John Ritter - Rotten Tomatoes

John Ritter

Highest Rated:   96% Sling Blade (1996)
Lowest Rated:   4% Problem Child (1990)
Birthday:  
Birthplace:   Not Available
Best known as the loose-limbed klutz Jack Tripper from the hit ABC sitcom Three's Company, John Ritter also had a long (if undistinguished) film career, dating back to the early '70s. Perhaps taking a cue from Robin Williams, Ritter fashioned a full beard when he put his slapstick days behind him, remaking himself as a serious dramatic actor both on television and in the movies in the 1990s. Ritter was born in Burbank, CA, on September 17, 1948, the second son of Western singing stars Tex Ritter and Dorothy Fay, whose talent for song he once admitted he did not inherit. Ritter was class body president at Hollywood High School before enrolling at the University of Southern California, where he majored in psychology and minored in architecture. In his third year, he decided to take a drama class taught by Nina Foch, and quickly changed his major, graduating in 1971. (He later studied with Stella Adler and the Harvey Lembeck Comedy Workshop.) His first film role was in the 1971 film The Barefoot Executive.Minor roles during the 1970s finally gave way to major success in 1977, when Ritter was cast as the pratfalling roommate of two beautiful Southern Californian women on Three's Company. The program became one of the most popular on the air, known for its farcical scenarios based on wild misunderstandings, some of which were fueled by Ritter's Jack Tripper pretending to be gay to throw off the landlord. Ritter was praised for his sharp timing and rubbery ability to bounce around the set through all variety of physical comedy. His work earned him an Emmy. Having become a major television star, Ritter enjoyed the program's success through 1985, when its spin-off (Three's a Crowd) went off the air. He worked on TV movies during the show's run, and found more TV work awaiting him upon its conclusion (the dramedy Hooperman in 1988, the comedy Hearts Afire in 1992). His familiar mug and goofball shtick earned him leads in a handful of lesser film comedies in the late '80s and early '90s, including Real Men (1987), Skin Deep (1988), Stay Tuned (1992), and two Problem Child films (1990 and 1991), on the set of which he met future wife Amy Yasbeck.Not satisfied with his comic pigeonholing, Ritter took well-received strides toward drama in the 1990s. He made a lasting impression on critics as a gay dollar-store owner in Billy Bob Thornton's Sling Blade (1996), as well as a psychiatrist treating a hitman in Henry Bromell's Panic (2000). Ritter has also made recurring guest appearances on the hit television programs Ally McBeal and Felicity, the latter of which cast him in the agonizing role of a frequently relapsing alcoholic father. In 2002 Ritter returned to television in his own new comedy series, 8 Simple Rules for Dating my Teenage Daughter. Though the show proved a modest success, Ritter's sudden death due to aortic dissection in early September of 2003 left castmates and fans alike shocked and deeply saddened.

Photos

Highest Rated Movies

Filmography

MOVIES

RATING TITLE CREDIT BOX OFFICE YEAR
No Score Yet Clifford the Big Red Dog - Growing Up With Clifford
  • Actor
2006
No Score Yet Clifford the Big Red Dog - Playtime with Clifford
  • Actor
2006
No Score Yet Clifford the Big Red Dog - Doggie Detectives
  • Actor
2005
53% Clifford's Really Big Movie
  • Clifford the Big Red Dog
$2.8M 2004
78% Bad Santa
  • Bob Chipeska
2003
No Score Yet Manhood
  • Eli
2003
No Score Yet Nuncrackers - The Nunsense Christmas Musical
  • Actor
2003
78% Tadpole
  • Stanley Grubman
$2.9M 2002
No Score Yet Man of the Year
  • Bill
  • Producer
2002
No Score Yet Nuncrackers
  • Narrator
2001
91% Panic
  • Josh
2000
60% Terror Tract
  • Bob Carter
2000
No Score Yet Tripfall
  • Tom
2000
No Score Yet Lost In The Pershing Point Hotel
  • Actor
2000
No Score Yet Lethal Vows
  • David
1999
No Score Yet It Came from the Sky
  • Donald Bridges
1999
No Score Yet Man of Miracles
  • Joe Cass
1999
No Score Yet The History of Toys and Games
  • Actor
1998
44% Bride of Chucky
  • Chief Warren Kincaid
1998
27% I Woke Up Early the Day I Died
  • Robert Forrest
1998
No Score Yet Montana
  • Dr. Wexler
1998
No Score Yet Shadow of Doubt
  • Actor
1998
No Score Yet Dead Husbands
  • Dr. Carter Elston
1998
No Score Yet Sink or Swim
  • Hank
1997
27% Nowhere
  • Moses Helper
1997
No Score Yet Mercenary
  • Jonas Ambler
1997
No Score Yet A Gun, a Car, a Blonde
  • Duncan/Bartender
1997
96% Sling Blade
  • Vaughn Cunningham
1996
No Score Yet Unforgivable
  • Paul Hegstrom
1996
No Score Yet The Colony
  • Rick Knowlton
1995
No Score Yet Problem Child 3: Junior in Love
  • Actor
1995
15% North
  • Ward Nelson
1994
No Score Yet The Only Way Out
  • Jeremy Carlisle
1993
No Score Yet Prison for Children
  • Actor
1993
46% Stay Tuned
  • Roy
1992
59% Noises Off
  • Garry
1992
No Score Yet Heartbeat
  • Bill Grant
1992
7% Problem Child 2
  • Ben Healy
1991
57% Stephen King's It
  • Ben Hanscom
1990
4% Problem Child
  • Ben Healey
1990
No Score Yet My Brother's Wife
  • Barney
1989
33% Skin Deep
  • Zach Hutton
1989
No Score Yet Tricks of the Trade
  • Donald Todsen
1988
No Score Yet Real Men
  • Bob Wilson
1987
No Score Yet A Smoky Mountain Christmas
  • Judge Harold Benton
1986
No Score Yet The Last Fling
  • Phillip Reed
1986
No Score Yet Unnatural Causes
  • Frank Coleman
1986
No Score Yet Letting Go
  • Actor
1985
No Score Yet Love Thy Neighbor
  • Danny Loeb
1984
No Score Yet Sunset Limousine
  • Alan O'Black
1983
No Score Yet The Flight of Dragons
  • Peter Dickenson
1982
No Score Yet Pray TV
  • Tom McPherson
1982
No Score Yet In Love with an Older Woman
  • Robert
1982
33% They All Laughed
  • Charles Rutledge
1981
No Score Yet Wholly Moses!
  • Devil
1980
No Score Yet Hero at Large
  • Steve Nichols
1980
No Score Yet The Comeback Kid
  • Bubba Newman
1980
No Score Yet Americathon
  • President Chet Roosevelt
1979
14% Nickelodeon
  • Franklin Frank
1976
No Score Yet The Stone Killer
  • Hart
1973
88% The Other
  • Rider
1972
No Score Yet Evil Roy Slade
  • Minister
1972
83% The Barefoot Executive
  • Roger
1971
No Score Yet Scandalous John
  • Wendell
1971
No Score Yet Montana, (Nothing Personal)
  • Actor

TV

RATING TITLE CREDIT YEAR
No Score Yet The View
1997
  • Guest
  • 2010
No Score Yet Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
1999
  • Dr. Richard Manning
  • 2002
No Score Yet Scrubs
2001-2010
  • Sam Dorian
  • 2002
No Score Yet Nature
1982
  • Narrator
  • 2001
No Score Yet Ally McBeal
1997-2002
  • George
  • 1998
No Score Yet Buffy the Vampire Slayer
1997-2003
  • Ted
  • 1997

Quotes from John Ritter's Characters