Born: September 11, 1979
Birthplace: Healdsburg, California, U.S.
Ariana Clarice Richards (born September 11, 1979) is an American actress and painter. She is best known for her role as Lex Murphy in the blockbuster film Jurassic Park. Richards won several Young Artist Awards for her acting, but since adulthood has focused on her art career.
Richards was born in Healdsburg, California, the daughter of Darielle (née Garrison), a public relations representative and film producer, and Gary Richards. Her sister, Bethany, is also an actress. Her maternal grandmother, who was of Italian ancestry, was a descendant of Renaissance painter Carlo Crivelli. Richards is also a descendant of boxer John L. Sullivan and a distant cousin of Gabourey Sidibe.
She graduated from Skidmore College in 2001, earning a degree in Fine Art and Drama, with distinction. She continued with instruction at Art Center College of Design, Pasadena, California.
Richards married Mark Bolton in Oregon in January 2013; the couple have a daughter.
Richards made her acting debut in 1987's Into the Homeland, a made-for-cable release that starred Powers Boothe. Her most notable appearance was as Lex Murphy in the first Jurassic Park film; she reprised the role very briefly in the sequel The Lost World: Jurassic Park. She also appeared as Mindy Sterngood in the first Tremors film and reprised her role in the second sequel Tremors 3: Back to Perfection, which went straight to video. She has been featured in other films such as Angus, where she played a high school cheerleader; she also appeared on television episodes of The Golden Girls, Empty Nest and Boy Meets World.
In addition to acting in movies, Richards appeared in the 1998 music video "Brick" by Ben Folds Five, portraying a high school student having an abortion. She appeared in the September 2006 issue of the British movie magazine Empire discussing a possible return to acting. Richards starred in the 2013 film Battledogs, shot in Buffalo, New York.
In February 2014, Richards was voted #98 on VH1's 100 Greatest Child Stars.
|1988||I'm Gonna Git You Sucka||Little Girl|
|1989||Face of the Enemy||Voice only|
|1993||Jurassic Park||Lex Murphy||Film adaption of the novel|
|1997||Lost World: Jurassic Park, TheThe Lost World: Jurassic Park||Lex Murphy||Film adaption of the novel
|2001||Tremors 3: Back to Perfection||Mindy Sterngood||Direct-to-video|
|2013||Battledogs||Donna Voorhees||Was titled "Ward's Island"|
|1987||Golden Girls, TheThe Golden Girls||Lisa||Episode: "And Then There Was One"|
|1987||Into the Homeland||Ember Swallow (age 5 & 7)||Television film|
|1988||My Sister Sam||Morgan||Episode: "Life, Death and Admiral Andy"|
|1989||Empty Nest||Phoebe Swenson||Episode: "Harry Snubs Laverne"|
|1990||Island Son||Tess Delaney||Episode: "Viruses"|
|1990||The Incident||Nancy||Television film|
|1991||Switched at Birth||Kimberly Mays, Age 9-11||Television film|
|1992||Locked Up: A Mother's Rage||Kelly Gallagher||Television film|
|1992||Against Her Will: An Incident in Baltimore||Nancy||Television film|
|1995||Capitol Critters||President's Granddaughter||Voice only
Episode: "If Lovin' You Is Wrong, I Don't Wanna Be Rat"
|1996||Born Free: A New Adventure||Valerie Porter||Television film|
|1996||Boy Meets World||Claire Ferguson||Episode: "Dangerous Secret"|
|1997||Total Security||Karen Dieboldt||Episode: "Who's Poppa?"|
|1997||Princess Stallion, TheThe Princess Stallion||Sarah Stewart||Television film|
|1998||Broken Silence: A Moment of Truth Movie (a.k.a. Race Against Fear)||Mickey Carlyle||Television film|
In 1993, Richards released the album First Love on the Pony Canyon label in Japan. The album was a mix between teen-pop and dance-friendly ballads of the early 1990s. There was also a single released in very small volume. Ariana and her mother wrote the words to the track "You're the Reason".
Richards has become a successful artist. Her paintings, usually of landscapes and figures, tend to be in the style of the impressionists. In October 2005, she won first place in the National Professional Oil Painting Competition (sponsored by American Artist magazine) for the painting Lady of the Dahlias.
As of 2013 Richards lived in Salem, Oregon, and was apprenticing under a professional painter.