by Nur Hussein, contributing writer
We would like to wish Jewel Staite a very happy birthday today. She has been in a number of sci-fi shows, but she is probably most recognized as ship mechanic Kaylee Frye from the hit TV series Firefly, a series with a too-short run that was tragically cancelled by Fox.
Staite was born in White Rock, British Columbia in 1982. She has six older siblings, and has been acting since she was six. She was living in Vancouver when she was cast as Kaylee Frye in Firefly which ran in 2002. Staite’s character was the grease monkey who fixed the ship and was the heart of the crew. Staite was just as disappointed as Firefly fans when it was cancelled, but she still attends conventions with her fellow cast members and connects with fans. A frequent question from fans is whether or not there will be another Firefly-based movie (sadly not, for now).
Besides Firefly, Staite has been in numerous other genre shows. One of her earlier appearances was a guest spot on The X-Files in 1996 where she played a 15-year old girl named Amy Jacobs. Around the same time she was on the children’s show Space Cases, where she also played an engineer on a spaceship.
Post-Firefly, Staite has played Dr. Jennifer Keller, a medical officer, on the final two seasons of the show Stargate Atlantis. She has guested on Warehouse 13, Dead Like Me, and Supernatural (where she plays a character, interestingly enough, named Amy Pond). Outside of genre, Staite was a regular on the now-cancelled series The L.A. Complex, where she plays a struggling actress named Raquel Westbrook.
When not acting, Staite (who is quite the foodie) runs a blog about food and wine, called Happy Opu, where she posts delicious things to eat. We wish her the happiest of birthdays, hopefully also filled with delicious food and drink.
Nur is a tinkerer of programmable things, an apprentice in an ancient order of technomages. He enjoys fantasy, sci-fi, comic books, and Lego in his spare time. His favourite authors are Asimov and Tolkien. He also loves Celtic and American folk music. You can follow him on twitter: @nurhussein