Wednesday, July 1, 2009

WWATN: The Quintessential 90s Child Star...

In the early to mid nineties, there was a film that touched the hearts of parents and children alike. Free Willy, starring fresh-faced Jason James Richter, was a tale of friendship, sacrifice, and the unbelievable cuteness of a whale. In fact, such animals became so popular that a friend of my mom's even adopted me a whale in some sort of wildlife conservatory program that year for my birthday.

This past week, after watching countless tributes to Michael Jackson on MTV and VH1, I once again was reminded of the innocence of Free Willy and its stars (MJ had a song on the soundtrack, and clips were played over and over on a loop). Whatever became of Richter after the third Willy movie? I wondered.

Turns out that after a stint in a couple of other movies in the late nineties, including the adaptation of John Grisham's "The Client," and an episode of Sabrina The Teenage Witch that still reruns incessantly on ABC Family Channel, Richter disappeared for awhile. Where there was once a leading-man-boy now appeared to be just another ordinary twenty-something. Richter might be trying to get back in the acting game now, though; he has been sporting enough scruff to finally overcome the typecasting of his youth, and he was just featured on an episode of Bones. Though there he simply played Clown #2...so perhaps there is still a long way for Richter to go in order to transition into successful adult actor.

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