Freddie Prinze Jr.
- Born: March 8, 1976
- Married to: Sarah Michelle Gellar
- Children: 2
The promise of Freddie Prinze Jr. shouldn’t go without noting. The 46-year-old actor was an immediate hit once he arrived on the movie screen and it looked like he was going to take Hollywood by storm. Early on, he did. But lately? Where has Freddie Prinze Jr. been? Sure, he’s married to Sarah Michelle Gellar. But did you know he’s got some roles in the Star Wars Universe as well?
Let’s take a look at Freddie Prinze’s life, work, and what he’s been up to lately.
FREDDIE PRINZE IS KANAN JARRUS IN STAR WARS
While we haven’t seen much (or any) of Freddie Prinze Jr. on the big or small screen, he has been working. It’s been voice work and the actor has had some roles in the Star Wars franchise over the last few years.
Starting back in 2014, Freddie Prinze Jr. took the role of Kanan Jarrus in the animated series Star Wars: Rebels. The character was formerly Caleb Dune and had been a Jedi Padawan who eventually becomes a leader on the series. Prinze has voiced the role for 70 episodes.
And he even got a chance to step into the live-action version as well. That was in The Rise of Skywalker back in 2019. This was simply a voice role as well, one of those Jedi spirits helping to guide Daisey Ridley’s Rey. A small role for sure, but a role nonetheless.
HIS FATHER WAS COMEDIAN FREDDIE PRINZE SR.
Yes, Freddie Prinze is a junior. His father, the senior, died by suicide at the age of 22.
Back in the 70s, Freddie Prinze Sr. was an up-and-coming comic and TV personality. He started young as a stand-up and crossed over to television, performing on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson and The Dean Martin Celebrity Roasts. He even released a comedy album titled Looking Good, which turned into his famous catchphrase.
He turned this into a star turn on the hit TV series Chico and the Man and it seemed he was destined to go places. Sadly, it wasn’t to be. Freddie Prinze Sr. suffered from depression and when his wife filed for divorce, it sent him into a tailspin.
One night, as Prinze was visited by his manager, Freddie pulled out a gun, put it to his head, and shot himself. It was a tragic ending. He was 22 years old and Freddie Prinze Jr. had not even turned one year old.
FREDDIE PRINZE JR. MET WIFE SARAH MICHELLE GELLAR ON I KNOW WHAT YOU DID LAST SUMMER
Freddie Prinze Jr. didn’t waste any time. After appearing on an episode of Family Matters and an episode of ABC Afterschool Specials in the ’90s, Prinze Jr. jumped headfirst right into feature films. His first film role was in the movie To Gillian on Her 37th Birthday. The movie co-starred Peter Gallagher and Michelle Pfeifer and gave a boost to Prinze Jr’s budding movie career.
Things began to ramp up in 1997 for Freddie Prinze Jr. when he was involved in four projects, three features, and a TV movie. He started off with The House of Yes and ended with Sparkler. In between was the TV movie Detention: The Siege at Johnson High and the feature hit horror film I Know What You Did Last Summer. It was on this film that he met his future wife, the vampire-slaying Sarah Michelle Gellar.
He followed up that hit feature immediately with its sequel, I Still Know What You Did Last Summer, and it looked like Freddie Prinze Jr. was an actor on the path to stardom. He grabbed his first lead role in the romantic comedy She’s All That and followed it with another lead turn in the science-fiction actioner Wing Commander.
In his first five years as an actor, Prinze Jr. appeared in twelve projects and didn’t seem to be slowing down.
HE HAD A NUMBER OF ROM-COM FLOPS
With his success on She’s All That, Prinze Jr’s next four films attempted to take on that rom-com success. Unfortunately, it wasn’t in the cards.
He starred in Down to You (box office failure), Boys and Girls (box office failure), Head Over Heels (box office failure), and Summer Catch (box office failure). You get the picture. While it seemed like Freddie Prinze Jr. was well on his way to being a leading man, these movies appeared to sink much of that feeling.
Whether it was his acting or just the scripts he was choosing, isn’t exactly clear. What is clear is that Hollywood was beginning to become hesitant when it came to having Prinze Jr. lead a movie.
HE AND SARAH MICHELLE GELLAR TEAMED BACK UP FOR SCOOBY DOOBIE DOO
Freddie Prinze Jr. made what is known in the biz as a brief comeback when he starred as Fred in the live-action Scooby-Doo. In it, he played opposite his now-wife Sarah Michelle Gellar. The movie was a hit. Perhaps this was the thing to get Prinze Jr. back on track. It wasn’t, but we aren’t certain if it was more Hollywood or being a husband.
He followed up Scooby-Doo two years later with its sequel Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed and while that movie wasn’t as big as the first, it still was a hit. Those two movies in the franchise earned more than $450 million at the box office. From a studio perspective, these were more than worth it. Other reboot movies followed in the franchise, but Prinze wasn’t part of those.
He even parlayed that success into a TV series called Freddie. Unfortunately, low ratings sunk the series after only one season.
FREDDIE PRINZE JR. BEGAN WORKING WITH THE WWE
It’s not to say Freddie Prinze Jr. didn’t work after his success with Scooby-Doo. He did. It just became less and less until it finally just stopped. By stopped, we mean there were no more feature films coming.
Freddie Prinze Jr. transitioned over to TV after his final feature film role in 2008. In fact, one of his big ventures on TV was with the WWE. Freddie is a big wrestling fan and was able to convince Vince McMahon to let him be part of the activities. He performed various roles for the WWE in 2008 and 2009 and then came back in 2010-12 as a producer and director.
But if you ask Freddie Prinze Jr. why he moved away from features and pretty much acting altogether, he said in a nostalgic interview with Us Weekly, “I love being a full-time father. To remove myself from that equation would not be a good thing. I’m basically retired.” He has two children with Gellar and has spent most of his “retired” time raising them.
FREDDIE PRINZE JR. IS A VOICE ACTOR AND IS ON INSTAGRAM
On top of his stint with the WWE, Prinze Jr. found other outlets that didn’t include lengthy time in front of the camera. He has done a fair share of voice work too. In addition to the aforementioned Star Wars work, his voice has been heard on Robot Chicken and Bordertown.
It doesn’t stop there either. He has also lent his voice to the video games Mass Effect 3, Dragon Age: Inquisition, and Disney Infinity 3.0.
And from the acting side of things, Prinze Jr. never completely left Hollywood. He also appeared on TV series such as 24, Psych, and Bones.
Plus, there’s his Instagram account where he puts in plenty of work. With more than 1.1 million followers, Freddie Prinze Jr. will get on pretty regularly to answer fan questions, update career highlights, promote Sarah Michelle Gellar’s work and much more.
Oh, and Freddie Prinze Jr. may now be gearing up for a comeback of sorts. He recently rebooted the 1980’s sitcom, Punky Brewster, which brought back Soleil Moon Frye in the title role. In this version, Punky plays a single mom raising three children. Freddie Prinze Jr. plays her ex-husband. Of course, comedy ensues, something the actor can definitely pull off.
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It was certainly a big win for Sarah Michelle Gellar’s career.