A Hair-Raising Beginning
For actor Chad Duell, it was supposed to be the best of times, except that he made his first appearance as Michael Corinthos III at the worst of times. Duell, as Michael, found himself in the center of the big Claudia Zacchara murder trial -- and that's how he started as Michael! Rather than let the previous Michael, Drew Garrett, finish that particular story arc, the producers let him go in the middle of it. As the new Michael, Duell not only had to start at a histrionic high (and learn 50-60 pages of dialogue in one day), but he could practically feel the resentment from fans as he was doing so. On top of which, he had bad hair.
The Winding Road to Michael
The Arizona native heard from his mother, a hairdresser, immediately, on the subject of his hairstyle. The last thing Duell was thinking about was his hair, but he didn't like the way it looked either and had it cut. He then continued to win over fans and coworkers as Michael. At 23, Duell is more mature-looking than Drew Garrett and has a deeper voice. It took some getting used to, as viewers liked Drew Garrett. The actors liked Garrett, too.
It's obvious, given the Pentonville storyline, that the producers felt they needed a less boyish actor. Duell auditioned for the role of the older Michael originally, and got close to the role. The casting people liked him, and he was brought in to audition for another role. That character, who was intended as a love interest for Kristina, was never introduced on the show. (Sort of like Valentine, the most evil of all Cassadines, whom we never saw.) Then, during a three-day whirlwind, he became Michael and seems to have won everyone over with his excellent acting. He credits Steve Burton for all his help in the beginning, and gets along very well with his other co-stars.
Moving to Los Angeles
Born September 14, 1987, Chad Duell attended Mountainside Middle School and Desert Mountain High School in Scottsdale, Arizona. He was active in football and drama in high school. Upon graduation, Duell moved to LA to pursue his dream of acting professionally. In 2008, he landed his first job, as Holden in The Suite Life on Deck. He did two episodes. This was followed by The Wizards of Waverly Place as Ronald Longscape, Jr., for two episodes. He was cast in 2010 on General Hospital and debuted on April 20, 2010.
Duell is a huge football fan, particularly of the Arizona Cardinals. The 6' tall actor loves to swim, box, run track and field, and, of course, play football. He enjoys playing video games. He'd also love a chance to appear on Dancing with the Stars.
Since joining the cast of General Hospital, Duell has gotten married and divorced. He is currently dating his GH costar, Kristen Alderson.