What is Jurassic Park’s Ariana Richards (Lex) doing now?


Get ready to indulge your inner child – Jurassic Park is being re-released in 3D today!

It’s been 20 years since moviegoers were introduced to the terrifying prehistoric reptiles in Steven Spielberg’s thrilling adaptation of Michael Crichton’s popular novel, which had us asking ourselves, “What ever happened to the actress who played Lex Murphy in Jurassic Park?” In case you don’t remember, Lex Murphy was the young granddaughter of entrepreneur, and Jurassic Park creator, John Hammond, and was invited to see the park along with her brother Tim (played by Joseph Mazzello) and the other leads in the movie played by Sam Neill, Laura Dern and Jeff Goldblum.

Lex was played by actress Ariana Richards, who was 14 at the time. Now 34, Ariana is still acting on occasion, but she has shifted most of her efforts into a different creative field: portrait painting!

After starring in Jurassic Park, Ariana appeared in a string of movies and guest-starred on a few TV shows. Ariana, who had released an album called First Love in 1993, the same year that Jurassic Park came out, was featured in the 1998 music video “Brick” by Ben Folds Five, portraying a high school student having an abortion.

She returned to the world of music in 1999; Ariana recorded a cover version of David Foster’s “The Prayer” in a duet with her longtime friend, Chris M. Allport. (You may know legendary musician, composer, and singer-songwriter David Foster from The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills — he is Yolanda Foster’s husband!)

Ariana earned a degree in Fine Art and Drama, with distinction, at Skidmore College, and continued with instruction at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena. She has become quite a successful artist, and has been called “one of most celebrated portrait artists of our time.” Ariana comes from an artistic family: she is a descendant of Renaissance painter Carlo Crivelli. She won first place in the National Professional Oil Painting Competition for her painting, Lady of the Dahlias. You can check out Ariana’s artwork on her website, GalleryAriana.com.

In the video below, Ariana discusses her experience starring in Jurassic Park:


Nowadays, Ariana is living in Salem, Oregon, and is apprenticing under a professional painter. Ariana is also still acting: she is starring in a TV movie, Battledogs, that premieres on the Syfy channel tomorrow, Saturday, April 6, a day after Jurassic Park 3D comes out. In 2011, Ariana told The Wall Street Journal, ““Sometimes I’m on the the pulse of what’s happening in Hollywood, but other times, I’m just totally absorbed by what I’m creating on the easel.”

Check out the trailer for Battledogs below:

And of course the ultimate question: now that Jurassic Park 4 seems like it’s definitely happening, would Ariana be up for starring in it? She told Moviefone, “You know, that is all about seeing a script. I have not seen a script for it yet, so I would need to see one before I actually say anything.”

Catch Ariana in Jurassic Park 3D today, April 5, and in Battledogs, Saturday, April 6, at 9/8c on Syfy.

On a side note, was Ariana’s character ever jokingly referred to as Tyrannosaurus Lex?