Photo Credit: JPI Studios
After a few days of working out schedules, General Hospital’s Steve Burton (Jason) and Chad Duell (Michael) are boarding the plane and heading east this weekend for originally scheduled fan appearances with Maurice Benard (Sonny). The appearances set for Levittown, NY, Point Pleasant, NJ, and Trumbull, CT will now have Burton and Duell as the headliners.
So what happened? As many know, and as Maurice himself discussed on his recent appearance on the On-Air On-Soaps Holiday podcast, the soap icon was heading east for the first time in eight years to see his fans and to concur his fear of flying which had prevented him from traveling in the past due to panic attacks.
However now event organizers have announced that Benard whose first appearance was set for Orlando, Florida had a panic attack and did not get on the plane to fly to the East Coast. Thus actor has rescheduled his appearances in Florida, Connecticut, New York and New Jersey for July 15, 16 and 17.
ABC Soaps In Depth reported, “Although the actor hasn’t flown in years, he’d been working himself up over the past several months to conquer his fear and fly the friendly skies — with his family seated in first class alongside him. However, after his children had boarded the plane headed to Orlando, Benard stepped on board and saw that the aircraft wasn’t as large as what he’d been used to and began to feel claustrophobic. At that point, Benard told his wife, Paula, that he needed to get off the plane. I hope I can make it up to everyone someday,” says Benard, who will drive across the country for his appearances this summer.