Although this boyishly handsome actor was known for evoking laughter with pratfalls and punch lines, it's tough to think about Ritter without getting misty-eyed. The son of singer-actor-cowboy Tex Ritter, he tackled myriad 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. For eight silly seasons, Ritter managed to wring laughs out of the most ludicrous, lowbrow lines and gags, earning an Emmy and a Golden Globe in the process. But when his short-lived spin-off, Three's a Crowd, tanked, as did his subsequent sitcom, Hooperman, it looked like Ritter was on his way to becoming a has-been. Yet the versatile actor bounced back, proving his talents in a slew of TV dramas (a terminally ill Vietnam vet in Unnatural Causes, Wizard of Oz author Frank L. Baum in The Dreamer of Oz) and continuing to stretch his comedic muscles in sitcoms and on the big screen in two Problem Child movies, opposite his future wife Amy Yasbeck. In the '90s, a doughier Ritter reinvented himself once again, this time as a capable character actor. He was unrecognizable as a shy gay man in Sling Blade, and went on to play a number of supporting parts in indie films while simultaneously essaying small-screen roles, including two decidedly different romantic turns, one funny on Ally McBeal, the other deadly on Buffy the Vampire Slayer. In 2002, his family-oriented sitcom 8 Simple Rules 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 set and was rushed to the hospital, where he died of an undetected heart condition. His untimely passing was mourned by his colleagues and by generations of viewers who grew up giggling with him.