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Max Gail To General Hospital As The New Mike Corbin!

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

Photo: IMDB

In a major storyline beginning on the February 5th episode of General Hospital, Sonny Corinthos’ (Maurice Benard) father, Mike Corbin is back in Port Charles.

But this time, he will look different since former Barney Miller favorite, Max Gail is taking over the role from Ron Hale, who played the part from 1995 to 2010.  Hale had retired, and Mike checked into rehab in story, and as fans know Corbin had a gambling addiction.

According to TV Line who broke the news, Gail will appear on the ABC daytime drama series for what it being called an “extended arc”.

So, what does Mike’s return mean for Sonny? Share your thoughts on this casting news in the comment section below.

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rebecca1PatrickStevedmrShay Recent comment authors
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Patrick
Patrick

OOH LA LA – only the hottest man during my formative years ! being honest

check him out on you tube. when he was on Barney Miller

HEY – whatabout our Lady Q : “Monica”

su0000
su0000

hi Patrick ,,
I never heard of a Barney Miller..
I did YouTube him, it was a tv show.
That show was 1974- 4.3 decades ago..
That is 43 years ago, I wasn’t yet born !!

There must be other not yet born, also..
Anyways I checked one episode and I’m not sure which one that man was ..

Phyllis Fontaine DeMarco
Phyllis Fontaine DeMarco

I could really care less about Sonny’s dad and more Sonny Sonny Sonny. I mean it. They have propped him up as the big star of GH and involved in every nuance in one way or another. Too much of a good thing. Or a bad thing. But too much, either way. I loved Ron Hale on Ryan’s Hope. Hope he is enjoying his retirement. Max Gail-have not seen him since Barney Miller.

Shay
Shay

Oh yes, Phyllis! Ron Hale as RH’s Roger Coleridge….I loved him, too! Especially with Ilene Kristen’s daffy Delia by his side. Always hoped for a GH reunion between these two soap vets…would have been hilarious to see scatterbrained Dee’s reaction to encountering her hubby’s doppelganger at Kelly’s! Just wasn’t the same when she only had a framed photo at Sonny’s house as a reference point to observe their striking resemblance.

Fanny
Fanny

Ron Hale was at his best on Ryan’s Hope as Roger….good actor,
handsome, those eyes….He deserved better than to be the alcoholic
gambling father of Mob boss Sonny C…

Patrick
Patrick

CRUSH

Rodd
Rodd

Sorry, it involves Sonny; don’t really care. Sigh.

curacaoman
curacaoman

Word!

Steve
Steve

First we get Stella (Welcome Back Kotter), then Jim (BJ & the Bear) and now Mike (Barney Miller). Why doesn’t Frank realize fans want GH 70’s history (Laura, Monica and Bobbie) over 70’s sitcom actors?

This is why we can’t have nice things!

Amcknots
Amcknots

That is so spot on!!!! Good one! Could not agree more!

Shay
Shay

“This is why we can’t have nice things….” How perfectly put, Steve!

Shay
Shay

Perhaps Charo is available to play another of Sonny’s long-lost relatives!

Chrystie_Delancey
Chrystie_Delancey

HaHa!

Coochie Coochie!

boes
boes

Let Charo be Sonny’s long lost daughter.
He deserves it.

Harry
Harry

Why couldn’t they recast Sonny’s father with the actor who played Nick Tortelli from Cheers?

Timmm
Timmm

Butch Patrick, where are you?

Shay
Shay

@Harry….Too obvious???? Louie de Palma would have also worked well…or Reverend Jim!

curacaoman
curacaoman

Perfect comment!

Shay
Shay

GH is becoming ABC’s modern day version of “The Love Boat” with its galaxy of “guest stars” dating back to the “Disco Era!”

Harry
Harry

Bah ha ha! Shay, The Love Boat!!! Maybe a little bit like Fantasy Island too.
There’s Sonny, standing on the pier wearing a three piece white suit and while pointing at the sky screams,”The plane! The plane!”
Then after the plane lands an assortment of 70’s characters get off the plane and infiltrate Port Charles.

Timmm
Timmm

Maybe KC and the Sunshine Band will play on the Haunted Star? By the way, how in the hell does that business make any money?

Shay
Shay

That’s the best one yet, Harry! Can you just imagine the cavalcade of characters from the decade that taste forgot deplaning at Pier 52????….Potsie Weber and Ralph Malph, Chrissy Snow, Marcia Brady, Danny Partridge, Johnny Fever and Venus Flytrap, and let’s not forget, JJ Evans and Thelma….DYNOMITE!!!! Too bad “Aunt Esther” has gone to the great beyond….she and Stella would have really hit it off!

Shay
Shay

@Timmm….”Do a little dance….” As for how the “Haunted Star” makes a profit? Two words: “Cooked books!” (Hey, this was once Luke’s business!)

JK
JK

YOU HIT THE NAIL ON THE HEAD…..THIS SHOW IS GOING IN THE WRONG DIRECTION.

Max Daddee
Max Daddee

Bringing back Mike Corbin? Good grief. I’d be more interested in seeing Fran Dreshler play a sister Sonny didn’t know he had.

Shay
Shay

@Max Daddee….I think she’d be better suited as Olivia’s Bensonhurst cousin, Fran Fine Falconeri Fishbein!

Satan
Satan

Have to say I have mixed feelings about this one….

Mike Corbin (aka Michael Corinthos Sr.) has long been missed on this show, and the idea of sending him to “rehab” for a gambling addiction was ridiculous (does that even exist??)

Will it be the same without Ron Hale though? He worked great with Sonny, and with Michael, Jason, etc.

Max Gail is a great actor, but time will tell if he’s a good fit for this role. At least we can thank all that’s unholy that they didn’t take the recast from the OLTL pool of unemployed actors.

James
James

One of the early episodes of Intervention covered the issue of gambling addiction and the subject of that episode was given the option of going to rehab to address his problem.

Satan
Satan

What would you do all day at a gambling rehab facility? Obviously, card games would be out. Presumably, no internet access allowed, to keep you away from online casinos.

Would they restrict TV access so you couldn’t bet on sports??

rebecca1
rebecca1

They’d drink.

Harry
Harry

Right, Satan. I mean, you couldn’t even play Suoo’s favorite game. BINGO!

Timmm
Timmm

Thats true, I am sick of Frank bringing in his buddies!

Jimh
Jimh

It means more airtime for Sonny and i dont mean that in a good way!….Barney Miller’s Wojo…Mojo…Bojo…watshisname???lol

Jimh
Jimh

Maybe he will get involved with Ava and marry her-making Ava Sonny’s stepmobma-lol

Satan
Satan

Ava would probably get some sick pleasure out of banging three generations of the Corinthos family, so I wouldn’t put it past her.

I doubt Mike would be interested in her though. Especially when he finds out what she did to his grandson.

Shay
Shay

If only Harris, Fish and Yamana were still alive, they could’ve come along for the ride…with the PCPD down a man, that clueless copshop could have certainly used their skill and expertise!

Jimh
Jimh

They could had played his poker buddies…

Timmm
Timmm

Hal Linden is still alive.

Harry
Harry

There is a little bit of six degrees of Kevin Bacon going on here as far as Barney Miller is concerned, Wojo is now on GH and Tony Geary was, ahem, well, extremely close to Ron Glass who I think played Harris on Barney Miller.

Shay
Shay

OMG, Harry!!! I forget about that particular….um….storied connection! Jackpot!

Suzie rm
Suzie rm

Why why why why…..so tired of the Sonny show and after the dismissal of Genie Francis I’m done

curacaoman
curacaoman

Me too. Sorry to have not witnessed the great acting by Nathan’s loved ones

Ric
Ric

Who cares, I’m sick of the Sonny!

Alan
Alan

An “extended arc” for Mike means lots and lots and lots of more screen time for Sonny.

Smart move, GH — great news like this will have viewers forgetting in no time that you have screen time for just about anyone but Genie Francis…

Roberta G
Roberta G

Instead of bringing in new players or old characters with someone new playing the part how about just putting Genie Back on contract. Been watching since day one but am not liking the new producers or writers past couple years.

Timmm
Timmm

Excellent!

Charday
Charday

Hopefully, back for Sonny’s quick and permanent death scene and funeral.

Satan
Satan

That would mean the quick and permanent death of General Hospital.
Without Steve Hardy, Luke Spencer, or Sonny Corinthos, this show goes straight to Hell (and not in a good way)

Steve can’t come back, and it’s not likely that Luke will either. Sonny ain’t going nowhere. Nobody’s going to watch the Frodd “Baldwin” show.

Jamesj75
Jamesj75

I would suggest that by linking the iconic character of Steve Hardy to Sonny, you are committing blasphemy. But I guess that’s what a Satan would do…
🙂

Jamesj75
Jamesj75

Great one, Charday!

Sue M.
Sue M.

Wojo. Barney Miller. Saw him on an airplane flight on was on, years ago..

Fanny
Fanny

Max Gail is good at his craft… could possibly be interesting repartee
between Sonny and Mike, if the writer’s don’t over do Mike’s past vices…
Otherwise father & son will go round in circles (yet again) & get nowhere
fast.

mike
mike

Good actor, should be interesting.

su0000
su0000

0oooh no!
Sonny has a father!
Sonny has always been my favourite enigma.

aww I’m not into Sonny and daddy issues..

I do not see the importance of bringing daddy in..
Nonetheless, it might be ingesting, it had best be, and there will be hell to pay if the plan is to pansy Sonny into a full-blown eunuch…

Stop messing with my Sonny.. enough is enough !!

Eileen Rogers Souza
Eileen Rogers Souza

You let 2 great favorites go and bring on a other one i have been watching for 50 yrs and now i am getting disgusted with Genie and not ggiving Ryan a month , I truly see why your Days is catching up to you on the ratings. Better get with it before your CANCELLED

su0000
su0000

ahhh I never heard of a Barney Miller ..
so, no whoopie for me.. just a HUH?

rebecca1
rebecca1

Hi su0000

Mike Corbin (Sonny’s father) was a very important part of GH and in Sonny’s life. Troubled relationship but underneath it all a lot of love. I know you like Sonny, so you might be interested in googling the history of Sonny and Mike…This was not just a father/dad warm and fuzzy thing…

rebecca1
rebecca1

LOL…meant father/son

dan
dan

Actually, Sonny is tolerable with certain characters – His dad being one of them. I’ll miss Ron Hale, but the character is needed and a good one. And it’s great to have more actors over a certain age getting jobs and characters getting story! And anytime family is built up on a soap it’s a good thing!

Dan
Dan

How lovely, they have room for yet another character on the canvas and room for another actor in the budget, but no room for Genie Francis. And after a few weeks have gone by, absolutely zero from Valentini, Varni, anyone at ABC with an explanation for why they did what they did. They clearly have no care at all for what the fans think. Until they do, I have no care to watch.

Jamesj75
Jamesj75

Exactly, Dan! Unfortunately, you are correct when you say: “They clearly have no care at all for what the fans think.”

Patrick
Patrick

I – TOO – am – SICK – of Sonny

su0000
su0000

Patrick!
He’s my Sonny! Be nice to him LOL ..

I – am – SICK – of Jason.

IF I were the writer I’d have Sonny shot Jason dead, then Sonny would be my personal hero !..

Harry
Harry

Look on the bright side, at least Sonny can stop piggy backing on the back Anna’s stories and get one of his own.
Anna has chemistry with just about everyone. She would have chemistry with a Chia pet. But when she and Sonny are in a scene together? The scene flat lines but I cannot fast forward through it because Anna is in it.

Jamesj75
Jamesj75

l certainly like Max Gail and fondly remember his work on Barney Miller. I channel the feelings of @Patrick in that regard.

However, what is the thinking?!?! Maurice Benard doesn’t have enough airtime as it is?!?!

Oh, I know. Maybe the thinking is this: “if we put Sonny in scenes with a sympathetic and comic father, perhaps Sonny will become more palatable to the audience.”

How many more years is GH going to continue this bombardment of Sonny and the mob onto the viewers? How many more years are they going to cater to this despicable character? How many more years will they continue to tarnish the legacy of a once great show by their misguided priorities?

This is ludicrous!

Patrick
Patrick

I was so taken, no ? rushed to express, then had to read other posts

yes, it’s ludicrous and infuriating

it seems.. now that Frank Valentini agenda, is out of the bag… as it were… he’s gone all Trumpette

no regard for any thing other than… heck perhaps it’s true that the writers themselves had no idea.. reason for Laura 180 degree turnaround. exit

it seems to me that Wes Ramsey is going to get bubblegummed out with Lulu and Maxie. I am sooooo glad that other posts see his blank acting . soooo glad

ie: MORE actors to fill and overload the Corinthos nest. it’s getting sketchy… whatever is going on behind the scenes with Frank Valentini. it’s ruptured and theres no way to get out of this.

Jamesj75
Jamesj75

Thanks for your reply, Patrick! You certainly add more backup and texture to my points. Thank you for that. I so often feel that my negative, repetitive commentary on Sonny et al. is tiresome for others here. Yet it is the force that beckons me to this site: to give this constant drumbeat of resentment for the misdirection this show has taken for 2+ decades. It invigorates and satisfies me to see so many like-minded viewers here.

Again, I ALWAYS enjoy reading your posts. Your insights and poetry are much appreciated, Friend!

Justin
Justin

Different producers have sacrificed so many great characters for this on character…..Sonny! I’ve never understood it. They have completely alienated long time viewers, especially with Genie’s dismissal. I miss the show that I grew up on and those characters that made me want to tune in everyday. Yes, some of those characters are there still, but like Anna for example, have thrown away their characters principals, for SONNY! When will it ever end.

James J Peters
James J Peters

Thank you, Justin! You are absolutely right! And, yes, it’s not just the current producer but also his predecessors. It really makes no sense. Glad you feel the same way. Take care, Friend!

jaybird369
jaybird369

James…HELL YEAH this is ludicrous!!!!! I (also) fondly remember Max Gail from the Barney Miller days. But…I am NOT FOOLED HERE!!!!! I mean…this is just an excuse (or whatever) for GH to give that scummy Sonny yet more airtime!!!!! ENOUGH ALREADY!!!!!!!!!!

Later, Brother.

Carla
Carla

You’ve got to be kidding me. This is ridiculous, your adding another member to sonny’s family BUT we lost Genie Francis. Come on GH fans STOP watching and let ABC know we are not happy and we mean business. No explanation from Frank Valentini and top brass at ABC about Genie yet…this is pathetic!!

Jamesj75
Jamesj75

Excellent points, Carla!

Debra m
Debra m

Remember him well from Barney Miller. Will be interesting to see how he works with Maurice.

dmr
dmr

I liked Ron Hale as Sonny’s father. I believe that he has retired from acting. This will just give “The Dimpled Don” more air-time. The Faison storyline has somehow become all about Sonny and Jason (oh, and Laura Wright’s boyfriend). As much as I like Sonny, I always have, it’s just a bit too much. Nothing seems to change, however.
I wonder if this guy was hired in a parking lot too?

boes
boes

I love Max Gail, but to echo many other comments, this means even more Sonny and that’s bad.
Very bad.

Shay
Shay

Max Gail is best known for his comedic work and rightly so….Thus, are we supposed to believe that Mike Corbin has suddenly become a laugh riot??? I really cannot reconcile soap vet Ron Hale’s serious portrayal of this character with that of an actor otherwise regarded as Wojo, and that is no slam to the talented and highly-amusing Mr. Gail, but since Hale is apparently unavailable to reprise his role, then why is it even deemed necessary to bring Mike Corbin back at all??? Seems like just another lame excuse to spotlight Sonny….for the thousandth or so time!

James J Peters
James J Peters

Amen, Shay!

Jamesj75
Jamesj75

Exactly, boes!

Hospi-tale
Hospi-tale

Cool, then bring on “The Fonz” as Sonny’s long-lost cousin and Mrs. Cunningham as his grandma….Chachi…not so much.

Shay
Shay

Or “Boom Boom Washington” for Aunt Stella….

Harry
Harry

Ha ha! I remember when the actress who plays Stella used to deliver her lines without SCREAMING!!!

jaybird369
jaybird369

Hey Shay…GOOD ONE…HAHAHAHAHA!!!!!

rebecca1
rebecca1

I like Max Gail
I miss Ron Hale
Just cool your angst
And watch the tale!

boes
boes

But a story with Sonny
Can’t help but be scummy
Even with his Dad
You know it’ll be bad.

rebecca1
rebecca1

Haha my dear Boes
I hear what you say
If we could we would
Push the Son far away

Jamesj75
Jamesj75

Good advice, my Friend, and indeed quite funny
But no one could ever pay me enough money
To watch with disdain and suffer the pain
Of even more screen time for Sonny! 🙂

rebecca1
rebecca1

I hear you my friend, I do feel your pain
What good does it do, To be filled with disdain
Let’s watch and first see, Let’s give it a whirl
Perhaps there’s no need for dismay to unfurl
The writing so clever
The story so rich
Lamenting not needed
No reason to switch…

The channel!

😉

Jamesj75
Jamesj75

This has been fun, Rebecca! 🙂 Take care.

Rebecca1
Rebecca1

ahhhh…gave up so soon!!!! you’re quite the rhymin’ simon! 😉

Timmm
Timmm

Does anyone have any solid proof ABC put Laura on recurring because of the budget? NO! She would have still been on the show occasionally but she decided against it. Quit blaming every actor on the show or a new guest actor just because you are bitter that the show had no long term plans for the character of Laura.

Steve
Steve

There was a long term plan for Laura. She was set to become mayor after a campaign against another beloved legacy character. The writers had to suddenly change the storyline.

Fans are not blaming the actors, but they are holding the EP accountable for casting ang budget decisions.

If Frank hires some dude in the parking lot and instructs his writers to create story for him, then yes, fans can speak up.

Timmm
Timmm

So Steve, Laura wins the election, then what? There is no drama in that. Who the hell tunes in and wants to know what is going on in the mayor’s office today! I suggest watching “Spin City.”

Reed
Reed

Steve, great insight, I hadn’t heard that anywhere before. I thought Genie was at the end of the 3-year deal she signed in 2015. That makes it even more egregious, in a very public and jarring way to the viewer, the EP scuttled two stories midstream, if you count Rebecca’s hasty exit, forcing the writers to piecemeal something together on the fly.

Physicians have their Hippocratic Oath of “first, do no harm” and I have to believe there are a set of precepts guiding executives and managers in their roles—even a crass “try not to f*%$ it up” would do—but I should not even know Frank’s name, if he’s doing his job right. Not impressed. Barbara Bloom, bide your time and you’ll get a crack at this soon enough. All we ask is that you observe the above advice (that Frank can’t seem to heed) and not pull a “CBS” on us…we’re kind of used to having our show around.

Reed
Reed

Timmm, appreciating your candor, as always. We’ll never get the whole story. A 1/27 EW.com story cites unnamed network executives about how contract renewals can go down and how the backlash by fans will likely yield nothing. Totally get the business side—planning, budgeting, projecting the story lines many months out—however, neither Genie’s impending story, nor contract status were sneaking up on anyone, so this still has all the earmarks of a major blunder by TPTB. With scenes taped generally six weeks in advance of airing, to allow the story to progress without having Genie locked in is squarely on management and was terribly disruptive to the entire production and ultimately the audience.

Conversely, without knowing the details of Genie’s on-again, off-again relationship with the show, it seems to have worked for her to come and go over the years, knowing that she always had a place to call home. It’s great to know you can “go home again” and nowhere is that more possible than in daytime. It’s just too bad that this time around the terms were going to be less favorable to the actress. It takes two to make a s-storm, and in no way did Frank help himself, but to be blunt, we weren’t renewing Susan Lucci or Erika Slezak, the heart and soul of their respective former shows. Beloved, iconic, a wonderful actress and human being, yes, Genie is all of those things, but her character had been neglected for too long and relegated to middling story at best. That things should pick up for her at contract time was fortuitous for her and a problem of their own making for management. Good for Genie for playing hardball but did it need to end that way? What kind of negotiation was this? It nearly degenerated into a Tyler Christopher fiasco where you had to recast to wrap the story. Still finding it difficult to believe it couldn’t have been handled better by both sides. And it’s never a good thing when the most compelling drama is going on behind the scenes.

Timmm
Timmm

Reed, thank god someone gets me! I love Genie. I want Genie on GH. BUT, what will she do? Okay, she wins the election. Then what? Her and Kevin are great together but where is the drama in that relationship? Lucky is not there. Nicholas is not there. Lulu is a train wreck! What do you do with Genie? Yes, she is daytime royalty BUT she doesnt anchor the show. She hasnt for 28 some years! Like you said, she isnt Lucci or Slezak. That is a fact. Take care.

Steve
Steve

It wasn’t even contract renewal time for Genie. Frank told her they were using an out window (i.e. network option) in her contract. Soap actors traditionally sign contracts that bind them to the show for a set number of years. The producer/network usually has 13 or 26 (veterans) week windows to cancel a contract at their whim. Genie didn’t have a choice to negotiate.

The same option period cancellation happened with Rebecca Budig and Robert Palmer Watkins.

Dean Morgan
Dean Morgan

I know I am going to come across crabby, but I never understand, in a time when there are only 4 soaps on the air, casting directors not seeking out soap alum for roles. Ron Hale was great as Mike. He also played on Ryan’s Hope for its entire run before GH, which I would say only helped him. I can think of so many actors- Kale Browne, Justin Deas, Jerry ver Dorn, and Dennis Parlato to name a few- who would have the acting chops to share scenes with Maurice and Laura, as well as daytime experience that could (and most likely would) bring in some former soap viewers. I am sure Max Gail is a talented actor. I just think GH would have served itself better to have a soap actor in the role.

Steve
Steve

While I agree that soap vets are usually better casting choices, the great actors you mentioned would steal the scenes from Maurice. Ron Hale started as Mike before Sonny/Maurice became the omnipresent character that he is today. Brown and VerDorn would drink MB’s milkshake.

dmr
dmr

I liked Ron Hale, from the ’90’s. I think he did a great job in the role.

dmr
dmr

Ron Hale retired from acting, I believe-unfortunately. He was great in the role.

Steve
Steve

Yes, that’s why he left the role in 2010. Frank (and the writers) knew this and they still went ahead with this storyline. It will lack the heartwarming effect that would’ve been there if Hale was still in the role, or if Gail had been on the show for a year or two.

The same thing happened last year with the recast Larry Ashton. Having a newbie in the role during Tracy’s departure took away from the story.

rebecca1
rebecca1

Just noticed your post, Steve, stating that Max Gail’s role as Mike will “lack the heartwarming effect”…he couldn’t BE more heartwarming! He is completely, totally endearing in this role and he melts me each time I see his worn, weathered, worried face. He’s really stepped into the role and made it his own.

Judy M Young
Judy M Young

I really like seeing General Hospital day in and day out. My biggest beef with seeing the show is when channel 7 chooses to interrupt the show for the dumbest reasons, short of world war three. Now to Max Gail taking the role of Sonny’s father that’s great and I watched most of Barney Miller so I know Max Gail can carry the role of Mike Sonny’s father. I believe this role gives the two actors Mr. Bernard and Mr. Gail a wonder chance to soar with their acting abilities. And I saw the show on 02/06/2018, I think this particular show could be one where Sonny not only finds the money he thinks Mike stole, but I think this could lead to Mike going through the beginnings of dementia. If this is something the writers could think about and use that would be wonderful. Of course there are other themes they could send Mike and Sonny through. I hope the dementia idea could be a consideration, anyway just a thought.
Judy

dmr
dmr

It seems as though the show will be touching upon Alzheimer’s/Dementia. The Young and the Restless did an amazing job tackling this medical issue. Unfortunately, I don’t have the same confidence in the writers at General Hospital. The writers constantly introduce new characters, then drop them, create storylines based on important social issues, then drop them (gay marriage/adoption, drug addiction, wounded heroes, etc.). Although, this storyline will include The Dimpled Don, so it will probably be given full attention. Somehow, it will revolve around Morgan’s death, like every other scene does-UGH.

Rebecca1
Rebecca1

I didn’t know that they might be doing a dementia story with Sonny’s father. That makes me sad. Mike was always such a great character and if they go this route it means the eventual loss of the character and many emotionally heavy scenarios which I’d rather not see. I LIKE escaping into the relationshiips on GH as well as the madness…but I don’t want to feel depressed. (although Nathan’s death certainly did the trick and gave me a good cathartic cry!)

Max Gail is fitting beautifully into this role. He’s not the Mike we’re used to, but when I saw his warm, friendly face smile at Sonny he melted my heart. I’d rather see them get closer…not because of illness but just because Mike has recovered from his addiction and can be more actively involved with his famil.

But now it all makes sense. Calling Carly Courtney. Probably never delivered the money but thought he did? Ugh. I’m already depressed thinking about the direction this is going…

Patrick
Patrick

“…I saw his warm, friendly face smile at Sonny he melted my heart ”

ditto

I thought the same … and yes… it validated my admiration of his acting and presence.

i’m glad the “girlfriend” is staying back. I didn’t get the chemistry thing.. but they had to present him somehow.

I was a little off put that Sonny…. after 5 years … would be “so , angry” after all this time. REALLY? have to power punch your worth, already ?

I – certainly – was not… put off from this new brand father and son.

Max Gail is charismatic enough to see this out.

hope he’s liking his new gig. like you… I hope he makes his way throughout ALL of Port Charles. let this man roam and randy about

as long as it’s not about Sonny – calling – all the shots

shoot.. I hope your last para isn’t happening that quickly. we need more moments and time of lucidity. I don’t’ know… more time to actually see Sonny in tender scenes… Carly sure can’t act that. here’s hoping … @Maurice Benard does with this opportunity.

I just don’t get how fans can truly see any real moments of sincere emotion out of either Sonny – or – Carly. where’s the fun and serial in these two.

let’s see Sonny open

rebecca1
rebecca1

I don’t know how long they’re going to run this story Patrick but I’m not a fan of it. Too depressing. I don’t mind if they show illness in a hospital story if the person eventually recovers; Anna comes to mind. Not that I like that they gave her an illness at all. I don’t. They also gave Alexis cancer. Thankfully both recovered and it’s barely mentioned. I don’t think escapism needs fatal illness. HATE IT!

So. I think this is going to be another tearjerker. Mike will come and stay with Sonny, they’ll get closer, there’ll be tender moments and gradually both Sonny and Carly will realize something’s not right. Then they’ll get the diagnosis and ugh…did I say…HATE IT!

With that said, and AS said, Max has already captured my heart…which will make it that much tougher to watch.

Ding! Ding! Ding! Is it too late? Can they say that Mike was slipped some hallucinogens…that one of Sonny’s enemies planted Mike’s girlfriend there and she is tampering with his mind??? And, then, in a true fairy tale ending all is right with the world????

Doubt it. 🙁

Breaking News

Brandon Barash Replaces Tyler Christopher At DAYS

According to reports from Soap Opera Digest and Daytime Confidential, former General Hospital favorite Brandon Barash has temporarily replaced Tyler Christopher, in the role of Stefan DiMera at Days of our Lives.

Photo Credit: JPI Studios

Brandon played mobster Johnny Zacchara on GH from 2007-2016.

Because DAYS tapes well in advance; look for Barash to hit the air sometime in early 2019.

What are your thoughts on Brandon as temp replacement for Tyler as Stefan O? Comment below.

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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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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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