Staff Celebrates Richard Speight Jr.’s Birthday with Favorite Moments

Photo credit: @krphotographs

On September 4, 1970, Richard Speight Jr. was born. Now, years later, Rich graces our screens and our stages as an actor, director, convention Master of Ceremonies, and all around funny guy.

Today, on his birthday, our staff celebrates their favorite Rich moments. Happy Birthday, Rich!

 

Em:

I have two favorite Rich moments. The first time I got to meet him was when my niece and I did his meet and greet at our first convention in Nashville, TN. He is her favorite actor and it was her birthday so I thought that would be a fun present. One of the things he asked us was what were we most looking forward to over the con weekend and, without even thinking, I answered “meeting Rob” (Rob Benedict). While it was true, it was a total foot in mouth moment that Rich took and ran with the rest of the day. At our first photo op with Rich and Rob, he introduced me to Rob as a “massive fan” and told him “you’re her jam.” Then later that evening at karaoke ops he made sure that Matt Cohen knew I was a Rob fan too. His teasing made my first con one of the most awesome experiences of my life.

My other favorite moment was this year at our second convention, again in Nashville. Rich had given this amazing answer in regards to fan art at a previous convention and his words just hit my heart so hard. He included writers, and as a fandom poet it has always been incredibly hard to see fan art discussed as though artists and photographers are the only ones who exist within that realm. So few people publicly acknowledge writers as fan artists and for him to do it from a stage like it was no big, it was everything. I had written down the entire speech to carry with me but I didn’t have it there at the con. I jotted down the main lines that stuck with me on a piece of paper and had him sign it. Then I asked if I could say something to him. He said sure and I somehow managed to thank him for his words. When I told him I struggle with considering myself an artist because most people don’t consider writing part of fanart he looked at me like it was the most obvious thing in the world and said “It is art. Keep doing it.” It is moments like that that keep me working on my writing even when my confidence level drops and I think I should give up.

Rich has an incredible talent. Whatever his level of involvement in something, he puts everything he has into it and it shows. America 101 is one of my personal favorites. Not only does he put his all into his profession, but he uses his time on stage at Supernatural conventions to make sure that everyone feels welcome and like they belong. He makes sure that we know that we matter. He does so much to make sure that fans are happy and taken care of. He gives a lot of himself.

Happy Birthday, Rich. You deserve a great one.

Photo credit: @krphotographs

Kari:

My favorite Rich memory is when I was getting a photo op with him at the 2016 convention in Chicago, IL. I had decided to have him propose to me with a Ring Pop. It was lovely. Then Matt Cohen decided to put on the Donald Trump mask that the cast was scaring each other with and photobomb my op. Chris took the picture and Rich turned to Matt and said, “Hey! I’m trying to propose here!” It was very funny. It’s one of my favorite photo ops I have ever taken.

The thing that I absolutely adore about Rich is that he is deeply caring about the people in the Supernatural fandom. He tries to play everything off as a joke, but he cares a lot, and it means a lot to this writer.

I hope Rich has a magnificent birthday and that it is everything he wishes for. Happy Birthday, Rich.
Gisselle:

My favorite Rich memory happened during the Chicago convention in 2016. It was my very first Supernatural convention, and my first event was Richard’s Meet and Greet. I remember being incredibly nervous and shaky; prior to this convention, I had never once met a celebrity or a person of significance that I admired, and I was (and still am!) a huge fan of Richard. It was not so much intimidating for me as it was just me being eager to see him, and when Richard came in, all smiles and lively personality and approachable demeanor, I immediately felt comfortable.

The entire Meet and Greet was a wonderful experience, and during my turn in our introductions, I got to tell Richard that I was planning on studying abroad at Oxford the following summer. He immediately began encouraging me to pursue that goal, saying how amazing it was that I would be able to go and what a wonderful opportunity and experience it would be.

At the end of the event, Richard gave everyone a hug. Afterwards, he laid a hand on my shoulder, pointed at me, and said, “Seriously, definitely go to Oxford. You won’t regret it.”

Back home, I didn’t really have a lot of support in studying abroad, and Richard was the first one to tell me it was a great idea and that I should go ahead and do it. I ended up going to Oxford, and earned the equivalent to an A in my tutorials by the program’s end! I never once regretted going to Oxford; it proved to be an enriching experience, and I had an unforgettable time.

In that Meet and Greet, Richard encouraged and supported me in my academic pursuits, something that I had been lacking in my home life. It was a moment, but it was enough to help fuel my determination in studying abroad and giving myself that opportunity. I hope he realizes the role he played not only in my story, but in everyone else’s. Happy birthday, Richard!

 

Sarah:

Today we celebrate Richard Speight Jr., a quick-witted talented actor, director, writer, musician and a man who has us owning/wearing merchandise with ‘Big Bag of Dicks’ on them for charity.

The first show I remember seeing him in was Running the Halls, a show about teens at a boarding school. From there he usually ended up in my favorite shows Band of Brothers, The Agency, Jericho, Justified, Kings of Con and finally Supernatural. Whenever I hear he is involved in a project I get excited for another opportunity to see him transform into the character.  Not to mention he has the singing voice of a country angel.

Although I have yet to meet him in person (next year) to have an in-person favorite memory, from what I have seen and heard he is very thoughtful, encouraging and humorous and his friendliness on social media makes me feel as if I have.  For now, the only memory I have of Rich is being able to watch him grow as an actor and master his craft in the shows and movies I watched him in since 1993.

So, here’s to you, Happy Birthday Rich.Cheers!

 

Photo credit: @paths2treadpics

Brianna:

There are so many things to love about Rich, but there are two things I especially admire about him. I’ve never had the good fortune of meeting Rich, but one of my absolute favorite things is the amazing stories fellow fans tell after meeting him. Without fail those stories always talk about how special Rich makes them feel, how generous he is with his time and how genuinely happy he is to meet his fans. He is always charming, funny and genuine. Fans come away with a truly unique personal story and a wonderful memory they get to cherish forever!

My second favorite thing is, of course, his talent both on screen and behind the camera. Rich’s ability to breathe life into every character he plays is amazing to watch. Whether it’s a serious, dramatic scene or a perfectly timed comedic reply, Rich’s pure talent is obvious. His directorial skills are also wonderful to watch, and many of my favorite episodes of Supernatural are those that Rich directed.

This fandom is lucky to have such an amazing actor and all-around great person who cares so much. Rich gives 100% whether he is acting, directing or interacting with fans at cons.

Happy Birthday Rich, I hope your day is everything you wish and more!
Deb:

My favorite Rich moment actually happened at my very first photo op with him at the New Orleans, LA convention last year. I have been a fan of Rich’s since before his days on Jericho, but I had never gotten the opportunity to see him in person.

I was excited to finally meet him. The convention was just a few days before Halloween, so I had chosen to take my photo in costume with Rich and Matt Cohen during Friday night karaoke. I was dressed all in black with tiger ears and a tail. Rich and Matt were in black and white full face skeleton makeup. They looked amazing!

I was crazy nervous so I had a friend do the op with me.  When I walked up to the guys, I told Rich that it was his choice what we did for a pose.  He didn’t miss a beat, he grabbed me, said “You come here,” and tucked me under his arm. He did the same to my friend and then looked at Matt and said, “Matt, @%$& off!”

It was hilarious and it was all I could do not to laugh myself silly at that moment. The photo turned out great and has become one of my favorites. The pouting look on Matt’s face was priceless.

Thank you Rich for one of my most treasured con moments. It still makes me laugh whenever I think about it.  I hope you have a birthday that is as memorable for you as your photo op is for me.

Happy Birthday!

 

Our entire staff wishes Rich a wonderful birthday filled with joy, love and cake!

Emily

Emily is a editor and senior staff writer for Nerds and Beyond, as well as a senior at Simmons University studying Public Relations and Journalism. An avid fangirl and media connoisseur, when Emily is not thinking of her next article topic, she is planning for her next convention, chatting about the latest book she has read or binge-watching her favorite nerdy shows on Netflix. Find Emily on Instagram and Twitter at @emilycoleyeah

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