'Free Willy' came out 22 years ago, and here's what young Jesse looks like now 3 years ago

'Free Willy' came out 22 years ago, and here's what young Jesse looks like now

Free Willy! was released in 1993 in the US and 1994 in Europe, and it was a massive part of so many British people's childhoods.

It starred actor Jason James Richter, who was then 13-years-old, as a troubled kid who got caught by police for stealing food and vandalising a theme park.

giphy (8)

(via Giphy)

He then finds a foster home, and begins to work at the theme park to pay them back for his antics. While there, he becomes attached to Willy, an orca (killer whale), and the whole film is about their bond.

https://www.instagram.com/p/5fwsZZDIyB/?taken-by=jason_james_richter

Two decades later, Jason James Richter is now aged 36, and continues to act, while also playing music in a band.


https://www.instagram.com/p/2z0dXHDI-7/?taken-by=jason_james_richter

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Shot from Driver. #grateful #indyfilm #DriverFilm #actor

A post shared by Jason👀Richter (@jason_james_richter) on

 

https://www.instagram.com/p/BBQ9Z4lDIws/?taken-by=jason_james_richter

After Free Willy, Richter starred in two sequels to the movie, as well as a second sequel to The Neverending Story. But aside from some TV work - including in Sabrina The Teenage Witch - and short movies, he's mostly left screen acting behind him now.

https://www.instagram.com/p/2rq3EGjIwJ/?taken-by=jason_james_richter

https://www.instagram.com/p/-R8EhYjI58/?taken-by=jason_james_richter

Here he is doing a spot of carpool karaoke:

https://www.instagram.com/p/7j0RaaDI6v/?taken-by=jason_james_richter

But even if he's not an A-list star today, Jason still seems to have precious memories of his time as a child star:

https://www.instagram.com/p/zTcHzojI-9/?taken-by=jason_james_richter