'General Hospital' Star Maurice Benard Has Emotional Reunion with Air Force Daughter — Watch!

·2 min read

Benard and his wife adopted Heather Andresen in 2008 when she was 15 years old

Christopher Willard/ABC via Getty
Christopher Willard/ABC via Getty

Maurice Benard got a special surprise on the Tamron Hall Show Thursday.

The General Hospital actor, 60, had been discussing his family with host Tamron Hall, when a picture of his daughter Heather Andresen showed up on the screen. The actor got visibly emotional as Hall explained that Benard hadn't seen her since October of last year, due to her service in the U.S. Air Force.

"Oh, don't do that," Benard said as a picture of Andresen showed up on the screen and Hall said, "You haven't seen her in a long time and you haven't seen her in uniform."

"You're not the only one that made a special trip today. She wanted to be here," Hall hinted, before introducing: "Your daughter, Airman First Class Heather Andresen."

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Andresen came out dressed in uniform, and the reunited father and daughter shared an emotional hug before Benard broke down in tears on the guest couch.

"These surprises kill me," Benard jokingly said, adding with a chuckle, "I am so proud of her, and I can't talk. So, uh, can I leave?"

"You were adopted by your half-sister, Maurice's beautiful wife [Paula Smith Benard]," Hall said to Andresen. "And that changed the trajectory of your lives."

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Andresen was legally adopted at the age of 15 by Benard and his wife after the unexpected death of her mother in 2008. In an interview with ABC Soaps In-Depth at the time, he said that they made the decision so that they could "now give [Heather] everything that she couldn't have had before."

"The most beautiful thing that I shouldn't say, 'cause then I'm not going to be able to talk…" Benard told Hall as he teared up. "When we adopted her, we were talking in the room, and Paula, my wife, and her were talking about how happy we were. At one point [Heather] said, 'Can I call you Mom?' And I was good on, worse than I am now."

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"We just wanted to share this moment because you are a remarkable person, not only an actor that we've fallen in love with for over 30 years, but a good soul, a good human," Hall said while also tearing up. "And Heather, we're so happy and proud of you."

Benard and his wife Paula, whom he married in 1990, also share daughters Cailey, 28, and Cassidy, 23; and son Joshua, 18.

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