Rick Springfield Returns to 'General Hospital' with Real-Life Son!

Liam Springthorpe joins his dad, who's reprising Dr. Noah Drake for the show's 50th anniversary

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Photo: Jay Gilbert

The doctor is in. Again.

Rick Springfield, 63, will reprise his role as Dr. Noah Drake on General Hospital for several episodes in April, he tells PEOPLE exclusively.

As the ABC soap opera marks its 50th anniversary, the "Jessie's Girl" singer will also be joined by his son, Liam Springthorpe, who will make his debut appearance on the show as an undercover cop.

Springfield, who last appeared on the show in March 2012, says the good doctor has a lot of personal baggage to deal with.

"He lost his wife and became a drunk and regretted all these terrible, sinful ways and then cleaned his act up when he almost died from the alcohol," says Springfield. "Now he disappears all the time, going to Doctors Without Borders and going around the world helping people. I guess he's gone from a drunk to being incredibly altruistic. I'm not nearly as altruistic as Noah Drake is."

Springfield, who hasn't begun filming yet, looks forward to seeing his former costars again.

"I don't think any of us are good at keeping in touch," he says. "It's like workmates that you like, or you get together with an old band and you are instantly back to where you were. There's nothing that needs to be maintained. It wasn't that kind of friendship. It was a work thing."

Springthorpe says he "feels a bit weird" being on the same show as his father, but he's "putting aside the fact that this show sort of launched my dad and just kind of taking it for what it is."

As far as they know, they do not have any scenes together, but Springthorpe actually finds that a relief.

"I think it makes it much more pleasing and applicable for me because I think at least for me personally, I have always tried to keep a bit of distance from my father's path, and respectfully so," Springthorpe, who has own band called History Lessons, says. "I think this is a really good way to kind of go about getting my foot in the door, meanwhile being comfortable in the process."

PEOPLE Celebrates General Hospital hits newsstands nationwide on March 1, and is also available in hardcover wherever books are sold on March 12. Buy yours on Amazon today!

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