Things have changed a lot since the series Leverage was last on television. Fads have come and gone, people are all woke now, and countless television series have faded from our collective memories. But close to eight years since Leverage’s final episode, the series has risen from cancellation like a phoenix soaring back onto our screens with series reboot, Leverage Redemption. Luckily for fans, many of the series’ stars are reprising their roles for the show’s reboot. Among them is the beautiful and talented Beth Riesgraf returning as Parker. Keep reading below to get caught up and Riesgraf and the rebirth of Leverage!
Beth Riesgraf was born on August 27, 1978, in Minnesota. No stranger to crowds, Riesgraf grew up with a large family. The future actress was the youngest of 6 girls, her poor dad! The family moved to Las Vegas, Nevada, when Riesgraf was around thirteen.
With a drive to see the world, Beth Riesgraf moved to Las Angeles, California, in her early 20s. Before long, the young actress began landing a number of parts in commercials and found herself auditioning for more film roles than modeling. The move would pay off when the actress made her proper debut in the short film The Summer of My Deflowering in 2000. The actress wouldn’t celebrate long and found herself making appearances on the popular series Spin City and Undressed the following year.
Riesgraf continued to build up her resume in the early and mid-2000s. Among her most notable appearances include work on Without a Trace and How I Met Your Mother. Around this same period, the young actress would meet her future fiance.
Still a relative newcomer to Hollywood, Riesgraf would strike up a professional and later personal relationship with the more established actor Jason Lee in 2001. Lee, of Mallrats and My Name is Earl fame, helped show Riesgraf a few of the Hollywood ropes during this time. The pair’s friendship would soon turn to love, and the couple became engaged.
Sadly, the pair would never make it all the way down the aisle. Wedding plans were called off in 2007 when the couple ended their relationship. Lee and Riesgraf have one child together, Pilot Inspector Riesgraf-Lee, who was born on September 28, 2003.
Beth Riesgraf’s most notable role is arguably that of the thief Parker on the TNT Network crime drama series Leverage. The series follows a Robin Hood-esque team attempting to write the wrongs of big business and bring justice to those who can’t take on that kind of fight themselves.
The show centered around Timothy Hutton’s character Nathan Ford, a former insurance investigator, as he leads a team of one-time loners. Stronger together, the team consisted of Riesgraf’s thief character Parker, Eliot Spencer, the combat expert played by Christian Kane, hacker, there’s always a hacker, Alec Hardison played by Aldis Hodge, and Gina Bellman played the grifter Sophie Devereaux.
Leverage ran from 2008 till the series saw a ratings decline in 2012. Beth Riesgraf showed her talent while on the show and was nominated three straight years, 2011 – 2013, for the Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actress on Television. As the show was coming to a close, the actress had this to say about her future;
“It’s so strange not knowing what your life is going to be. I am optimistic. And when Leverage comes to an end, I have lots of ideas for other things. You can’t really sit and wait for things to come to you.”
The talented actress wouldn’t wonder what life would be like for long. She quickly picked up several roles, including six appearances as Dr. Maeve Donavan on Criminal Minds and starring roles on the USA Network series Complications and 68 Whiskey for the Paramount Network.
It seems you can’t keep a good showdown. In July 2021, IMDb TV premiered a follow-up series to the original Leverage titled Leverage Redemption. Eight new episodes were released in July, with eight more set to release in October 2021. The show will follow the same overall premise as the original.
Fans of the original series can expect to see Gina Bellman, Beth Riesgraf, Christian Kane, and Aldis Hodge all reprising their original roles. Noah Wyle of ER and The Librarian franchise fame is joining the crew as corporate fixer Harry Wilson. The only prominent cast member not to return is Timothy Hutton.
After spending a few years bouncing from series to series, Beth Riesgraf came into her own with the role of Parker on Leverage. Now nearly ten years later, a new group of fans is poised to discover this exciting show! Can Riesgraf and crew draw these new fans in enough to extend the show for a few more seasons? You’re going to have to check out Leverage Redemption to find out!