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What Lex From Jurassic Park Looks Like Today

Nearly three decades ago, the first film in the original "Jurassic Park" trilogy forever altered audiences' understanding of what special effects could do. The bar setting flick thrilled and terrified moviegoers with its hyper-realistic dinosaurs, tense pacing, and hard earned jump scares. While much of the movie's appeal can be attributed to its revolutionary visual impact, many of those popcorn spilling startles are memorable for the glass shattering screams that accompanied them. 

Those shrill screams were delivered by spunky pre-teen Alexis Murphy (a.k.a. Lex), played by none other than child actor Ariana Richards. Richard's current site, galleryariana.com, reveals it was a combination of her powerful pipes and Spielberg's wife, Kate Capshaw, that ultimately landed her the role. "Ariana's ear-splitting audition tape woke up Capshaw," the site explains, "who ran into the hallway screaming, 'Steven, Steven, are the kids okay?" Apparently, that's how Spielberg knew she was "the one." 

Although Richards dabbled in acting for a few more years, she was ultimately drawn to another form of art. 

Actress Ariana Richards had some interesting roles after Jurassic Park

After the success of the first "Jurassic Park," Ariana Richards went on to appear in Patrick Read Johnson's "Angus" as unattainable class beauty Melissa Lefevre. This was the same film that introduced audiences to a football jersey-clad James Van Der Beek four years before "Varsity Blues." While Richards landed multiple roles in various TV movies throughout the mid and late nineties, her return to Steven Spielberg's brainchild in the 1997 sequel to "Jurassic Park," "The Lost World," is what most fans will remember as her last major film.

As recently as 2013, Richards returned to the world of television movies with her portrayal of Donna Voorhees in director Alexander Yellen's "Battledogs." Although the film was pretty much universally panned by those who saw it (it has an audience score of just 15% on Rotten Tomatoes), it wasn't devoid of potential. "In spite of being a shameless re-working of 'The Incredible Hulk,'" wrote Cinema-Crazed's Felix Vasquez, "Director Yellen takes a creative premise and turns it in to an entertaining B movie with a very good cast of genre notables. With more re-tooling, a better studio, and a bigger budget this could be a hell of a great movie." Though Vasquez admitted that he "just (wants) to see more of Ariana Richards."

Luckily, the actress hasn't gone anywhere. She's just chosen to embrace the art world more than the movie world as of late.

You can buy gorgeous raptor art from Lex herself!

Nowadays, Ariana Richards is a successful and critically-acclaimed artist whose impressionistic portraits have earned her a devoted following and a number of magazine covers in the art world. According to her official website, she became the first young female artist to land an invitation to the renowned "California Art Club" in the early 2000s. She then went on to graduate with a Bachelor's Degree in Fine Art and Drama from Skidmore College.

While she's doing more painting than "dinosaur surviving" these days, there was a time when the two went hand-in-hand. As Richards shared on her Twitter in 2018, her first self portrait was a water color reimagining of the infamous shaking Jell-O scene in "Jurassic Park." Fans of the actress and of her break out role can even order a print of her rendering, titled "Raptor Vision."

Although "Battledogs" offered some hope that fans might see her on the big or little screen again someday, it seems Richards is content to give her infamous vocal chords a rest.