Celebrities | Movies | Pop Culture | 90s

'Free Willy' Came Out 25 Years Ago, But Where Is The Star Of The Movie Now?

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Watching Free Willy as a kid made us all appreciate whales a little bit more than we did. We didn't realize what it was really like for the animals in those amusement parks, and while it was a fictional story, it was sad to see.

But luckily, Jesse was there to stop the evil plan that was put in place to drain Willy's tank so the amusement park owners could claim the $1 million insurance money. Jesse helps Willy escape, of course by using a super high jump that of course we all remember as the most iconic scene of the movie.

Even if you've never seen the movie, or if it has been a long time since you've seen it last, you absolutely will remember that scene.

Free Willy Jump Scene
Warner Bros

The movie came out in 1993, so this year marks the 25th anniversary. Not only is it the 25th anniversary of Free Willy, but it's also been 25 years since the debut of the star of that movie, Jason James Richter.

Richter's very first role was in Free Willy, and he was up against over 4,000 actors for the part. He went through a long and arduous audition process, but obviously it was worth it.

The movie was a huge success and would actually go on to inspire two sequels, an animated series, and a spin off over a decade later.

But while we knew the fate of Willy, it's Richter that we are a lot more curious about. Where did the young star go after he was done saving whales from near death situations?

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