See how the former child actor ‘Jesse’ from ‘Free Willy’ is doing today


Jason James Ritcher was born in 1980 in Medford, Oregon to an actress and a navy officer.

He walked into the entertainment industry at the age of 3 after moving to Honolulu, Hawaii. He always loved acting from a young age.

“My mom had been an actress and had gone through the process. One day, I got too big and said, “I want to do this … “ It wasn’t something that was ever brought up to me like, “Oh, do you think you want to do this?” It all happened very naturally. One day, she came home, and I was like, “I want to do this!” She was upset because she had a bad audition, which you have from time to time as an actor. She asked if I was sure about it and I said, “I’ve been watching these people do this. I know all these words, so I could do that too!” Jason explained.

Jason James Ritcher became one of the promising actors in Hollywood after appearing in Free Willy, which premiered in 1993. The movie was a huge success as it helped to raise wild animals in captivity and also $153.6 million from a $20 million budget.

Jason James Ritcher told IconvsIcon in 2018, ”I had no clue. It was my first film and I never had any idea if it would be a success or not. It was amazing to make!


As I said, it was my first film and when you are a kid, you don’t see any of the ugly stuff that happens on set and it’s a positive experience. Everybody who worked on that movie was great and I have fond memories of them.”

While getting ready for his role, Jason had to spend weeks with Orca Keiko.

“You don’t see the danger. At 11 years old, you’re just like, ‘Oh my God, a whale! That’s amazing! This will be awesome!’ Had I been 17, I might have been like, ‘Hey, this thing is going to bite my hand off,’ but when you’re 11 you’re just like, ‘Oh, wow. Cool. Let me touch it,’” Richter told Daily Beast in 2013

As a child, Jason loved acting, but at the age of 18, he decided to change his career path and went into music. He started working with a band even though along the line he missed acting and gave it a shot.

Today he works as a producer and a director and doing great for himself. We wish him all the best.

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