The Rick Springfield Accent: American Or Australian?

Many people consider Rick to be an American, and he’s fooled many a fan with his accent. To the majority of us he sounds American, but consult with your Springfield trivia and you’ll soon discover his Australian roots.

He was born in Sydney on the south east coast of Australia in August 1949. Interestingly, back in those days he wasn’t Rick Springfield at all – his birth name was Richard Springthorpe, or to be precise Richard Lewis Springthorpe.

Son to Eileen and Norman Springthorpe, he didn’t use the stage surname Springfield until his professional career began. The name change also explains why his son uses the name Liam Springthorpe, with some fans mistakenly believing it was Liam Springthorpe that changed his name.

As Rick moved to the US following his musical success and later demand for his acting, he gradually developed more of an American twang, just like anyone else picks up the speech traits of those around them.

In addition, he sought the services of vocal coach (for speaking, not singing!) in the mid seventies to help develop his Americanisms. Rick joked to Metro contributor Matt Prigge in 2015 that back then no-one knew where Australia was, and were surprised he spoke English at all.

Over the years, Springfield had also played roles in many popular American series, so while a lot of his accent has morphed simply by living in areas like Malibu California, he’s also learned to speak more like the natives in developing his characters like Dr Noah on General Hospital along with other roles like Mike Roark the pilot episode of the TV version of the Incredible Hulk.

To some Americans, Rick Springfield’s accent still sounds clearly Australian, whereas to most Australians, he’s now entirely American. It’s the nature of how similar somebody sounds to the pronunciation of words you hear every day.


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