How can anyone forget the computer loving teenager, Lex Murphy from the iconic Steven Spielberg classic, Jurassic Park? Ariana Richards was the actress who gave life to the beloved character, and in turn, the role shot her to instant stardom. As a performer, Ariana showed real and enviable talent with every outing, managing to rake in a number of awards for her performances, including three Young Artist Awards for Best Young Actress for the movies Switched At Birth, Locked Up: A Mother’s Rage, and Jurassic Park. However, despite the success she recorded, she has since vanished from the acting scene and fans are left wondering what became of her.
Ariana Richards’ Background and Career Details
The Jurassic Park star was born on the 11th of September 1979 in Healdsburg, California. Her parents are Gary Richards and Darielle Garrison. Ariana’s father was a businessman, while her mother worked as a film producer and public relations officer. She has a sister named Bethany who is also an actress. On her mother’s side, Ariana can trace her ancestry to Italy as her maternal grandmother was a descendant of the famous Italian Renaissance painter Carlo Crivelli. The actress also has English and Irish ancestry.
After completing her early education, Ariana attended Skidmore College where she studied Fine Arts and Drama and graduated with honors. She then went on to enroll at the Art Center College of Design located in Pasadena, California.
Her first foray into acting was in the made for television film, Homeland, in the year 1987. Ariana followed this up with appearances in The Golden Girls, Prancer, My Sister Sam, I’m Gonna Git You Sucka, Empty Nest, and Face of the Enemy. In 1990, she starred in the cult classic, Tremors as the character Mindy Sterngood and would later reprise her role in the sequel Tremor 3: Back to Perfection.
Over the next decade, Ariana landed small and big roles in film and television projects like Spaced Invaders, Jurassic Park, Timescape, Switched at Birth, The Lost World: Jurassic Park, Against Her Will: An Incident in Baltimore, Total Security, Angus, Born Free: A New Adventure, and Broken Silence: A Moment of Truth. Between 2001 and 2013, Ariana stayed away from acting until she returned to take up a role in Battledogs. After the release of the film, the actress took another break from acting which she never returned from.
Why Did She Disappear From The Movies After Jurassic Park?
Ariana Richards’ acting credits may have dwindled since Jurassic Park, but the actress has had a very busy life. She pursued higher education and earned a degree. She also had a short-lived music career and released an album in December 1993 titled First Love, under the Japanese label Pony Canyon. The album has since gone out of circulation as it was only released in Japan. However, you can still listen to some of the tracks on YouTube. Her music was described as a blend of dance ballads with teen pop. In 2008, she briefly rekindled her music career by releasing a cover of the song The Prayer by David Foster.
Although she may not be widely recognized as an actress anymore, Ariana Richards is a well-known figure in the world of art where she built an impressive career as a painter. In 2005, she was awarded the first prize in the National Professional Oil Painting Competition for her work – The Lady of the Dahlias. The following year, Ariana received the Art of the West’s Award of Excellence. Her paintings are usually of figures and landscapes done in the style of the impressionists.
In January 2013, Ariana married her longtime boyfriend, Mark Bolton, an Irish stunt performer who once served in the Irish Defence Forces. The pair have made a home in Salem, Oregon, where they’re building their careers and raising their lovely daughter whom they welcomed into the family in 2015.
From all of the above, it is apparent that the actress let go of her acting career to pursue other interests and better develop her artistic skills which have equally got her the right recognition. Beyond that, the hassle of maintaining an active career while raising a family is something that can be very difficult to balance because one will definitely be neglected. Richards chose to raise her family away from the glare of the spotlight.