John Ritter

Highest Rated: 96% Sling Blade (1996)
Lowest Rated: 0% Problem Child (1990)
Birthday: Sep 17, 1948
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

CREDIT
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
46% 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
14% North Ward Nelson 1994
No Score Yet The Only Way Out Jeremy Carlisle 1993
No Score Yet Prison for Children Actor 1993
43% Stay Tuned Roy 1992
61% Noises Off Garry 1992
No Score Yet Heartbeat Bill Grant 1992
7% Problem Child 2 Ben Healy 1991
56% Stephen King's It Ben Hanscom 1990
0% 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
50% They All Laughed Charles Rutledge 1981
14% 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

CREDIT
No Score Yet King of the Hill
1997-2010
Voice
  • 2004
  • 2003
  • 2000
  • 1997
No Score Yet 8 Simple Rules
2002-2005
Paul Hennessy
  • 2003
  • 2002
No Score Yet Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
1999
Dr. Richard Manning
  • 2002
84% Scrubs
2001-2010
Sam Dorian
  • 2002
  • 2001
No Score Yet Felicity
1998-2002
Mr. Covington John Covington Andrew Covington
  • 2002
  • 2001
  • 2000
No Score Yet Nature
1982
Narrator
  • 2001
No Score Yet Chicago Hope
1994-2000
Joe Dysmerski
  • 2000
61% Ally McBeal
1997-2002
George
  • 1998
  • 1997
81% Buffy the Vampire Slayer
1997-2003
Ted
  • 1997
No Score Yet Wings
1990-1997
Stuart
  • 1996
100% The Larry Sanders Show
1992-1998
  • 1994
  • 1993
No Score Yet The Cosby Show
1984-1992
Ray Evans
  • 1991
No Score Yet Three's Company
1977-1984
Jack Tripper
  • 1984
  • 1983
  • 1982
  • 1981
  • 1980
  • 1979
  • 1978
  • 1977
No Score Yet The Ropers
1979-1980
Jack Tripper
  • 1979
No Score Yet Rhoda
1978
Jerry
  • 1976
No Score Yet Starsky & Hutch
1975-1979
  • 1976
No Score Yet The Waltons
1972-1981
Rev. Matthew Fordwick Rev. Fordwick
  • 1976
  • 1975
  • 1974
  • 1973
  • 1972
No Score Yet The Mary Tyler Moore Show
1970-1977
Rev. Chatfield
  • 1975
No Score Yet Kojak
1973-1978
Kenny
  • 1974
No Score Yet The Bob Newhart Show
1972-1978
Dave
  • 1974
No Score Yet M*A*S*H
1972-1983
Pvt. Carter
  • 1973
No Score Yet The View
1997
Guest

QUOTES FROM John Ritter CHARACTERS