Maurice Benard with Catherine Hickland and Todd Fisher on SOM, part 2
Soap Hub called the first part of Maurice Benard’s State Of Mind video podcast with longtime friend Catherine Hickland and her husband, Todd Fisher, incredible. And it was. The promise of more to come in part two did not disappoint.
Maurice Benard: state of mind
In this episode, the trio dove deep into the history of the Fisher family, from their birth as a life companion destined for Carrie Fisher to her mother’s last words. They discussed Debbie Reynolds’ many charitable accomplishments and struggles as a mother and touched on Hickland’s (Lindsay on OLTL; Tess on Loving and The City; Julie on Capital; and Courtney on Texas) overcoming her worst fear – flying – to build his career in Hollywood. on his own terms.
Todd Fisher: A Lesson in Grieving
Maurice Benard, who captivates audiences weekly on General Hospital as Sonny Corinthos, sat down with Hickland and Fisher at their Las Vegas home. Their home is essentially a museum that pays homage to a legendary Hollywood family – Debbie Reynolds, Carrie Fisher and her younger brother [Todd], tons of entertainment memorabilia, plus Hickland’s incredible career highlights. The host and guests touched on the shadow looming in the room — the consecutive passing of Carrie on December 27, 2016, and her mother, Reynolds, the following day.
Fisher explained how he and Hickland dealt with the loss of his sister. “If we weren’t believers, and that was the end of it, you would feel awful, but if you think about the fact that she was also freed from that awful burden [mental illness]. And it’s a burden. His life has been a struggle. It was a beautiful thing, but it was also a difficult thing.
Along with her mother, the loss came as no surprise as she had suffered a stroke the previous year that the public was unaware of, so there was emotional preparation in place. He was in the room when Reynolds announced, “I have to be with Carrie,” and within minutes she closed her eyes, fell asleep, and never woke up again. He felt at peace. “It was just the most graceful exit on earth. My mother knew how to have an entrance and an exit.
Catherine Hickland: Overcoming Fear
Watching Hickland and Fisher interact, it’s clear that they support each other and share a similar philosophy on life. He admired his wife’s approach to building her acting career on her own terms.
The veteran soap star opened up about how she overcame her fear of flying to take a job as a flight attendant [now referred to as flight attendant] make a living while pursuing his goal of working in Hollywood. By chance, the airline was looking for a hostess to represent them in an advertisement [‘Fly Me’ advertising campaign]. She auditioned and won the role, earning her a spot in the Screen Actors Guild. His advice to others is, “No matter what road you take, what’s meant to happen will happen, as long as you do the work.” As long as you have your eye on the prize, it will happen if it’s meant to.
Benard, Fisher and Hickland had so much more to share about mental health and Reynolds’ many charitable contributions, including fundraising and co-founding The Thalians, a mental health facility at Cedars Sinai Hospital. Fisher opened up about growing up as one of the “three compadres,” growing up as Carrie’s younger brother, and his mother’s fierce strength in the face of adversity. Watch the gripping interview in full here.
Benard revealed how the couple helped him through one of his darkest times and how grateful he was. Part of State Of Mind’s success is Benard’s empathy for his guests. His own experiences, shared in his hit memoir Nothing General About It: How Love (and Lithium) Saved Me On and Off General Hospitalgives her a unique base from which others can share their stories and help others along the way.
Follow Catherine Hickland on Twitter and instagram. Follow Todd Fisher on Twitter and instagramor check out its official website at www.toddfisher.com. To subscribe to State of mind on YouTube for all episodes, and follow the show on Twitter and instagram. Follow Maurice Bénard on Twitter, instagramand ICT Tac.
General Hospital (GH) airs weekdays on ABC. Check your local listings for airtime. For more on what’s going on in Port Charles, check out all the latest GH spoiler posts, and for an in-depth look at the show’s history, click here.
— Maurice Bénard (@MauriceBénard) August 21, 2022