Maurice Benard - Famous Bipolar Actor
Maurice Benard is an American actor, known for his advocacy for bipolar disorder. He was born on March 1st, 1963 in Martinez, California. He is famous for his role in General Hospital, a soap opera on ABC television. He received a Daytime Emmy Award as Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series.
At a young age, he featured on the soap opera All My Children, ushering him into his acting career. He only became passionate about acting in his early 20s. He later appeared on many television series as guest actor. He appeared on the movie Lucy and Desi on CBS television. He also starred in Ruby and Mi Vida Loca and many other feature films.
At age 22, Benard was diagnosed and hospitalized with bipolar disorder. Bernard has spoken publicly about his struggles. He had a breakdown when he was working on his passion of becoming an actor and another one later on. He admits that his role in the General Hospital opera was the exact representation of his personality. All his life, he has been impulsive and unpredictable. He maintains a personal appearance of being calm at all times but really had conflict going on within him. Nobody knows what he is feeling or thinking. He is now on medication. Bernard took to fighting and drinking when he was a teen. As he points out, he was brought up to be aggressive. He drank alcohol and did drugs on a regular basis.
Benard has since become a bipolar disorder activist. His role in the General Hospital opera is one way that he is using for the betterment of the public as he says he is educating the public on the illness. Benard features as a young man who has the disease and portrays exactly how the depressive act and behave. He also modifies the script to portray exactly what he wants. He is determined to raise as much public awareness about the disease as possible. He also works as the spokesperson for the Mental Health America for their public service awareness campaign. This campaign is dubbed “Bipolar Disorder: Do You Know It?” He also speaks for the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance.
Benard has won many awards for being an actor and also as an advocate for bipolar disorder. He was nominated as Outstanding Male Newcomer in 1989 for the Soap Opera Digest Award, for his role in “All My Children”. He was also awarded in 2001 for his role in “General Hospital”. He was nominated for the ALMA Award for two consecutive times; in 2000, 2001. Benard was awarded “Outstanding Actor in a Daytime Drama” award in 2002 and honored for Erasing the Stigma Mental Health Leadership Award. He was also awarded 2003 Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor and was nominated for the same award in 2004.
Benard met Paula at the age of 22 when she was 16. They have since been married and have four children. Bernard receives an annual salary of $2 million and lives in Temecula with his family.
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