‘General Hospital’: Why Rick Springfield Felt Like He Had to Take the Role of Noah Drake

Rick Springfield is widely known for his music, but he’s also a published author and an actor. While he has starred in several films and TV shows, many know Springfield for his role on the daytime soap opera, General Hospital. Becoming an actor wasn’t always Springfield’s career path — music was. Find out why the musician felt like he couldn’t pass on the part in General Hospital.

Rick Springfield Noah Drake 'General Hospital'
Dr. Noah Drake / Rick Springfield | Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images

Rick Springfield joined ‘General Hospital’ in the ’80s

Springfield first graced television sets as Noah Drake, the fictional M.D. on the daytime soap opera General Hospital in 1981. The heartthrob quickly became known for the role.

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Springfield was part of the General Hospital cast for two years. In 1983, he decided to invest in his music career, so the show sent Dr. Drake to Atlanta. While most of his career is rooted in music, Springfield continued to act. He has appeared in TV shows like Wonder Woman, The Rockford Files, and The Incredible Hulk. He also starred in movies, including Hard to Hold. To this day, Springfield continues to take on various roles. More recently, he starred in shows like American Horror Story: Coven, The Goldbergs, and Supernatural.

Dr. Noah Drake returned to ‘General Hospital’ after 22 years 

In 2005, after a 22-year absence from the show, Springfield reprised his role as Noah Drake for three more years. Springfield also returned for General Hospital‘s 50th anniversary in 2013. According to executive producer Jill Farren Phelps, it was important Springfield return — recasting wasn’t an option. “[Fans] feel a kindred association with the characters on the show,” she explained to the New York Times. “Rick is a special kind of a character because he has this other career. There’s a tremendous amount of nostalgia that surrounds Noah Drake and Rick Springfield.”

‘General Hospital’ helped kickstart Rick Springfield’s music career 

When Springfield was a regular on the soap opera, 14 million viewers were tuning in daily — a number which has diminished considerably to 3.5 million, according to the New York Times. “General Hospital [probably] had more to do with me getting known physically than MTV did,” Springfield once told PopMatters.com (via E! News).

Rick Springfield took the role on ‘General Hospital’ because he didn’t think his music career would work out 

When Springfield signed a contract with RCA Records to record Working Class Dog, neither he and his agent expected the album to do as well as it did. “I didn’t think anything would happen with [the album], so it was a big surprise all around,” Springfield told Billboard. “The first one that becomes a hit is always, ‘Oh my God, how did that happen?!'” 

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Jessie's Girl is 35 years young this week!

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Springfield recalled being in the studio after Tom Petty had recorded, adding that he would record from “3 in the morning until 7 [at night].” All of that hard work seemingly paid off. “Jessie’s Girl” became a hit, Springfield was beloved as Noah Drake on General Hospital, and his band was able to tour.

Working Class Dog means a lot to Springfield, but the success of the album humbles him. “It’s a great record — but, I mean, I’ve listened to a lot of great records that didn’t break careers, so it’s a gift too,” he continued. “I have great affection for it. It was a blast to record.” Many fans of Springfield also feel the album is a gift and have a blast whenever they put it on.