
Patrick

Laura Wright : Carly.

this is taken from another thread by @Jovin. ie: Carly

“…Random question…is Carly the stupidest woman ever? A couple months ago Sonny was calling her a worthless whore. Now she is happily back canoodling with him. ”

I watched the 7/25 ep with Carly and Diane. Carly just sat their deadpanning Diane in the scene.. and said next to nothing… naturally.. one must just let go and let the uber talent of Carolyn Hennesy fly. yet still… Carly just did nothing .. did not even acknowledge how she felt. she also looked uninteresting even with Jason. I realize that they were supposed to be shellacked or shell shocked for Diane.. that neither of them knew… that Max was head of the mob. god.. the actors LW and BM looked dead… bored.. and just did not bring any depth to their characters. they just have to be sick of this… does any one hope ?

I oft think Laura Wright… having NOT WON the emmy… that she and the Corinthos’ pie @GH heavily fixed her emmy reel… just lost stamina. who cares any more ?

TPTB have got to rethink what the effin is going on with Shelley and Frank. Kudos to the character of Diane acting out what would draw any one in… these actors who are all attached to the mob… are so not in touch any more. who blasé

I did not feel one iota of care… for Sonny. end of show

JasonLovesGH
JasonLovesGH

Sam is exhausting. I was hoping someone would come along and drop her into that hole with Sonny. She wears me out.

Charday
Charday

Hopefully, Sonny dies in agony.

gloria
gloria

Really?

Jamesj75
Jamesj75

And, yes, gloria, really!

Jamesj75
Jamesj75

If that happens, there will be joy to the world!

jaybird369
jaybird369

AW, HELL YEAH, Brother…joy to the world…AND BEYOND!!!!!!!!!!

Later, Brother.

jaybird369
jaybird369

ABSOLUTELY…AND SOON!!!!!!!!!!

Suzie rm
Suzie rm

I have never really noticed Kelly/Sam before this storyline. She is really doing a good job. As for Sonny, we really need less of him. The focus on him is killing this show. A new moral center needed!

jaybird369
jaybird369

Suzie…oh, yes…a new moral center…which is LONG OVERDUE!!!!!

Take care, Suzie.

Sue M.
Sue M.

Sam is losing it.. Are we finally going to find out what is wrong with her now. Since she collapsed and Jason took her to GH. Going on long enough, time to find out why she has been acting so strangely!

Joseph
Joseph

Come on REALLY? Sonny has made this show interesting for years. He’s a great character. Don’t get me wrong I don not condom gun violence but this is intertaiment.

Jovin
Jovin

Based on public sentiment, you’re in the minority bro. Sonny has been recycling the same plot for 24 years. That’s not entertainment!

Phyllis Fontaine DeMarco
Phyllis Fontaine DeMarco

Why not toss Roxie in the pit, along with a guitar, some water and a few dented cans of tuna and pork and beans. No meds. Let us enjoy the the journey as he descends into madness and mania Mary Tyler Moore theme song performed by Maurice. Love IS all around-no need to waste it! You can never tell-cook the lizard-just taste it. Stay down in the hole-we all know you’ll make it. Sing, and dance and cry-it’s an emmy reel you maketh. You can turn the world on with your smile-and every woman slept with creates a child. I am not well, pardon me.

Phyllis Fontaine DeMarco
Phyllis Fontaine DeMarco

What I meant to say is, Sonny need to face new challenges for me to keep tuning in-since he is usually the center of everything. So why not the center of the earth? Why not Dr. O falls into the pit and hit her head and falls into a coma and Sonny cares for her, talks to her, sings Edelweiss to her so beautifully and with his shirt off and pausing to stroke Liesel’s brow with a cool compress. Edelweiss, Edelweiss, and most most miraculously, flitter, twitter, her eyes wide open and we now have the most wonderful duet, and then another and then a night of passion at the bottom of the pit before they realize it is being filled with cement and they must must literally claw their way in the dirt if there is any chance to survive. If not for each other, for their unborn child. Now, others could fall in the pit of desired- my choices are Nina and Aunt Stella. We could go Voyage to the Bollom of The Sister Wives. In any event, after clawing in the fertile soil , they reach a tunnel to a long-forgotten underground bunker- abandoned by the WSB or whomever you chose-really, I can’t do this entirely alone. The door perhaps ajar and they enter- only then to be locked inside. But there is everything one could want in an abandoned bunker except delivery from Dominos. There is food and water and air-but perhaps not enough for all for long and Auntie Stella is killed. Nina could finally get pregnant-we know that happens. I think I prefer just Sonny and Liesel in love and she runs experiments in an attempt to reach the outside world or escape or just for fun and Sonny cooks pasta and sings and they love and make babies and now and again an earthquake threatens all. Sonny delivering his own children-all named Morgan so we never forget-I could and most certainly would tune in for this. But nobody asked me.

Jovin
Jovin

My word! What an elaborate trip you’re on! I want 1500 milligrams of whatever caused that! Lol.

Shay
Shay

Any scenario with Dr. O. largely featured into it is fine by me, Phyllis!

Steve
Steve

So, Sam goes to the hospital again and who does Jason call? His mother, the chief of staff? Of course not

Timmm
Timmm

For ONE minute I thought he would but its Snarls instead!

Alan
Alan

Is GH trying to make us feel sorry for Sonny with a lame imitation of the classic ALL MY CHILDREN plot where Janet trapped Natalie in a well?

If so, they should realize that the big difference is that viewers were actually rooting for Natalie to escape.

Celia
Celia

I, basically, have felt the same way, Alan….I have noticed the “poor, poor” Sonny indoctrination since I started watching GH. Sometimes the commiseration is proffered subtly; sometimes arrogantly thrown in my face. It is non-stop. I said the same thing; are the PTB trying to make us feel sorry for Sonny? It has not worked the last time he was shot, and it “ain’t” working now.
I consider myself as a very sensitive, emotional and compassionate woman–I cried with Ava, I cried with Carly; I cried with Alexis etc. but, I cannot cry with Sonny. I do not feel a thing.
I expressed his effective delivery when Morgan died….that was the one and only time I gleaned a certain amount of excellence with this actor……other than that, I do not see it. He does not stir any feeling in me. But, hey, that’s just moi.

Timmm
Timmm

Hey C, IF you had to pick one, age aside, would it be Sonny or Victor?

Celia
Celia

Great question, my Timmmy. I say Victor. Why? Not even a million doses of Viagra could help him. Then, he’d just leave be. LOL.
Thing is, I do not dislike Victor. Go figure!!! The mind works in mysterious ways.
HaHa. My mind has never gone there. Ewwww.
I guess it’s because Victor is credible. He truly is scary to me. Sonny is just a joke. Can’t take his chilly, evil stare ( which is supposed to instill fear in anyone who crosses his path) seriously.
I just started taking Tae kwon do; I can take him…HaHa!!

Breaking News

GH’s Maurice Benard Takes On Role Of John Gotti In Upcoming Lifetime Movie

Who better to use their mobster experience playing the iconic role of Sonny Corinthos on General Hospital, and put it to good use, when taking on the role of a real-life mobster than Daytime Emmy winner, Maurice Benard?

As revealed over the past weekend, Maurice Benard is hard at work filming a Lifetime Movie based on the life of Victoria Gotti called “The Victoria Gotti Story”.

Sharing the news via his social media, Benard expressed: “Thank you lifetime and everyone involved 4 a Beautiful opportunity.”

Recently, John Travolta played the notorious New York mobster in the movie Gotti released earlier this year.

The infamous Gotti, had a wife and a daughter both named Victoria.  So as to which point of view the film is focusing on is yet to be released.

So what do you think of the casting of Maurice as John Gotti? Intrigued to see the Lifetime Movie when it debuts? Comment below

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General Hospital

General Hospital’s Max Gail Opens Up On Portraying Mike’s Battle With Alzheimer’s & Making A Difference In People’s Lives

“What happens the day I wake up, and you guys are the strangers,” says Mike to his son, Sonny and his wife Carly (Laura Wright). “I left you before to my everlasting regret, but it’s going to happen. I’d do anything if I didn’t have to do it again, but it’s going to happen – one way or the other.  At least this way I could leave some good feelings, instead of disappearing before your eyes.”  Those words were said during a gut-wrenching scene on Friday’s episode of General Hospital, as Mike tries to come to terms with his deteriorating mental state in his battle with Alzheimer’s, and the hard realization that he may be better off in a care facility, instead of at his son’s home.  These scenes, as all the scenes in this storyline, have been exquisitely played by Max Gail (Mike) and Maurice Benard (Sonny).

When Max Gail arrived on the GH canvas as the recast Mike Corbin in a role made soap-famous by Ron Hale, viewers did not know what to initially expect.  What they did know was that Max is an accomplished actor with a body of work from primetime dramas and comedies, film, and the stage, and that if he is coming to GH, he must be coming on board for something major.  Before GH, suffice to say, Gail is most remembered for his role as “Wojo” on the ABC sitcom Barney Miller that aired from 1975-1982.

In story on GH, Mike, who abandoned Sonny as a child, once again re-enters his son’s life, but soon we learn that he is suffering from Alzheimer’s disease and that the soap is tackling a story that is an important medical, social, and familial issue of our time.

Gail has been a revelation in this role.  A clear frontrunner for an Emmy, playing the facets, the levels, the characteristics, and the heartbreak of a person who is slowly losing everything they know near and dear to them, as in the end they are ultimately stripped of their dignity from this most horrific of diseases.

On a personal note, and as part of this conversation with Max, it was important for him and for me to share, that I lost my mother at the end of April of this year to Alzheimer’s.  So his work hits close to home, this story hits close to home, as it has also resonated for many viewers who have shared their stories on social media and when Max makes personal appearances.

Here now is this very special interview for Michael Fairman TV with an actor whom we can all agree is touching all of our lives.

You’re portraying a person suffering from Alzheimer’s and play the progression of the disease.  Do you feel pressure as an actor to get it right for those who have loved ones, or person’s afflicted with it?

Courtesy/ABC

MAX:  It’s more like an urge, or a calling to find some kind of truth in it that I can connect with.  One of the things I’m inclined towards showing is someone with Alzheimer’s or dementia often just drifts off somewhere else.  “Where am I going?”  This has happened to me many times in life.  For instance, when I was a youngster, I can remember getting in my car, and I’d driven a long way from some party or something like that, and I’d been drinking, and I didn’t remember it.  I knew I’d gotten home somehow.  So, it’s not out of my realm.  I’ve learned that there are no set behaviors really… other than that it usually ends up being really difficult for caretakers, and seemingly really painful for many, if not most people suffering with Alzheimer’s, and losing connection and losing the ability to just function.  We are kind of on the cusp of that in story at GH.  I think it was originally proposed that I would play the part for just a few months, and to give me an out if it wasn’t working.  Maybe, there was a placeholder idea to ship Mike off to a home or something, but the storyline has touched so many people that it has been continuing.

The story has been so effective.  You’ve done such an amazing job, and the fans love Mike and what you’re doing with the character, and they’re on board on this journey.  It’ll be interesting to see how far they will take this with Mike.  Will we actually see him not being able to communicate anymore?  How far will the writers go to show the horrific aspects of Alzheimer’s? 

MAX:  I’m not sure.  You know, I’ve had times where I’ve got the scene, I get the writers, and I get the heart of it.  Other times, I find where that transition is from where Mike is lucid and clear, and other times what that state of mind is and that switch is, and what that is in behaviors and energy level.  I think there’s an ongoing downturn for Mike, and for me as an actor finding something in the moment and finding how it works with things that he does remember.  They’re trying to find a place for Mike within all of the interwoven drama of General Hospital.  I, frankly, had no idea how complex the range of storylines was.  Mike doesn’t really have control over his story.  I don’t want that as an actor.  Mike has some intentions that are really important to him.  I’m trying to find that balance where there are times when he has a pathetic, very sad remorse about what he has missed.  I think that underlies his feelings for his son, who he never could quite reach, because of his own failings as a father.  Sonny’s formative experiences growing up were then with his abusive stepdad.  Finding all of that is really important to do in a way that doesn’t make Mike just this sweet older man with Alzheimer’s.   It’s a wonderful challenge to be presented with.

Courtesy/CBS

You brought up that Mike is seemingly very sweet in his demeanor now.  My mother, who I shared with you died a few months ago from Alzheimer’s was a strong-willed, feisty woman.  As the disease took hold of her, she became very sweet.   She became almost childlike.  The fire had gone out of her eyes.  You knew she didn’t know who you were, and so, all of that, as you know is so tough to witness as her son.  In terms of Mike and his ultimate care, everyone says they love him and want what is best for him, but that he needs to be taken care of because he gets confused, doesn’t know where he is sometimes. etc.  Sonny has been grappling with putting him in a care facility to be looked after, or to keep him with the Corinthos family under their roof.  However, Mike has come to a realization that he may need to be in facility all on his own, and doesn’t want to burden his son by living with him anymore.  That was a poignant moment, and another one of the best scenes has been when Mike couldn’t remember that Sonny was his own son. 

MAX:  Right and he doesn’t know if he’s around friends or around enemies.  This can be true of Alzheimer’s patients.

I had that happen with my mother when she came out to Los Angeles to see me for the last time.  She was out of her element, she was confused, and she broke down and cried in the hotel room.  She asked my father, “Why did you bring me here?” and he told her, “We came to see our son.”  It was heartbreaking.   Later, she had a moment of clarity and realized more of what was going on.  I think it’s those in-and -out moments that you portray so well on-screen.  I feel that they are very realistic to what I, and others, have experienced.

Courtesy/ABC

MAX:  I appreciate that and sharing that with me, because you never know as an actor.  That place of “Where am I?  What is this?” makes me think of that “Summer Wind” moment from the Nurses’ Ball when it wasn’t just, “I’m embarrassed.  I don’t remember the words.”  It was, “I don’t know where the f**k I am.  I thought there was a band there, but there’s not.”  So, in a way, I just had to be there on this big soundstage and just feel this big space around me.  I could barely see that there were people out there.  It’s kind of a terrifying thing to a lot of people, but I think Mike has something in him that makes him want to be okay with all of this.  He doesn’t have to freak out and get accusatory.

Courtesy/ABC

What has it been like working with Maurice Benard as your on-screen son?  Do you watch back your scenes together and ever go, “Oh, that was great!?”

MAX:  Yes, there have been a lot of those!  There are some scenes that are so emotionally focused, and we get a lot of delight in each other.  He has been playing this character in this situation for so long, so it’s just kind of in him.  Maurice has presence.  I think when I went in to read for the part of Mike, I had gone through pilot season and had gone in for some interesting pilots.  I didn’t feel like I was really connecting in the readings, because most things are by tape these days, anyway.  When this part came up, a soap hadn’t really been on my radar.  I knew I’d be going in to read with the actor, so I said, “Okay,” and I looked at the material, and then I checked out Maurice on IMDB.  One of the things that got my interest was that he has been diagnosed and takes medication to deal with bipolar disorder, and that’s become a part of his life, and it’s become part of his character.  I thought, “Wow, that’s really interesting.  This is a survivor, and he’s risen to something that takes a certain kind of balance and courage.”  I watched some clips, and when I went in for the reading of this kind of an amalgamation scene of what the story elements were going to be, I felt like we connected before we’d even started the dialogue.

Well, Maurice certainly loves working with you! He has been very supportive and vocal about that.

MAX:  It’s mutual.  We can take really little simple moments, and we can find something deeper in it, and it doesn’t have to be an, ‘I’m going to start crying now’ moment.  Although, I would love for Mike to have a moment of self-observation where he goes, “Gee.  I cry a lot more than I used to.”  I think there are people who are like that, and it’s okay for certain people to cry, and for other people it is not.

Courtesy/ABC

There was a part of my mom that knew something was wrong.  She’d go, “Why am I crying?  I don’t know why I’m crying.”  She got confused as to why she was feeling that.  She couldn’t connect it all, and at times she kept saying, “I don’t understand.  I don’t understand.”  Those were the things she would try to express.

MAX:  I have a feeling that Mike has those moments too, but he finds a way for it to be okay.  There may be a point where someone with Alzheimer’s can’t pull it off anymore, but how we find those and those specifics, I don’t know.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

Working on a classic sitcom such as Barney Miller is vastly different than working on a daytime soap opera.  While now being at GH, have you found any commonality within the experience?

MAX:  If I can take a moment and reflect on Barney Miller, because it was a great experience and one that I found was not so easy to find again over the years.  One of the things that really resonates is that when we started shooting the studio audience laughed too easily.  We would end up retaking the scenes.  Sometimes, we didn’t have the end of the show written, because they tended to let certain things start to show up in the earlier parts of the script.  Danny Arnold who was the writer, creator and producer of Barney Miller would always take over the way Frank Valentini (executive producer, GH) does in a way … looking to be respectful of the director, but still seeing things on his own.  Frank has a really wonderful eye.  He’s much more connected into the overall storylines, the motivations that went into the writing, and what he sees in the moment.  I always welcome him on the set because the directors, who have a range of talents and sensibilities, are tasked with coming up with a whole lot of shots to cover, a whole lot of tricky angles, and all of that.

Courtesy/ABC

Vernee Watson has been amazing as Stella, who is also Mike’s social worker.  Does Mike have romantic feelings toward Stella?

MAX:  Vernee is wonderful.  I didn’t know Vernee had been on the show when I came on board.  She won an Emmy, and I’m not surprised.   She is so present and so specific, and she’s very bright and gets what all of these elements are, and so, I think they have a connection.  For whatever ways Mike has lived in his like, there isn’t some strange, exotic draw that she is black, and Mike is white.  I like that because both my first and late wife, and my second wife, with whom I’ve had children (and we’ve been separated for awhile, but have a great relationship) are African-American.  So, in my world that is not a big deal.   I think there’s an affinity there between Mike and Stella.  You know, he’s alive.  He’s old, but he’s not dead.  There’s an ease with women he likes.  I think there are a whole lot of reasons for them to not get involved.  One is just professional, and she’s a social worker.  We just shot something where I say something to somebody else about, “back when I still had all my marbles,” you know, he’s in another stage of life, which many people go into gracefully, while many don’t.

 

What do you think about how Mike knows about who was buried at Charlie’s Pub?  He was trying to keep the truth about Charlie Delaney from coming out, which turned into a gas leak that blew up the bar!  This storyline ties in to Sonny’s mobster dealings as well.

MAX:  Well, this is where they put this effort in the storytelling to connect Mike in some way and be intertwined with Sonny.  Of course, it reveals certain things about Mike that he’s never revealed to anybody before.  So, that’s kind of cool.  I think when he knows what and how much sometimes is not clear.  That’s why I started talking about Barney Miller because the other thing was a lot of times when we go together for the table reads, they didn’t have the end of the story.  They had a first draft, maybe. Dan would talk about it, and they’d say, “Next week, the main story is going to be this man in his fifties who is coming to terms with the fact that he is gay,” or whatever those underlying themes may be with the different characters reactions.  So, we knew elements going into it and that sometimes I  didn’t know what the writers are really intending.  In terms of Mike, he’s kind of back and forth in certain moments.  I have to resist the idea that they trap me by just being careless.  I’ve learned that just trying to fix the script often gets you into a place where you “rehearse yourself out of it,” as they say.

Courtesy/GoodDayLA

You appeared on the morning show Good Day LA  a few months back with Laura Wright (Carly), and Maria Shriver, who has founded the Women’s Alzheimer’s Movement.  What was that like meeting Maria, and helping get the word out about the effects of this disease and the work Maria is doing?

MAX:  It was great to do.  Maria had sent out a tweet that is was wonderful what was going on, on General Hospital.  On Good Day LA, she talked about her work, particularly focusing on the fact that more women are diagnosed with Alzheimer’s than men.  So, then Laura and I sat down and did an interview alongside Maria.  We actually had a nice conversation before.  They did a web interview also as a follow-up.  That was very cool, because Maria is very smart, and I’d never met her, but it was great to see what she was doing.  Whatever we are dealing with in the show is sort of my opportunity in the real world to bring awareness and shed light on the subject.  I’d love to see an ongoing conversation online amongst people who can share their stories with each other.  That’s a lot of what they’re doing.  They’re raising money for research, but people need to be able to talk to each other when you’re a caregiver.  Coming out of the early sixties and early seventies when I was playing a cop on TV, I never was a fanatic activist.  I certainly got the behavior of the Chicago police at a certain time in terms of the energy and conflicts of the time.  There was something to think about, but at the same time, I had opportunities to kind of share that all cops aren’t bad, just look at the show, Barney Miller.

Courtesy/ABC

You were my favorite character on Barney Miller as Detective Wojciehowicz!  I think for many who watched the show you were, too!

MAX:  I think “Wojo” ended up being the heart of the show.

Max, you’re helping people through your beautiful performances including me.  Congratulations on that.   I’ll continue have to have a box of Kleenex handy as I watch how it all unfolds for Mike.

Photo: IMDB

MAX:  Well, I really appreciate your questions.  I’m just planting that seed.  That is really what I would like to do after talking to you and so many people.  That’s something I’d like to put out there.   We each have our own domains and responsibilities and all of it overlaps, and you can kind of get in touch with that; if you just go around the circle and share it, and then go around again.  I’m looking to help people out there in the world who are watching and are looking to share in the conversation.

So, what did you think about the heartbreaking scenes on Friday’s episode of GH between Mike and Sonny?  What have you thought of Max Gail’s performance throughout his GH run?  Have you experienced the loss, or are watching someone you love, or care about slip away from Alzheimer’s?  Share your thoughts via the comment below.

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General Hospital

ABC Names William Burton As The New Head Of Daytime

Over the years there have been several changes to ABC Daytime, and now comes word over the last 24 hours that William Burton has been promoted to Senior VP and Head Of Daytime, Sports and Syndicated Development/Production for ABC.  Burton starts in his new role immediately.

Deadline first reported the executive level move by the network.  Burton had previously been overseeing the business operations of ABC Daytime since earlier this year as SVP Daytime following the departure of former Daytime head Rebecca Campbell.

Courtesy/ABC

Those duties have now been formalized in Burton’s expansive new role,  In terms of General Hospital, the creative aspects from the network are still being handled by ABC head of current programming, Vicki Dummer.  Burton has been behind the business operations of ABC Daytime including the daytime drama.

In addition, Burton will oversee the creation and production of syndicated programming across ABC platforms including the upcoming daytime talk show from Tamron Hall that is in development for a potential debut in the fall of 2019.

So, share your thoughts on Burton being named the new head of Daytime for ABC via the comment section below.

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Video du Jour

This weekend we mourn the loss of General Hospital’s beloved Susan Brown who played Gail Baldwin. Here is her final scene from 2004 when Gail and her husband Lee (the late Peter Hansen) showed up at Lila’s funeral and had an exchange with Alan and Monica. Share your thoughts on Susan’s passing via the link below. Leave A Comment

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