ABC Daytime fans were thrilled when GENERAL HOSPITAL announced in June of 2017 that daytime vet James DePaiva would be coming to Port Charles in a “top secret” role! GH shared a teaser video where the soap’s executive producer, Frank Valentini, walked around the corner and towards the camera on the hospital set. “Hey GH fans,” he said, “just when you thought it was safe to go back to the hospital…” He gestured off to the side, and the camera panned over to reveal DePaiva standing at the nurses station studying his script! The actor then took off his glasses and smiles into the camera. Check out the fun video right here!
DePaiva made his GH debut on July 5, 2017, as Dr. David Bensch, a specialist that Sam saw to try and figure out what was wrong with her. Unfortunately, at the time, all his tests showed was that she had an iron deficiency. It wasn't until much later that Finn and Griffin discovered Sam was suffering from toxoplasmosis. He has since recurred advising Kiki as she struggles with medical school and even briefly dating Alexis for a while. But many fans are worried that his interest in Kiki might go beyond the professional!
What does Dr. Bensch really want from Kiki? (Photo Credit: ABC/Valerie Durant)
DePaiva is best known to soap fans for his role of Max Holden on ONE LIFE TO LIVE, which he played from 1987-90 and again from 1991-2003. But unfortunately, Max didn't come to Port Charles as fellow OLTL castmate Hillary B. Smith did when Nora appeared for a handful of episodes as Valentin’s attorney. But even though he wasn't stepping into his old role, DePaiva had a blast on set, tweeting to Valentini: “Had a great time at GH today!”
In 2007, DePaiva made a brief return to OLTL for the 10,000th episode anniversary, but after leaving the soap, he stepped behind the camera, directing episodes of OLTL and the CBS sudser AS THE WORLD TURNS. He still continues to act, most recently playing Eddy Parish in the web series TAINTED DREAMS in 2016.
DePaiva with Susan Batten (Luna), Nathan Fillion (Joey), and Robin Strasser (Dorian) on OLTL in 1994. (Photo Credit: Ann Limongello/ABC via Getty Images)
DePaiva is married to his former OLTL castmate Kassie DePaiva, and they have a 20-year-old son, JQ. Kassie has shared the wonderful news that she is now cancer-free and has returned to her role as Eve Donovan on NBC's DAYS OF OUR LIVES.
As for how long Dr. Bensch will be sticking around Port Charles, and what kinds of storylines he's going to be involved in (keep your eyes open, Kiki!), you'll just have to stay tuned. And for more GH Casting news, keep reading the ABC edition of Soaps In Depth magazine!
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