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Then + Now: Jason James Richter from ‘Free Willy’

Jason James Richter Free Willy
Warner Bros.

Back in the ’90s, Jason James Richter saved a friendly killer whale from danger not once, not twice, but three times in the ‘Free Willy’ movies. But what’s he up to now that his rescue days are over?


Jason James Richter beat out over 4,000 kids for the role of Jesse, the troubled orphan who famously bonds with a captive killer whale named Willy and helps to set him free in the film ‘Free Willy.’ Richter reprised the role for two sequels, ‘Free Willy 2: The Adventure Home,’ and ‘Free Willy 3: The Rescue.’ You might have also seen the young actor in ‘The Neverending Story 3,’ ‘Cops and Robbersons,’ or the ‘Sabrina, the Teenage Witch’ television show.


Jason James Richter
Jason James Richter

When the ’90s ended, Jason James Richter took a step back from acting. He returned in 2009 for a small role in an episode of ‘Bones,’ and he appeared in an episode of ‘Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior’ in 2011. He currently has a film in production called ‘3 Solitude,’ scheduled for a 2014 release.

But acting isn’t his main focus anymore — Richter plays bass in a band called Fermata, and he even has a few face tattoos.

See Then + Now: Ariana Richards from 'Jurassic Park'

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