A 12-year-old street kid. A 3-ton killer whale. A magical friendship they could never imagine. An adventure they'll never forget. Wayward preteen Jesse is ordered by the court to clean up the faded Northwest Adventure Park, where he befriends Willy, the park's notoriously difficult orca. As the two misfits bond, Willy joyfully responds to Jesse's commands with a spectacular display of flips, rolls, leaps and dives. But Jesse discovers the park's owners plan to kill Willy. Now both Jesse and his whale friend must learn how to trust in order to accomplish a nearly impossible feat-to Free Willy.

  • PGHDSD
  • Jul 16, 1993
  • Family

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Cast & Crew

  • Jason James RichterActor

  • Lori PettyActor

  • August SchellenbergActor

  • Danielle HarrisActor

  • Michael IronsideActor

  • Michael MadsenActor

    Michael Madsen's long career spans nearly 40 years and more than 170 films in which he has played memorable characters in myriad box office hits, including: Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003), Kill Bill: Vol. 2 (2004) Sin City (2005), Hell Ride (2008), Die Another Day (2002), Donnie Brasco (1997), Species (1995), The Getaway (1994), Thelma & Louise (1991), and Free Willy (1993). Michael is notably recognized for his role as Mr. Blonde, in Quentin Tarantino's Reservoir Dogs (1992). Michael was born in Chicago, Illinois, to Elaine Madsen (née Melson), an Emmy-winning writer, producer, and poet, and Calvin Madsen, a firefighter. He is the brother of actress Virginia Madsen. His paternal grandparents were Danish. In recent years, Madsen has received Best Actor awards for his role in the Irish boxing film Strength and Honour, from the New York International Film Festival, the Boston Film Festival and the Downtown Los Angeles Film Festival. Madsen received the Golden Dolphin Award at the 25th Festroia Festival in Portugal, an award also given to veterans Kirk Douglas and Robert Mitchum. In 2012, Madsen was named President of the first annual Champs Elysees Film Festival in France which honored producer Harvey Weinstein. Recent television appearances include guest starring roles on The Mob Doctor (2012), Golden Boy (2013)and Blue Bloods (2010). Madsen is well recognized as an accomplished poet. His first book "Burning In Paradise" with a Foreword by Dennis Hopper, won the Independent Firecracker Award and was later translated into Norwegian. He has a world-wide following with his work, honored at International Poetry Festivals in Genoa, Italy and Mexico . He was recently the Guest of Honor at the Crossing Border Festival in Netherlands. His "The Complete Poetic Works" is an international bestseller. This was followed by his "Signs of Life" dedicated to Chris Penn. This unique work combined his new poetry with his own original photography. His next book of poetry "American Badass"was dedicated to the memory of the late David Carradine, his friend and Kill Bill co-star. His newest book "Expecting Rain" has a Foreword by Jerry Hopkins.
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  • Mykelti WilliamsonActor

    Perhaps best remembered for his touching performance as "Bubba" opposite Tom Hanks in the Academy Award-winning Forrest Gump (1994), Mykelti Williamson is one of the most sought-after actors in Hollywood, who has been steadily honing his craft since he first began acting professionally at the age of 18. This past fall Williamson starred as Lt. Philip Gerard, the hardnosed detective determined to recapture escaped convict Dr. Richard Kimble (Tim Daly) in CBS' update of the classic 1960's action series The Fugitive (2000). The son of an Air Force Staff Sergeant (father) and certified public accountant (mother), Williamson was born in St. Louis, MO, and began performing on the stage at the age of 9. Like many youngsters, he was enamored with the concept of television, and thought that the images he was seeing on the small screen were reality. It wasn't until his mother put him in a church play that he realized that what the people on the small screen were doing was performing. He was instantly hooked. At the age of 15, Williamson and his family settled in Los Angeles. A superb athlete, he excelled at both football and basketball, but the acting bug led him to quit sports and dance with the cheerleading squad, much to the chagrin of his coaches. Following graduation, Williamson began acting professionally, making appearances on television shows such as Starsky and Hutch (1975), Hill Street Blues (1981) and China Beach (1988), among others. He made his film debut in the Walter Hill-directed feature Streets of Fire (1984), opposite Diane Lane, Michael Paré and Willem Dafoe. He would subsequently appear in the feature The First Power (1990) with Lou Diamond Phillips, Miracle Mile (1988) with Anthony Edwards and Mare Winningham, Number One with a Bullet (1987), Wildcats (1986) and Free Willy (1993). Following his critically acclaimed performance in Forrest Gump (1994), Williamson starred in Forest Whitaker's Waiting to Exhale (1995); partnered with Al Pacino in Michael Mann's Heat (1995); Free Willy 2: The Adventure Home (1995), and starred alongside Nicolas Cage in Con Air (1997). Williamson was also seen in Mike Nichols' political drama Primary Colors (1998) (a cameo appearance which he did as a personal favor to Nichols and John Travolta) and Three Kings (1999), opposite George Clooney, Mark Wahlberg and Ice Cube. In 1996 Williamson returned to television when he starred opposite Delroy Lindo and Blair Underwood in the critically acclaimed HBO telefilm Soul of the Game (1996) and received rave reviews for his stirring portrayal of legendary Negro League baseball legend Josh Gibson. Williamson also starred in Buffalo Soldiers (1997) for TNT and 12 Angry Men (1997) for Showtime, as well as starring in the cable network's series The Hoop Life (1999). On stage Williamson starred with Samuel L. Jackson, D.B. Sweeney, Ellis Williams, Matt McGrath and Richard Reilly in Clark Gregg's ("What Lies Beneath") 1995's ensemble drama "Distant Fires", which earned the cast a prestigious L.A. Theatre Award. An avid sports fan and devoted family man, Williamson enjoys restoring classic cars and rodeoing in his free time. He currently lives in Los Angeles with his wife and two of his three daughters. Named by his grandfather for 'Spirit' or 'Silent Friend' in the language of Blackfeet Indians, Mykelti Williamson has quietly built a reputation in Hollywood as one of the most consistently proven actors in the business, delivering stirring and honest performances that always capture audiences.
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  • Richard RiehleActor

    Richard Riehle was born in Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin, to Mary Margaret (Walsh), a nurse, and Herbert John Riehle, an assistant postmaster. He is of German and Irish descent. Richard attended the University of Notre Dame, where he became heavily involved with the University Theatre. Appearing in such productions as "Luther", "Antigone", "Rhinoceros", "Romeo and Juliet", and "How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying", he also took on the task of stage manager on many of these productions, and it was not unusual to find him helping to build the sets or manage the costumes during this period. Graduating with a B.A. (cum laude) in 1970, Richard traveled to Salzburg and Innsbruck to study German, a language in which he is fluent. Progressing to Academy of Dramatic Art in Rochester, Michigan, Richard has had extensive experience as a stage actor, as well as teaching acting, and made his Broadway debut in 1986 with "Execution of Justice". One of his major triumphs in the theatre has been alongside Kevin Spacey in the acclaimed 1999 revival of O'Neill's "The Iceman Cometh", in which he played the drunken, corrupt ex-cop Pat McGloin. Brief appearances in Rooster Cogburn, The Duchess and Dirtwater Fox, Joy Ride, and Twice in a Lifetime, as well as in such TV fare as Escape From Hell (1977), Joe Kennedy: The Forgotten Kennedy (1977), and the NBC series "Hot Pursuit" (1984) have disguised an expanding repertory theatre portfolio. Richard has also contributed to such diverse undertakings as Bay Area Radio's Eugene O'Neill Project (playing Smithers to Joe Morton's Brutis Jones in "The Emperor Jones") and the Adams-Jefferson Project of Carleton College, participating in a series of recordings of the correspondence between the two US Presidents. To this day, Richard has maintained his involvement in theatre workshops and encouraging the dramatic arts under the auspices of the Mark Taper Forum and A.S.K. However, since his scene-stealing cameo as the Quartermaster in 1989's Glory, with his trademark bushy mustache and heavyset frame, Richard has acquitted himself as one of the best, and busiest, character players on TV and in the movies.
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  • Simon WincerDirector