Richard Speight Jr. was raised in Nashville, Tennessee, the son of Barbara and Richard Speight. He has two older sisters, Barby and Lindy. Richard attended Montgomery Bell Academy and the University of Southern California’s School of Theater, graduating cum laude. While at USC, he met and befriended writer and director Stephen Chbosky. Richard appeared in Chbosky’s senior showcase piece, and then years later, the two teamed up on the CBS series Jericho, which Chbosky co-created.
Richard’s earlier work included the film, Ernest Goes to Camp and a regular role on the NBC Saturday morning sitcom, Running the Halls. He appeared in the films Thank You for Smoking, Speed 2: Cruise Control, The Last Big Attraction, plus a starring role in Jason Reitman’s short film, In God We Trust. Other productions include La Musica Provata, The Week, Mucho Dinero, Brick Madness, The Evil Gene, and Bad, Bad Men.
On TV Richard has starred in commercials for such brands as Got Milk?; IBM; Pepsi; and Disney. He played Sgt. Warren “Skip” Muck in the Golden Globe and Emmy Award-winning World War II miniseries, Band of Brothers, produced for HBO by Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg.
In 2007, he landed a recurring role on “the now longest-running sci-fi series in the history of American broadcast television” Supernatural, where he played ‘The Trickster/Loki’ (later revealed to be the Archangel Gabriel). He made a surprise return in 2018 in the dual roles of Gabriel and Loki in Season 13 episode “Unfinished Business”, while simultaneously directing the episode himself. In one scene, those two characters fight each other, which means that in a rare television moment, it was Speight vs. Speight directed by Speight.
Richard also had a recurring role on Justified, and guest starred on shows such as Life, Memphis Beat, Longmire, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation (2014) and Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders (2017), The Agency, ER, Jericho, Party of Five and JAG.
Speight is a close friend of actor Rob Benedict. Together, they created the comedy web-series, Kings of Con, based on their experiences together at conventions for Supernatural. Speight is co-writer, producer, director, and actor in Kings of Con, and plays a “heightened version of himself” as character Richard Slate. With the support of a successful Indiegogo campaign, the series launched on November 15, 2016 at Comic Con Headquarters in the U.S., and internationally through multiple platforms.
In addition to acting in TV and film, Speight also directs. His directing career began with co-directing/co-starring in the independent feature North Beach (2004). A copy of this work is being preserved as part of SF History section at San Francisco Public Library.
In 2013, Speight wrote and directed the satirical social comedy America 101. The festival darling and award-winning 10-minute short stars Band of Brothers veteran, Rick Gomez and co-stars Amy Gumenick, and North Beach alumni Jayden Lund and Jim Hanna. The short feature is described: “One man’s life becomes the lesson of the day when he takes a frenetic ride through his own personal version of the American experience.”
The success of America 101 launched Speight into the world of commercial directing. He has helmed several spots for Pepsi among other major national brands.
Following his success in commercial directing and rigorous preparation in Warner Bros’ TV Director’s Workshop, Speight made his debut as a TV show director on Supernatural’s season 11 episode “Just My Imagination” – the first episode to have been nominated for a Hugo award in the show’s 15-year history. In the season 13 episode “Unfinished Business”, Speight masterfully both acted and directed himself in the dual characters of Gabriel and Loki. He continued to direct a few episodes each season throughout 11-15, achieving a total of eleven episodes by the show’s end in spring 2020 making him the top “8th” Director of Supernatural by Episode Count. Speight’s TV directing career continues to evolve with Netflix’s Lucifer, CW’s Kung Fu, and Walker (TV series).
At the beginning of the Coronavirus Pandemic in 2020, Benedict and Speight teamed up again to brighten their communities with their own podcast series …And My Guest Is Richard Speight, each episode offering original perspectives of COVID-19 life in lockdown. It has since evolved into Kings of Con: The Podcast, a much anticipated revival of the Speight-Benedict brand.
Continuing the legacy of Supernatural, the two host a weekly podcast Supernatural: Then and Now (2022), revisiting every episode along with the show’s cast & crew as guests.
Outside of film and TV, Richard is a talented musician and performer, and has been a part of the music industry both on and off screen. A guitar and bass player with over two decades of experience, Speight’s music career has been a colourful collaboration with many gifted artists.
As musician, Speight has been in several bands. He was lead vocalist and bass player in a cover band in high school called The Distortion Hawgs (1986) and was as the guitarist of the band Fugitive Pope (1993). During college years, he was in the band Strange Neighbors (1989) with actor/harmonica player Tim Omundson.
Richard participates as a guest singer on several albums by singer songwriter & producer Jason Manns – Christmas with Friends (2014), Covers with Friends (2016), and Recovering with Friends (2018).
Speight released his debut album with a Country band “Dick Jr. & The Volunteers” called The Dance and How To Do It produced by Jason Manns in 2019, and is a beloved guest performer with indie rock band Louden Swain. As an actor, he has been featured in music video for two of Slayer’s trilogy You Against You and Pride in Prejudice, showcasing his strength in acting for horror genre. As director, Speight completed his first music video for Louden Swain’s rock song called Bandaged Hand, using only an iPhone and a spare few hours during his convention tours.
Richard has attended multiple All Hell Breaks Loose events in Australia and we look forward to welcoming him back to Melbourne in 2024!