RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- Triangle fans of the hit ABC daytime drama "General Hospital" got a rare look inside the life of Maurice Benard.
On Thursday night, Benard performed at Goodnight's Comedy Club in Raleigh, drawing in nearly 500 fans to hear about his life and struggles with bipolar disorder.
Benard, who plays mob boss Sonny Corinthos, is celebrating his 30th anniversary with "General Hospital," and he's been on the road all summer sharing stories and meeting fans.
"There's a connection, I call it kinda like the communion with the audience," Benard said.
While he's been in the same role for 30 years, Benard said both he and Sonny are very different today than when he first appeared in Port Charles.
"In the past, he was a lot more intense, a lot darker. Same with me. And you know, I've changed, I'm not as intense or dark...so it goes hand in hand," he said.
Not only has Benard played the same character for three decades, but he has done it while suffering from bipolar disorder.
Benard is now an advocate for mental health awareness, and has a New York Times bestselling book as well as a weekly show on YouTube called "State of Mind".
He says doing this tour has opened his eyes to the difference he's making.
"You don't know until you get out into the country and the feedback you get, then you say 'Oh man, this is something,'" Benard said.
Though he will always be known for the role he's played on television for so many years, Benard said it's not what he wants his legacy to be.
"I don't care -- if on my gravestone it says "the bipolar guy who changed some lives", that would be cool," he said.
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