Jewel Staite has spent the bulk of her career on the small screen. It is a career that, so far, has spanned 29 of the 38 years of her life. The Canadian actress spent her early years on Canadian TV but eventually crossed over to American television with great success. Firefly fans may not have seen her recently, but she’s been busy. Here’s where Jewel Staite and been and what she’s doing now.
HER EARLY ROLES
Jewel Staite got her career started as a nine-year-old playing the daughter of Lynda Carter (Wonder Woman TV series) in the movie Posing: Inspired by Three Real Stories. The following year would see Staite show up on an episode of The Odyssey as Labelia, a role that she would reprise one more time in the series.
During the remainder of the 90s, Jewel Staite appeared in many TV series as well as a couple of feature films. She was seen in Are You Afraid of the Dark, The X-Files, Space Cases, and she appeared in all 26 episodes of the short-lived TV series Flash Forward and co-starred with a very young Ben Foster (Lone Survivor, Hostiles).
Jewel Staite appeared in the movies Gold Diggers: The Secret of Bear Mountain and Carpool. Jewel Staite ended her run in the 90s with TV series after TV series that included Honey, I Shrunk the Kids: The TV Show, Sabrina: the Animated Series, Da Vinci’s Inquest and Nothing Too Good for a Cowboy. It’s hard to say if Jewel was restless or bound and determined to find that one series she could truly latch on to because she sure landed on many, many series.
JEWEL STAITE BOARDS FIREFLY
The 2000s started just like the 90s ended for Jewel Staite. More TV series with a couple of TV movies thrown in. She was seen in Higher Ground, The Immortal, Beyond Belief: Fact or Fiction, and Just Deal, as well as the TV movies Roughing It and Damaged Care.
However, it was in 2002 she became part of a TV show that would launch her into major cult stardom. The show was Joss Whedon’s Firefly. Though this was another of Jewel Staite TV series with an extremely short life span, Firefly left a permanent mark. She was joined on Firefly by Nathan Fillion, who would late go on to star in the hit series Castle and presently stars on The Rookie.
Even though Jewel Staite’s role as Kaylee Frye on Firefly lasted only one season and 14 episodes, the battle to keep the series running ended up with Whedon creating the movie Serenity, in which Staite reprised her role as Kaylee.
JEWEL STAITE STEPS THROUGH THE STARGATE
Firefly and the subsequent Serenity movie led Staite to another big role in her career, this time on Stargate: Atlantis. The sci-fi show ran for five seasons and Staite appeared in a third of the series’ 99 episodes.
On Stargate: Atlantis Jewel Staite played head medical doctor, Jennifer Keller, a role quite different from the one she played on Firefly. Jewel explained the difference between Frye and Keller in a Q & A.
With Frye: “She was the type of person you wanted to be best friends with, and it’s always been such a wonderful thing to carry with me, the feeling I get from fans that meet me where they feel like they know me and already like me!”
And then with Keller: “With Jen Keller, I didn’t want it to matter too much whether she was “liked” or not. As an actor, it was most important for me to depict her to be as real and as human as possible. Here’s a girl thrown completely out of her comfort zone in a land literally far, far away, thrust into a position she’s not sure she’s ready for—the anti-hero in a lot of respects. But when she’s in the zone in the med lab, in surgery, taking care of patients, she’s completely dialed-in and at ease. “
THE CURRENT STATE OF JEWEL STAITE’S CAREER
Things didn’t stop for Jewel Staite, not in the least. She continued to move on from series to series, TV movie to TV movie. She was seen in Supernatural, The L.A. Complex, Animism, The Killing, The Detectives, The Order, and most recently on The Magicians and Family Law.
Her movie resume includes The Christmas Ornament, A Frosty Affair, The Wrong Bed: Naked Pursuit, and Same Time Next Week. Jewel Staite also enjoyed a mini-reunion with Fillion on an episode of Castle.
HER LIFE NOW
Jewel Staite is married her second husband, Charlie Ritchie, in 2016. Their son Wilder Cathcart Ritchie was born in 2015.
When not busy being a mom or a working actress. Jewel Staite spends time raising money for good causes. She continues to raise funds for AIDs awareness, as she lost her uncle to an Aids-related illness. She took part in a Vancouver Aids memorial that named the local victims of AIDs.
Thankfully, it doesn’t look like the 38-year old actress has plans of slowing down her career. Unless you’re in Canada you may not have seen her on screen, but that doesn’t mean she’s not working. Jewel is currently the series lead on Family Law, an upcoming Canadian drama about an alcoholic lawyer (Jewel Staite) forced to work with estranged family members.