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John Ritter ACTOR

John Ritter was born on September 17th, 1948 in Burbank, California with the birth name Jonathan Southworth Ritter.  His mother, Dorothy Fay was a working actress and his father, Tex Ritter was a singing cowboy and western movie actor.  After Ritter earned his high school diploma from Hollywood High he enrolled at the University of Southern California and earned a major in psychology and a minor in architecture.
He had always had an interest in the performing arts especially growing up in a family with both parents involved in the entertainment industry.  While still pursuing his college degree he also performed in a number of stage productions in England, Scotland, Germany and Holland.
Upon earning a college degree, Ritter chose to pursue a fulltime career as an actor.  He began with appearing on the television series, "Dan August" (1970) starring Burt Reynolds, followed by roles on the series, "Medical Center" (1973), "M*A*S*H*" (1973), "Rhoda" (1975-1976), "Hawaii Five-O" (1971-1977) and "The Waltons" (1972-1976) starring Richard Thomas, Ralph Waite, Michael Learned, Will Geer and Ellen Corby.
He was soon cast in one of his most memorable roles on the sitcom, "Three's Company" (1976-1984) portraying Jack Tripper for a total of 174 episodes and starring with Joyce Dewitt, Suzanne Somers, Jenilee Harrison, Don Knotts, Audra Lindley and Norman Fell.  When this series came to an end, Ritter was cast as a regular on another television series, "Hooperman" (1987-1989) portraying Detective Harry Hooperman.  For his performances, he received an Emmy and Golden Globe nomination and was awarded a people's Choice Award.  Ritter, again was lucky enough to get cast as a regular on another hit series television show, "Hearts Afire" (1992-1995) starring with Markie Post and Billy Bob Thornton and portraying John Hartman.   
Along with his experience as a television and stage actor, Ritter was cast in his first film, Walt Disney's "The Barefoot Executive" (1971) starring Kurt Russell, Joe Flynn, Wally Cox, Heather North and Harry Morgan, which soon followed with roles in such films as, "Problem Child" (1990) co-starring Amy Yasbeck, Gilbert Gottfried, Jack Warden, Michael Richards and Michael Oliver, "Sling Blade" (1996) also starring Dwight Yoakam, J. T. Walsh, Billy Bob Thornton, Lucas Black, Natalie Canerday, James Hampton and Robert Duvall, "Noises Off" (1992) with Michael Caine, Carol Burnett, Christopher Reeve, Marilu Henner, Nicolette Sheridan, Julie Hagerty and Denholm Elliott, Blake Edwards "Skin Deep" (1989) with Vincent Gardenia, Nina Foch and Alyson Reed, "Nowhere" (1997) starring James Duvall, Rachel True, Heather Graham, Ryan Phillippe, Mena Suvari, Kathleen Robertson and Denise Richards, "Montana" (1998) with Kyra Sedgwick and Stanley Tucci, "Panic" (2000) co-starring William H. Macy, Neve Campbell, Donald Sutherland, Barbara Bain and Tracey Ullman, "Man of the Year" (2002) and his last known film role, "Bad Santa" (2003) starring Billy Bob Thornton, Bernie Mac, Lauren Graham, Tony Cox, Brett Kelly, Lauren Tom and Cloris Leachman and which was not released until after John's death.
In addition, Ritter added to his credits voiceover work on the films, "Clifford, the Big Red Dog", "The Flight of Dragons" and "Great Uncle Stew".  He also worked on numerous television movies such as, "My Brothers Wife" (1989), "Heartbeat" (1993), "The Colony" (1995), "It Came from the Sky" (1999) and "Lethal Vows" (1999).
Although he was highly successful as a film and television actor, Ritter did not neglect his first love, stage acting.  In 2000, he performed in a production of, "The Dinner Party" which ran for 364 performances and he earned a Theatre World Award for his work.
Some of his latest roles focused on mainly television series appearances such as, "Rucker", "Scrubs", "Law & Order" and "8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter".
John Ritter was married twice, first to actress Nancy Morgan whom he wed in 1977 and had three children with before the marriage ended in divorce in 1996.  He then married another actress, Amy Yasbeck in 1999 and together they had one child.
In 2003, while rehearsing on set for the series, "8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter" John Ritter, became very sick and was taken to the hospital where that evening, he passed away on September 11th, 2003 in Burbank, California.  His death was ruled as aortic dissection, which was a flaw to his heart that had gone un-detected.  His remains were interred at Forest Lawn Hollywood Hills Cemetery in Los Angeles, California.
His wife went through a number of law schools with doctors and hospitals blaming them for not detecting his condition in earlier exams.  She later started a charity to educate schools on this type of condition. 
Since the series was still filming, it was later re-titled, "8 Simple Rules" and aired for two more seasons before being cancelled.  Since his passing besides his honor or receiving a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame next to his father's star, Ritter was also honored with an Emmy nomination for his work on, "8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter" and a mural of Ritter was also painted at Hollywood High School in his memory.       


2006   Stanley's Dinosaur Round-Up

1997-2004  King of the Hill

2004   Clifford's Really Big Movie 

2003   Bad Santa 

2002-2003  8 Simple Rules

2003   Manhood 

2002   Scrubs

2000-2003  Clifford the Big Red Dog

2002   Breaking News

2002   Man of the Year 

2000-2002  Felicity 

2002   Law & Order: Special Victims Unit 

2002   The Ellen Show

2001   Nuncrackers

2001   Tucker

2000   Tadpole 

2000   Terror Tract 

2000   TripFall 

2000   Lost in the Pershing Point Hotel 

2000   Family Law 

2000   Batman Beyond 

2000   Chicago Hope

2000   Panic

1999   Lethal Vows

1999   It Came from the Sky 

1996-1999  Touched by an Angel 

1999   Holy Joe

1999   Veronica's Closet 

1998   Dead Husbands

1998   Ally McBeal 

1998   Bride of Chucky 

1998   I Woke Up Early the Day I Died

1998   Shadow of Doubt

1998   Chance of a Lifetime

1998   Montana

1997   Buffy the Vampire Slayer

1997   Over the Top

1997   Hacks

1997   A Gun, a Car, a Blonde

1997   Nowhere 

1997   Dead Man's Gun 

1997   A Child's Wish

1997   Loss of Faith

1996   For Hope

1996   Sling Blade

1996   Wings

1996   Unforgivable

1996   Mercenary

1995   NewsRadio

1995   The Colony 

1995   Gramps 

1992-1995  Hearts Afire 

1994   Dave's World

1993-1994  The Larry Sanders Show

1994   North

1993   The Only Way Out

1993   Heartbeat 

1992   Stay Tuned 

1992   Noises Off...

1992   Fish Police

1991   Anything But Love 

1991   Problem Child 2 

1991   The Summer My Father Grew Up 

1991   The Cosby Show 

1991   The Real Story of O Christmas Tree

1990   The Dreamer of Oz

1990   It 

1990   Problem Child 

1989   My Brother's Wife 

1987-1989  Hooperman 

1989   Have Faith

1989   Skin Deep

1988   Tricks of the Trade

1988   Mickey's 60th Birthday

1987   Real Men

1987   Prison for Children

1986   A Smoky Mountain Christmas

1986   Unnatural Causes

1986   Living Seas

1985   Letting Go

1984-1985  Three's a Crowd

1984   Pryor's Place 

1976-1984  Three's Company

1984   Love Thy Neighbor

1977-1983  The Love Boat

1983   Sunset Limousine

1982   In Love with an Older Woman

1982   The Flight of Dragons

1982   Pray TV

1981   Insight

1981   They All Laughed

1980   Wholly Moses!

1980   John Ritter: Being of Sound Mind & Body

1980   The Comeback Kid

1980   The Associates

1980   Hero at Large 

1979   The Ropers 

1979   Americathon

1978   Leave Yesterday Behind

1978   Ringo

1977   Breakfast in Bed

1971-1977  Hawaii Five-O

1972-1976  The Waltons 

1976   Nickelodeon

1976   Phyllis

1975-1976  Rhoda 

1976   Doc

1976   Starsky and Hutch 

1975   The Rookies

1975   Mary Tyler Moore

1975   The Night That Panicked America 

1975   The Streets of San Francisco

1975   Barnaby Jones 

1975   Petrocelli 

1975   The Bob Crane Show 

1975   Great Performances 

1975   Mannix 

1975   Movin' On 

1974   The Bob Newhart Show 

1974   Owen Marshall: Counselor at Law 

1974   Kojak

1973   M*A*S*H

1973   The Stone Killer 

1973   Bachelor-at-Law 

1973   Medical Center

1972   The Other

1972   Evil Roy Slade 

1971   Scandalous John

1971   The Barefoot Executive 

1970   Dan August 

1968   Crazy World, Crazy People

Matinee Classics - John Ritter
Matinee Classics - Three's A Crowd starring John Ritter, Mary Cadorette, Alan Campbell, Robert Mandan and Jessica Walter
Matinee Classics - Three's A Crowd starring John Ritter, Mary Cadorette, Alan Campbell, Robert Mandan and Jessica Walter
Matinee Classics - Three's Company starring John Ritter, Joyce Dewitt, Suzanne Somers, Richard Kline, Audra Lindley, Norman Fell, Paul Ainsley, Don Knotts, Brad Blaisdell, Ann Wedgeworth, Jenilee Harrison, Priscilla Barnes and Jordan Charney

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