John Ritter

Celebrity

Biography

  • Birth Name: Johnathan Southworth Ritter
  • Birth Place: Burbank, California, United States
  • Date of Birth / Zodiac Sign: 09/17/1948, Virgo
  • Date of Death: 09/11/2003
  • Profession: Actor; producer
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Born into a showbiz family, this son of singer-actor-cowboy Tex Ritter tackled a myriad of TV guest spots and a recurring part as a reverend on The Waltons before landing his seminal role as the hilarious and horny Jack Tripper on Three's Company. After eight seasons (and nominations for an Emmy and a Golden Globe) the versatile actor moved on to TV dramas (Unnatural Causes, The Dreamer of Oz) and the big screen (two Problem Child movies, opposite his future wife Amy Yasbeck), while also continuing to stretch his comedic muscles in sitcoms. In the '90s, Ritter showcased his versatility with a number of supporting parts in indie films and two decidedly different romantic turns on TV---one funny on Ally McBeal, the other deadly on Buffy the Vampire Slayer. In 2002, his family-oriented sitcom 8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter became a surprise hit and Ritter was again a prime-time star. But the next year tragedy struck without warning: On September 11, 2003, a few days before his 55th birthday and a week before his fourth wedding anniversary, he collapsed on the 8 Simple Rules set and was rushed to the hospital, where he died of an undetected heart condition. Ritter was mourned by both those who knew him and by generations of fans who connected with the likeable actor's on-screen performances.John Ritter Fast Facts:
  • Was student body president at Hollywood High School.
  • Appeared for five seasons as a minister on the CBS family drama The Waltons.
  • Executive-produced the Richard Lewis-Jamie Lee Curtis sitcom Anything but Love; also appeared as a rival of Lewis's character.
  • Played a homicidal suitor in a 1997 episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
  • Provided the voice of the larger-than-life pooch on the animated children's series Clifford the Big Red Dog and in the film Clifford's Really Big Movie; earned multiple Daytime Emmy nominations for Outstanding Performer in an Animated Program.
  • Made his Broadway debut in 2000 in Neil Simon's The Dinner Party with fellow '70s sitcom star Henry Winkler.
  • John Ritter Relationships:
  • Tyler Ritter - Son
  • Stella Dorothy Ritter - Daughter
  • Tex Ritter - Father
  • Jason Ritter - Son
  • Carly Constance Ritter - Daughter
  • Amy Yasbeck - Wife
  • Dorothy Fay - Mother
  • Nancy Morgan - Ex-wife
  • Tom Ritter - Brother
  • John Ritter Awards:
  • 1978 Emmy: Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series - Nominee
  • 1984 Emmy: Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series - Winner
  • 2004 Emmy: Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series - Nominee
  • 1981 Emmy: Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series - Nominee
  • 1988 Emmy: Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series - Nominee
  • 1988 Golden Globe: Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series - Musical or Comedy - Nominee
  • 1987 Golden Globe: Best Performance by an Actor in a Miniseries or Motion Picture Made for Television - Nominee
  • 1999 Emmy: Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series - Nominee
  • 1979 Golden Globe: Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series - Musical or Comedy - Nominee
  • 1980 Golden Globe: Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series - Musical or Comedy - Nominee
  • 1984 Golden Globe: Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series - Musical or Comedy - Winner
  • 1988 People's Choice Awards: Favorite Male Performer in a New TV Program - Winner
  • 1996 Screen Actors Guild Awards: Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture - Nominee
  • College:
  • University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California, United States (BFA in Theater, 1971)

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