"I don’t know if I appreciate success more now,” confides musician and actor Rick Springfield to Closer in an exclusive new interview.“But I appreciate it differently. Look, there is still the little kid in me that is going, ‘Yahoo!’”
The Australian-born heartthrob, who marks his 66th birthday on Aug. 23, has lots to scream about these days. His career is on a major upswing thanks to the release of his latest album, Stripped Down, a memorable role on the HBO series True Detective and a plum part opposite Meryl Streep in this summer’s big-screen dramedy Ricki and the Flash.
Rick being honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2014. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)
But it hasn’t always been smooth sailing. The star, who first rose to fame with the megahit song “Jessie’s Girl” in 1981 — and became a sex symbol as Dr. Noah Drake on General Hospital — has battled decades of crippling depression and self-doubt. “I am busy doing lots of things I love,” acknowledges Rick. “But trust me, I am not a happy-go-lucky type of guy.”
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That’s no exaggeration. Rick was just 16 when he first attempted to take his own life. “Having suicide ride on my shoulders was not a lot of fun… and surviving that was a real high point for me,” he says. Even as he went on to tremendous success, selling more than 17 million albums, his demons followed, prompting years of therapy and hibernation from the spotlight.
Rick performing in 1970. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)
“I felt like a dumb kid for so long,” he says, noting that it wasn’t until recently that he found his confidence. “I don’t feel I need to prove myself to anyone any longer — I’ve worked hard to make [things] positive.”
Rick has been pouring himself into an array of high-profile creative projects, which offer the bonus of providing a much-needed emotional outlet. With another original record slated for release in early 2016, he plans to continue touring — “I get a natural high when I am onstage connecting with my fans,” he says — as well as tackle more acting challenges. Says Rick, “I love acting, and hope for more great parts.”
For the full story on Rick, pick up the latest issue Closer Weekly , on newsstands now!
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