The terrifying time General Hospital's Réal Andrews thought he'd never see Maurice Benard again

Posted Monday, April 08, 2024 1:33:49 PM
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When General Hospital stars Maurice Benard and Réal Andrews met during lockdown, Andrews was shocked by what he saw.

General Hospital's Maurice Benard (Sonny Corinthos) has never made a secret of his mental health struggles and was openly talking about his bipolar disorder in the 1990s, years before many stigmas were removed from mental health battles.

In November of 2023, he admitted that his struggles came to the forefront when the world had shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Suddenly, his entire life changed, and he admitted that he would stare at a tree outside at his home and considered hanging himself; thankfully, something stopped him. After that, he became a fierce mental health proponent in the hopes that he could help others who felt the same way.

On the April 7 episode of his mental health podcast, Maurice Benard: State of Mind, the actor discussed that time with co-star Réal Andrews (Marcus Taggert), a man who has been one of his closest friends for decades.

The two stars recalled the time Andrews came to visit Benard during the pandemic, unannounced. Andrews said he knew in his heart that his friend was going through a hard time and felt compelled to see visit him, despite social distancing rules. Benard admitted that Andrews was one of his only visitors during those months. He didn't want to see Andrews because he didn't want anyone to see him in the state he was in.

Andrews was emotional when he explained why he felt he had to visit Benard that day.

"I saw a broken man who was just trying to be strong...I think it was maybe an hour and a half, two-hour drive to your house, and we all have these moments when we should reach out to someone...I want to say to people, don't ignore that," Andrews stressed. "The universe is so huge that you think it's a coincidence. It was just on my heart that I just needed to go."

The actors broke down in tears as he continued to describe what he saw.

"When I am sitting there, I'm watching a man fighting for his life," Andrews said. "Full transparency, I didn't want to leave. I thought that might be the last time that I see you. I didn't want to leave. I love you too much."

Andrews admitted that he tried to stay lighthearted and make innocuous conversation, but he could see in his friend's eyes that he was struggling.

Benard thought talking about what happened was important, even if his psychiatrist had asked him to stop dwelling on that time.

"My psychiatrist is like, 'you need to get over the past,' but that was kinda the scariest time for me, and that's why I can't let it go," Benard said. "It's a topic that helps people who watch State of Mind [because] my life was rewarded tenfold after that."

If you or anyone else needs help, call or text 988 for the national suicide crisis helpline.

Are you surprised to hear what Maurice Benard went through during COVID? If you or anyone else needs help, do not hesitate to call or text 988 for the national suicide crisis helpline. We want to hear from you -- so drop your comments in the Comments section below, tweet about it on Twitter, share it on Facebook, or chat about it on our Message Boards.

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