See the Kids From "Jurassic Park" Almost 30 Years Later
The actors have had seriously impressive careers since the beloved film's release in 1993.
It's been nearly 30 years since America was first captivated by Stephen Speilberg's sci-fi action blockbuster Jurassic Park. Its star-studded cast included Jeff Goldblum, Laura Dern, Sam Neill, and Samuel L. Jackson, among others, but it was the film's two child actors—Ariana Richards and Joseph Mazzello—that often stole the scene. Read on to see where the kids from Jurassic Park are now, nearly three decades after the film's debut.
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Ariana Richards is well-known for her Jurassic Park character Lex Murphy, the 13-year-old granddaughter of the theme park's creator, John Hammond (played by Richard Attenborough). Fans of the movie will forever remember the kid actor's most iconic on-screen moment: her spoonful of Jell-O trembling as she realizes she's being hunted by a deadly pair of velociraptors.
Having grown up in California with a film producer mother and an actress sister, Richards landed her first role—a single-episode appearance on The Golden Girls—when she was just nine years old. She later worked alongside Kevin Bacon in the sci-fi thriller Tremors. However, it wasn't until the 1993 release of Jurassic Park that she became a household name.
Following the film, she continued acting. In addition to reprising her role as Lex in the Jurassic Park sequel, Jurassic World, she appeared briefly on Boy Meets World, starred in the music video for the Ben Folds Five song "Brick," and made a Tremors sequel in 2001. In total, the actress has worked on over 40 films.
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Beyond her extensive career as a working child actor, Richards later went on to graduate with distinction from Skidmore College, where she earned a degree in fine art and drama. These days, she's an accomplished impressionist painter with a large portfolio of portrait and landscape paintings to her name.
"People ask me, 'So did you step away from acting or decide to leave the business? I let them know it's not about making a choice," she told Interview magazine in 2011. "Acting is always going to be something that's in my blood. It's more that my interest has been really taken by visual art and doing the oil paintings for people. But at the same time, I still have an agent. If some really interesting role came along and found me, I'm sure I'd be thrilled to do it."
In addition to her professional and creative endeavors, Richards is also a mother to five-year-old daughter Isabella.
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Mazzello began acting at the age of five, catching the acting bug after his older sister appeared in over 30 commercials. And ever since landing his famous Jurassic Park role as 11-year-old Tim Murphy, Lex's dinosaur-obsessed younger brother, he's continued working in Hollywood as an actor and screenwriter.
In the immediate years following Jurassic Park, he appeared alongside Anthony Hopkins in Shadowland, worked with Meryl Streep and Kevin Bacon in The River Wild, and starred beside Patrick Swayze in the drama Three Wishes. More recently, after attending film school at the University of Southern California (USC), he appeared in The Social Network and Bohemian Rhapsody, among other high-profile films.
Both Richards and Mazzello have shared that they still look back on their roles in Jurassic Park with fondness. After nearly three decades, the pair still wax nostalgic about the massive impact the movie has had on their lives.
"It's a film that touched so many people when it came out," reflected Richards in her conversation with Interview. "I was just 12 years old—I turned 13 during the filming—and it was one of those things where I just enjoyed the experience of creating the movie, and then everything that happened after, the whole landslide, was all a surprise."
Mazzello has also shared the pride he feels for the film, even after building an extensive Hollywood résumé over the years. "I would hold it up against any action movie, any monster movie, really anything. I just think the visual effects hold up really well, the story is beautiful. Spielberg, the way he was an artist with every shot, every single one, and you still feel it to this day—the care he took with everything," the actor told the fan site Jurassic Outpost in 2020.
"If there's one constant in my entire life, it is guys around my age telling me that they went and saw Jurassic Park four, five, six, or seven times in theaters and telling me how much they identified with me…Stuff like that warms my heart, knowing that I could be a part of something that was so special in people's lives," he said.