Remember John Ritter from 'Three's Company'? Here are key moments from his life and career

Junie Sihlangu
May 11, 2018
12:42 P.M.

Many fans know John Ritter from the 70s show Three’s Company. Not that many know that he was genuinely down to earth and humble.


Closer Weekly gathered some facts about the star that will make you fall in love with him all over again. Ritter was almost never known if he hadn’t changed his course in university.

Ritter stunned viewers in his portrayal of Jack Tripper on Three's Company. He subsequently starred in Hooperman, Hearts Afire, and 8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter.

The late star was born as Jonathan Southworth Ritter on September 17, 1948. He attended the University of Southern California, where his major was in psychology with the intention to get into politics.


Luckily for his fans, he changed his focus to theater arts and transferred over to the USC School of Dramatic Artists. He graduated in 1971 and focused on stage performances before doing both film and television.

His name became well known and he found immense fame over the years. "I'm pretty much a very happy actor. I have my problems in my personal life, but in terms of my career, I have been so fortunate,” he once told Authors Guild during an interview.

To commemorate this great actor we’ve covered some lesser known facts about him. Ritter’s father, Tex, was an early pioneer of country music.

“To be obsessed with box-office ratings and all that stuff, I've been around for so long that I know if you do that, you just whip yourself into a frenzy... But it's interesting to me to see how I do, to test myself.”

John Ritter, Authors Guild, January 8, 1994

In1928 he began singing on the radio in a program that consisted of mostly cowboy songs. This is where he became a singing cowboy.

Ritter made his movie debut in the Disney live-action film The Barefoot Executive where he starred alongside Kurt Russell. His first wife was Nancy Karen Morgan.


He starred in his own superhero movie in 1980 called Hero at Large. The star also appeared in Three's a Crowd, which was the American version of Three’s Company.


Ritter was nominated for a total of 17 awards throughout his career. He managed to take three awards home for his incredible acting work.


Lucille Ball was a huge fan of Three's Company and Ritter. In season 6, she served as hostess of a one-hour retrospective of the show.

After a few movies, the star was ready to give series television another shot. He appeared in Hearts Afire, which ran from 1992 to 1995 for a total of 54 episodes.


There he acted as John Hartman, a senator's aide. He then voiced the character of Clifford the Big Red Dog in the animated PBS series of the same name for 64 episodes.

After that, he signed up for 8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter. Ritter married his second wife in 1998, Amy Yasbeck, who was also an actor.


Before marrying, they had a daughter named Stella Dorothy, who later transitioned and now goes by Noah. On September 11, 2003, while rehearsing for an episode of 8 Simple Rules, Ritter slipped into a coma and died later that night.

He died from a previously undiagnosed congenital heart defect, resulting in an aortic dissection. The star’s sons have carried on his legacy as both are actors.

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