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John Ritter: A Tribute To The Actor, Comedian and Man

Updated on March 17, 2017

A Quick Look

Jonathan Southworth Ritter was born in Burbank, California. He was 5 ft 11 inches Tall.

John Ritter majored in Psycholgy at The University of Southern California.

John Ritter was born on September 17, 1948 and he died of Aortic Dissection on September 11, 2003.

The Early Years.....

John Ritter started out acting live on stage doing plays and concerts. He has had several small bit roles on sitcoms and in films before getting a big role as a Priest on the television show, The Walton's. Throughout the years Ritter has guest starred on many shows from television and also, he has been in many made for television movies. John Ritter's dad was Tex Ritter, who was a famous country singer himself.

Other than Three's Company and 8 Simple Rules, Ritter has had recurring and guest roles on such television shows as The Walton's, Mash, Hawaii Five-o, Kojak, The Bob Newhart Show, and a show he directed and produced called Hooperman.

John Ritter

John Ritter has won several awards during his acting career and he has been nominated for tons more. He is a comedic legend in the world of television.
John Ritter has won several awards during his acting career and he has been nominated for tons more. He is a comedic legend in the world of television. | Source

Three's Company

Three's Company aired from 1977 until 1984. John Ritter stars as Jack Tripper and he lives with two female roommates. Joyce DeWitt co-Stars as roommate Janet and the other roommate changes several times from Chrissy to Cindy to Terri.

In the sitcom Jack must pretend to be gay in order to live with the girls in order to trick the landlord. The show featured suggestive themes in a harmless way and Jack was always into something ridiculous. The show takes place in an apartment and later at Jack's restaurant. The landlords are The Roper's and later on Mr. Furley (Don Knotts).

The show had a short lived spin off starring Ritter entitled Three's a Crowd. Ritter made Three's Company a success with his physical humor and his overall comedy. The show also had his neighbor and best friend Larry who was a car salesman and a big time womanizer. The show was number one for a number of weeks in the ratings and in the top two or three during its entire television run.

Jack, Chrissy and Janet

John Ritter and Joyce DeWitt were on the show from the beginning as Jack and Janet. The other roommate was changed a couple of times.
John Ritter and Joyce DeWitt were on the show from the beginning as Jack and Janet. The other roommate was changed a couple of times. | Source

8 Simple Rules

8 Simple Rules was a sitcom on ABC that aired from 2002-2005. It starred John Ritter and Katey Sagal. The show centers around John Ritter and his teenage daughter and life's issues mixed with comedy. The series had 77 total episodes before it's cancelation.

The show has a list of 8 "simple"rules that one must follow in order to date Ritter's daughter in the show. The show had far less physical comedy and more verbal comedy but John Ritter was till on point and hilarious. When Ritter passed away the sitcom had an episode dealing with the great John Ritter's untimely death.

John Ritter Tribute

Have You Seen It?

Have you ever watched " Three's Company" before?

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Movie Career

Believe it or not John Ritter made his television debut acting in a made for TV movie called Crazy World, Crazy People in 1968. Ritter is known for his comedy but he can act dramatically if the role calls for it. He has been in comedy roles such as Problem Child 1 and 2, Stay Tuned and Bad Santa. He has also been in far more serious films such as Stephen King's It and Sling Blade.

John Ritter is known for his great physical comedy courtesy of Three's Company episodes but he could seriously act. Ritter also has done many voice overs for cartoons and animated films such as "Clifford The Big Red Dog" for which he received an Emmy nomination after his death. John Ritter was really starting to branch into voice over roles shortly before he died and his work was remarkable to say the least.

Ritter also had a tremendously successful Broadway career with his powerful performance in The Dinner Party in 2000. Personally, I loved John Ritter in Sling Blade, Bad Santa, Stephen King's It, Stay Tuned and both of the Problem Child films. Ritter commanded attention once the film started rolling and his work should be appreciated as it was top notch. He passed away tragically at the young age of 54 years old.

8 Simple Rules Cast

John Ritter went from one hit sitcom to another with ABC's 8 Simple Rules. Ritter was at his best as an actor, many feel, while acting in 8 Simple Rules.,
John Ritter went from one hit sitcom to another with ABC's 8 Simple Rules. Ritter was at his best as an actor, many feel, while acting in 8 Simple Rules., | Source

John Ritter's Best Movies

Sling Blade
Bad Santa
Problem Child
It
Stay Tuned
Bride of Chucky
 
Problem Child 2
 
 
 
 
Seven of John Ritter's top films are listed above.

Bad Santa

John Ritter's last live action movie was Bad Santa which was released in 2003. Ritter played a shopping mall manager who acted very weird to say the least.
John Ritter's last live action movie was Bad Santa which was released in 2003. Ritter played a shopping mall manager who acted very weird to say the least. | Source

Sling Blade

John Ritter co-Starred with Billy Bob Thornton in Sling Blade. The movie was rated R, won several awards and it showed Mr. Ritter in a serious  movie.
John Ritter co-Starred with Billy Bob Thornton in Sling Blade. The movie was rated R, won several awards and it showed Mr. Ritter in a serious movie. | Source

Awards and Accolades

This is a list of John Ritter's wins but he has been nominated over 80 other times for major awards as well.

1983: John Ritter has a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

1984: Won an Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series for "Three's Company".

1984: Won a Golden Globe for Best TV Actor in a Comedy for "Three's Company".

1988: Won a People's Choice Award for Favorite Male Performer in a New TV Program for " Hooperman".

2001: Won Theatre World Award for "The Dinner Party".


Final Thoughts......

John Ritter was a great actor whether he was being comical or serious. Everyone that worked with him loved him with their heart. He was taken far too soon from us and he will be sorely missed. He always lightened the mood and relaxed you with ease. Watch clips of Ritter Not on Three's Company or in a movie but on a late night talk show or being interviewed. His politeness, smile, humbleness, humility and humor truly comes out from within. From the man John Ritter not the celebrity.

R.I.P. Jonathan Ritter.

* Please share your thoughts on John Ritter by leaving comments in the box at the bottom of this hub.

8 Simple Rules Bloopers

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Birthplace of John Ritter (Burbank, California)

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    • lions44 profile image

      CJ Kelly 2 years ago from Auburn, WA

      Nice job. It's sad to think about him because of his untimely death. But Three's Company was a real groundbreaking show, using a lot of innuendo and slapstick (although it seems so tame by today's standards). Voted up and shared.

    • Hannah David Cini profile image

      Hannah David Cini 2 years ago from Nottingham

      I love Josh Ritter's music (it is fantastic driving music) but never very much about him apart from the songs and name. I really didn't know how much more he did. This was a great article and I really need to check out some of his shows, I can't believe that I have completely missed them.

      I look forward to reading more of your articles. Voted up.

    • profile image

      Kathleen Kerswig 2 years ago

      I always enjoyed watching John Ritter in those comedies. He was an amazing talent in my opinion. Thanks for sharing! Blessings.

    • rebeccamealey profile image

      Rebecca Mealey 2 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

      Thanks so much for sharing this. John was a funny guy. This was a good topic to write about, and you did a great job.

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