Rick Springfield (born Richard Lewis Springthorpe on 23 August 1949) is an Australian singer-songwriter, musician, and actor A member of the pop rock group Zoot from 1969 to 1971, he had an initial career as a charismatic 'teen idol'; he started his string of solo works with a debut single, called "Speak to the Sky", that reached the top 10 in Australia. In mid-1972, he relocated to the U.S., evolving into a more strident new wave and power pop sound as the years passed. Respected a serious musician while also having a huge following, he had a #1 hit with "Jessie's Girl" in 1981 in both Australia and the U.S.
He received the Grammy Award for Best Male Rock Vocal Performance for "Jessie's Girl", which proved to be a career breakout moment. He followed with four more top 10 U.S. rock hits: "I've Done Everything for You", "Don't Talk to Strangers", "Affair of the Heart", and "Love Somebody". His two U.S. top 10 albums are 1981's 'Working Class Dog' and 1982's 'Success Hasn't Spoiled Me Yet', releases featuring an energetic sound earning both commercial and critical successes. As an actor, he portrayed the popular Dr. Noah Drake on the daytime drama 'General Hospital' from 1981 to 1983, and he sprang back into the role during 2005 to 2008 and 2012, returning again in 2013 for the show's 50th anniversary with his son (and fellow actor) Liam Springthorpe.
Though having gigantic success in the early to mid-80s, Springfield felt totally exhausted with the pressures of stardom. He would end up devoting more time to his personal and family life, though still releasing albums through the late 80s and onward. In 2010, Springfield published his well-received autobiography, titled 'Late, Late at Night: A Memoir', which detailed these struggles.
Born Richard Lewis Springthorpe, later adopting "Rick Springfield" in his performing days, in South Wentworthville on 23 August 1949, he spent the early part of his life around the western suburbs of Sydney, Australia. The son of Eileen and Norman Springthorpe, the latter a Australian Army career officer, he also has an older brother, Mike Springthorpe. Due to his father's Army career, the Springthorpe family moved to London, England, where they lived between 1960 to 1962. The family moved back to Australia in June 1962, where they settled in the Melbourne suburb of Ormond.
Inspired by the 60s pop rock boom around him, the young Rick Springfield took naturally to singing and songwriting. However, commercial success would come in sudden bursts for him, with the performer facing bouts of 'teen idol' worship (even spending a time doing music for kids as a sort of cartoon Mister Rogers from 1973 to 1975, with those songs put into his 'Mission Magic!' album) that concealed his desire to be taken seriously as a musician. Fully embracing a power pop and new wave sound, as played by contemporaries such as Cheap Trick, The Cars, and others, finally helped him hit the big time in a dramatic way. As well, in October 1984, Springfield married his longtime girlfriend, Barbara Porter, in his family's church in Australia.
When being interviewed about his autobiography, Springfield admitted that he dated while married, and that it was a problem that he has overcome. He mentioned in particular dating Linda Blair, Demi Moore, Connie Hamzy, Morgana Welch, and Geraldine Edwards (the inspiration for Penny Lane in 'Almost Famous'). Though on top of the world for a time, things proved unstable and uncertain. In 1985, when his first son was born and after the release of his 'Tao' album, Springfield took a break from his musical career to spend more time with his family, as stated before. He also resolved to deal with the off-and-on depression that had affected him since his adolescence. Springfield had suffered much in the 70s due to both the serious illness of his father, who died on 24 April 1981, and difficulties dealing with people in the music industry.
Recently, a new feature documentary, titled 'An Affair of the Heart: The Journey of Rick Springfield and his Devoted Fans, was filmed in 2010. The movie started on the film festival circuit in the spring of 2012. The performer's latest work is 2015's 'Stripped Down', a combination of covers, new material, and re-recorded tracks from his past that has attracted some critical praise. Read more...
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