What 'Free Willy' Child star Jason James Richter has been up to ahead of the film's 25th anniversary

Two decades and a half after 1993's Free Willy made Jason James Richter a star at just 11 years old, Richter is still acting today.

2018 marks the 25th anniversary of the beloved film, which starred Richter as Jesse, a foster child who befriends a captive orca named Willy. Eventually, Jesse helps set Willy free after learning of a plot to kill the whale for his million-dollar insurance policy.

The film was an incredible hit, grossing more than $150 million worldwide.

Richer, who is now 38, starred in an number of films after Free Willy, including its sequels, Free Willy 2: The Adventure Home and Free Willy 3: The Rescue. He also appeared on the small screen, making appearances on Bones, Sabrina, the Teenage Witch and Criminal Minds.

Richter is still acting today -- his projects this year include the upcoming Ghost in the Graveyard, Infidelity and 818. The actor is also active on Instagram, giving fans a look at what a grown-up Jesse looks like today.

Interestingly enough, the controversial captivity of killer whales -- and its possible dangers for both humans and mammals -- was brought back into the spotlight in 2013 thanks to the hit documentary Blackfish. Male orca whale Tilikum -- who was profiled in the film after he killed trainer Dawn Brancheau in 2010 when he pulled her into the pool following a "Dine With Shamu" show at Seaworld -- died last January.


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