Richard Burgi | General Hospital Actor

Richard Burgi
The stars of The Sentinel: Bruce Young, Richard Burgi, & Garett Maggart. UPN

Back in the Late '90s

One day, I picked up the phone, and a woman introduced herself as a publicist.

"I just want to know how you got an interview with Richard Burgi," she says. She handled publicity for The Sentinel, the show Burgi starred in from 1996-1999.

This was a while back, and I actually don't know how; I just know that I did. I did it again for Soaps in Depth magazine and interviewed Burgi about his roles on Another World and Days of Our Lives.

Though I can't remember details, I can remember his first words to me as I was setting up the first interview: "Call me after noon, and we'll swing, Baby."

Burgi is playing the manipulative, dark Paul Hornsby on General Hospital and proving that, at 57, he is as handsome, charismatic, and not to mention sexy as ever as he has Fifty Shades of Gray moments with Ava Jerome.

The character of Paul was on GH from 1991-1994, portrayed by Paul Satterfield. Hornsby was blackmailed by Cesar Faison into marrying Tracy Quartermaine; a son, Dillon, was the result.

Now he's Port Charles' District Attorney and has been busy. If he isn't in bed with Ava, he's blackmailing her, breaking into a hotel room, lying to Tracy, shooting someone, protecting Carlos Rivera, or being chloroformed and handcuffed to a railing by Anna Devane. Though he's a lying troll, he always acts sincere.

Soaps, Music, Theater, and L.A.

As mentioned, he Burgi is no stranger to soaps: Besides Another World and Days, he has also had roles on As the World Turns and One Life to Live.

This hard-workng actor was born in a suburb of Montclair, New Jersey. On his father's side, his grandparents were from Swiss immigrant families and of Swiss-German descent. 

It's a musical family: His father was a drummer, his mother a singer, and his brother, Chuck, is a drummer who has toured with Billy Joel, Hall & Oates, and worked on Broadway.

Burgi himself is an accomplished drummer also.

Involved in community theater as a youngster, Burgi started his acting career in New York after spending time in Europe. Ultimately, he moved to Los Angeles and made his first TV appearance in Chameleons in 1989. In 1994, he won the lead in the TV series, One West Waikiki.

The came the very popular show The Sentinel, which filmed in Vancouver. Burgi played Jim Ellison, an Army ranger who was in the Peruvian jungle for 18 months after his unit was killed. During that time, he developed hyperacute senses from surviving. He was termed a "sentinel" by anthropologist Blair Sandburg (Garett Maggart). A Sentinel is someone who uses their enhanced senses to protect their village.

Following The Sentinel, he had recurring roles on The District24, Judging Amy, Las Vegas, Desperate Housewives, One Tree HillBody of Proof, and many guest-starring roles and TV movies.

He also did another series, Point Pleasant, which ran for one season. One of the reviews written by a fan reads: "Goodness gracious me oh my! DO I loves me some Point Pleasant or what? And Burgi? Don't even get me started sister."  When the series was canceled, there was complete outrage, as there was with The Sentinel.

When it was canceled, viewer protests caused the network to add a half-season to tie up loose ends.

Burgi's films include Cellular, the remake of Fun with Dick and Jane, In Her Shoes, Hostel: Part II, Friday the 13th, and in 2016, he is playing President Gerald Ford in DecommissionedFord never had it so good.

This is obviously someone in demand.

Personal Life

"I've had three clear thoughts in my life. One, I was going to get married and have a family, one I was going to be an actor, and one I was going to surf," Burgi says.

Today he is married to Liliana Lopez and is the father of two sons, Jack, born in 1996, and Samuel, born in 2000. He is an active environmentalist, bird-watcher, drummer, surfer, and golfer. Where he finds the time is anyone's guess.