Krysten Alyce Ritter (born 16 December 1981) is an American actress, director, musician, author, and model. She came to prominence when she appeared as Jane Margolis in the AMC drama series Breaking Bad from 2009 to 2010. She then had the title (and lead) role in two series: Chloe in the ABC sitcom Don’t Trust the B—- in Apartment 23 (2012–2013), and superhero Jessica Jones in the Netflix series Jessica Jones (2015–2019). She also appeared as Jessica Jones in the 2017 miniseries The Defenders, and reprised her role as Jane Margolis in the 2019 Breaking Bad spinoff TV film El Camino.
Ritter has also appeared in the television series Veronica Mars, Gilmore Girls, ‘Til Death, and Gravity. She appeared in the films What Happens in Vegas (2008), Confessions of a Shopaholic (2009), She’s Out of My League (2010), Veronica Mars (2014), Big Eyes (2014), and The Hero (2017).
Early Life and Career
Ritter was born in Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania, the daughter of Garry Ritter and Kathi Taylor. She was raised in rural Shickshinny, Pennsylvania, where her mother, stepfather and sister live; her father lives in nearby Benton. She is of German, Scottish, and English descent. She graduated from Northwest Area High School in 2000.
Ritter was scouted by a modeling agent at her local shopping mall, the Wyoming Valley Mall, at the age of 15, at a modeling event. Ritter says she was “tall, gawky, awkward, and really, really skinny” to Philadelphia Style magazine. While in high school, she traveled to New York City, modeling there and in Philadelphia. She signed with the Elite Model Management agency and Wilhelmina Models. Ritter moved to New York City, and established an international-modeling career in print ads and on television. She did magazine, catalog, and runway work in Tokyo, New York, Paris, and Milan.
Ritter’s acting career began after Wilhelmina placed her for an audition for a Dr Pepper television commercial. Ritter told Philadelphia Style her “outgoing and bubbly and funny” personality as a performer helped her transition into acting by entertaining the casting people. She won several bit film roles starting in 2001, then played a 1950s art history student in Mona Lisa Smile (2003). In 2006, she appeared in All This Intimacy, a two-act, Off-Broadway play by Rajiv Joseph, at the Second Stage Theatre. Ritter signed on to star in the premiere of Zach Braff’s play, All New People, at Second Stage Theatre. Anna Camp, David Wilson Barnes and Justin Bartha co-starred in the production under the direction of Peter DuBois.
Ritter portrayed guest roles on television, and appeared on the second season of Veronica Mars, playing Gia Goodman, the daughter of mayor Woody Goodman (Steve Guttenberg). Ritter was on Gilmore Girls for eight episodes 2006-07 as Rory Gilmore’s friend, Lucy. She also played the first iteration of Allison Stark on the Fox sitcom ‘Til Death (it eventually had four actresses play that role through its run).
Ritter continued working in film, often cast as the best friend of the lead character. In 2008, she had supporting roles in the romantic comedies What Happens in Vegas and 27 Dresses. She co-starred in the 2009 film Confessions of a Shopaholic as Suze, the best friend of Isla Fisher’s character. Ritter spent three months shooting She’s Out of My League in Pittsburgh in 2008. She played Patty, the cynical best friend of Alice Eve’s character Molly.
Ritter was cast as a young Carol Rhodes in an episode of The CW’s teen drama series Gossip Girl titled “Valley Girls” broadcast May 11, 2009. The episode was a backdoor pilot for a proposed spin-off series of the same title, set in 1980s Los Angeles; it was intended to chronicle the teenage years of the character Lily van der Woodsen. Ritter described her character Carol, Lily’s sister, as “the outcast”, and “an ’80s Sunset Strip rocker” to Access Hollywood. The series was not picked up by the network for the 2009–10 season.
Ritter appeared as the character Jane Margolis on the second season of AMC’s drama series Breaking Bad, and starred in the film How to Make Love to a Woman (2009), based on a best-selling book by adult film star Jenna Jameson. She also co-starred with Jason Behr in the independent film The Last International Playboy (2009), as Ozzy, a drug addict. Ritter sold a television pilot she wrote based on her experiences as a model, named Model Camp. She appeared in the comedy web series Woke Up Dead in 2009, playing Cassie alongside Jon Heder as Drex.
In 2010, Ritter starred in the television series Gravity alongside Ivan Sergei, Ving Rhames, and Rachel Hunter, playing the sharp and quirky Lily. The Starz comedy-drama centers on a group of out-patient suicide survivors. She starred opposite Ben Barnes in the 2011 comedy film Killing Bono as the manager of an Irish band. Directed by Nick Hamm, the film is based on Killing Bono: I Was Bono’s Doppleganger, a book about the early days of the Irish rock band U2. Beginning in January 2010, the film’s shoot lasted for six weeks in Belfast to London.
Ritter starred alongside Alicia Silverstone in the comedy horror film Vamps, written and directed by Amy Heckerling. She plays a New York city socialite turned into a vampire by a vampire queen (Sigourney Weaver). She also stars in the 2011 independent comedy film Life Happens, with Kate Bosworth and Rachel Bilson. Co-written by Ritter with director Kat Coiro, the film is about two best friends dealing with the pregnancy and subsequent motherhood of Ritter’s character.
February 2011, Ritter joined the cast of the ABC situation-comedy Don’t Trust the B—- in Apartment 23, playing the title role of Chloe, a New York city party girl and con artist attempting to rip off her new roommates after they move in, but befriends and “mentors” one of the applicants. The series was canceled on January 22, 2013, after two seasons. On February 15, 2013, a press release stated Ritter would star as Nora in the NBC comedy pilot Assistance, based on Leslye Headland’s play of the same name. However, it was confirmed in January 2014 the pilot would not be picked up to series. July 9, 2013, a press release stated Ritter would star in Jake Hoffman’s directorial debut, Asthma about the indie rock scene in New York city. A February 20, 2014, press release stated Ritter would star on NBC’s astronaut-themed comedy pilot Mission Control as aerospace engineer Dr. Mary Kendricks. On October 15, 2014, NBC announced they were not moving forward with the show.
On December 5, 2014, Ritter was cast to star in the Marvel Television series Jessica Jones, playing the title role, a former super-hero turned private investigator in New York city. About her casting, executive producer and show-runner Melissa Rosenberg stated Ritter “brings both the hard edge and the vulnerability the role demands”. Ritter revealed she read the comic book to prepare for the role while expressing her delight on working with women. All 13 episodes of the first season premiered on Netflix on November 20, 2015. Ritter reprised the role on The Defenders alongside Charlie Cox as Matt Murdock / Daredevil, Mike Colter as Luke Cage and Finn Jones as Danny Rand / Iron Fist, and reprised her role a second time during the second season of Jessica Jones in 2018. Ritter directed an episode in the third season of Jessica Jones, marking her directorial debut.
Ritter and her childhood friend William Thomas Burnett formed the indie rock duo Ex Vivian, for which Ritter sings and plays guitar. Their self-titled debut album was released in 2012 on Burnett’s WT Records. Ritter’s debut novel, a psychological thriller titled Bonfire, was released on November 7, 2017, by Crown Archetype.
Husband/ Boyfriend and Children (Family Life)
Ritter moved from Brooklyn to Los Angeles in 2007. She promotes animal rights, posing for PETA ad campaigns, including a campaign warning pet owners of the dangers of leaving animals in vehicles during the summer, and another against SeaWorld keeping orcas in captivity. She is an avid knitter, and has appeared on the cover of Vogue Knitting.
Ritter has been in a relationship with musician Adam Granduciel since August 2014. Their son, Bruce Julian Knight Granofsky, was born on July 29, 2019.
Krysten Ritter’s net worth as of 2021 is estimated to be around $1.7 million – $20 million (net worth estimated in 2021).