John Ritter

Actor, Producer
One of the most popular TV stars of the late-1970s, John Ritter enjoyed a diverse career right up until his tragic death in 2003. The son of famed country-western star Tex Ritter, he first emerged with dozens of small ... Read more »
Born: 09/17/1948 in Burbank, California, USA

Filmography

Actor (194)

It: Part One 2015 (Movie)

Ben Hanscom (Actor)

Graceland 2013 (Tv Show)

Actor

A Cinderella Story 2004 (Movie)

Halloween Dancer (Actor)

A Life of Laughter: Remembering John Ritter 2003 - 2004 (TV Show)

Actor

ABC 50th Anniversary Celebration 2003 - 2004 (TV Show)

Actor

Clifford's Really Big Movie 2004 (Movie)

Voice of Clifford (Actor)

John Ritter Remembered 2003 - 2004 (TV Show)

Actor

8 Simple Rules 1992 - 1995, 2002 - 2003 (Tv Show)

Actor

ABC's Christmas in Aspen 2002 - 2003 (TV Show)

Actor

Ally McBeal 1968 - 1980, 1992 - 1996, 1998 - 2003 (Tv Show)

Actor

Bad Santa 2003 (Movie)

Bob Chipeska (Actor)

Breaking News 2002 - 2003 (TV Show)

Actor

Chicago Hope 1968 - 1980, 1992 - 2003 (Tv Show)

Actor

Dave's World 1968 - 1980, 1992 - 1996, 1998 - 2003 (Tv Show)

Actor

Family Law 1968 - 1980, 1992 - 2003 (Tv Show)

Actor

Felicity 1968 - 1980, 1992 - 1996, 2000 - 2003 (Tv Show)

Actor

Hawaii Five-O 1968 - 1980, 1992 - 1996, 2000 - 2003 (Tv Show)

Actor

Jimmy Kimmel Live 2003 (Tv Show)

Guest

King of the Hill 1992 - 1995, 2000 - 2003 (Tv Show)

Voice

Man of the Year 2003 (Movie)

Bill (Actor)

Newsradio 1992 - 1996, 2000 - 2003 (Tv Show)

Actor

TV Land Awards: A Celebration of Classic TV 2002 - 2003 (TV Show)

Actor

The 2003 Teen Choice Awards 2002 - 2003 (TV Show)

Actor

The 29th Annual People's Choice Awards 2002 - 2003 (TV Show)

Actor

The 30th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards 2002 - 2003 (TV Show)

Presenter

The 5th Annual Family Television Awards 2002 - 2003 (TV Show)

Actor

Touched By an Angel 1968 - 1980, 1992 - 2003 (Tv Show)

Actor

Veronica's Closet 1968 - 1980, 1992 - 1996, 1998 - 2003 (Tv Show)

Actor

Wings 1968 - 1980, 1992 - 1996, 1998 - 2003 (Tv Show)

Actor

Batman Beyond 1998 - 2002 (TV Show)

Voice

Clifford the Big Red Dog 2000 - 2002 (TV Show)

Voice

Dogs: The Early Years 2001 - 2002 (TV Show)

Narrator

Law & Order: Special Victims Unit 2002 (Tv Show)

Actor

Manhood 2002 (Movie)

Eli (Actor)

Scrubs 2002 (Tv Show)

Actor

Suzanne Somers: The E! True Hollywood Story 2001 - 2002 (TV Show)

Actor

TV Road Trip 2001 - 2002 (TV Show)

Actor

Tadpole 2002 (Movie)

Stanley Grubman (Actor)

Dead Man's Gun 1997 - 2001 (TV Show)

Actor

Intimate Portrait: Joanna Kerns 2000 - 2001 (TV Show)

Actor

Lost in the Pershing Point Hotel 2001 (Movie)

Priest (Actor)

TV Funhouse 2000 - 2001 (TV Show)

Actor

The 70s: The Decade That Changed Television 2000 - 2001 (TV Show)

Actor

Tucker 2000 - 2001 (TV Show)

Actor

Don Knotts: Nervous Laughter 1999 - 2000 (TV Show)

Actor

Intimate Portrait: Rue McClanahan 1999 - 2000 (TV Show)

Narrator

Panic 2000 (Movie)

Josh Parks (Actor)

TV Guide's Truth Behind the Sitcoms 1999 - 2000 (TV Show)

Actor

I Woke Up Early the Day I Died 1999 (Movie)

Robert Forrest (Actor)

Storytime 1993 - 1999 (TV Show)

Actor

The World's Greatest Magic V 1998 - 1999 (TV Show)

Actor

Three's Company: The E! True Hollywood Story 1998 - 1999 (TV Show)

Actor

Bride of Chucky 1998 (Movie)

Chief Warren Kincaid (Actor)

Chance of a Lifetime 1997 - 1998 (TV Show)

Actor

Over the Top 1997 - 1998 (TV Show)

Actor

The Larry Sanders Show 1992 - 1998 (TV Show)

Actor

The World's Greatest Magic IV 1997 - 1998 (TV Show)

Actor

Caesars Palace 30th Anniversary Celebration 1996 - 1997 (TV Show)

Actor

Dead Man's Gun 1996 - 1997 (TV Show)

Actor

Nowhere 1997 (Movie)

Moses Helper (Actor)

Ordinary Extraordinary 1996 - 1997 (TV Show)

Actor

Sex and the Silver Screen 1996 - 1997 (TV Show)

Narrator

The Screen Actors Guild Awards 1996 - 1997 (TV Show)

Presenter

The World's Greatest Magic III 1996 - 1997 (TV Show)

Actor

A Gun, a Car, a Blonde 1996 (Movie)

Duncan--Bartender (Actor)

Hacks 1996 (Movie)

Hank (Actor)

Harry Anderson: The Tricks of His Trade 1995 - 1996 (TV Show)

Actor

Sling Blade 1996 (Movie)

Vaughn Cunningham (Actor)

TV's Funniest Friends & Neighbors 1995 - 1996 (TV Show)

Actor

The Colony 1995 - 1996 (TV Show)

Actor

Totally Animals 1995 - 1996 (TV Show)

Actor

Totally Animals II 1995 - 1996 (TV Show)

Actor

Unforgivable 1995 - 1996 (TV Show)

Actor

50 Years of Funny Females 1994 - 1995 (TV Show)

Actor

Hearts Afire 1992 - 1995 (Tv Show)

Actor

The Greatest Commercials Ever Made 1994 - 1995 (TV Show)

Actor

The Horatio Alger Awards 1994 - 1995 (TV Show)

Host

Bob Hope's Birthday Memories 1993 - 1994 (TV Show)

Actor

Dean & Jerry at the Movies 1993 - 1994 (TV Show)

Actor

North 1994 (Movie)

Ward Nelson (Actor)

The 8th Annual American Comedy Awards 1993 - 1994 (TV Show)

Actor

The First Annual Comedy Hall of Fame 1993 - 1994 (TV Show)

Performer

Danielle Steel's 1992 - 1993 (TV Show)

Actor

The 19th Annual People's Choice Awards 1992 - 1993 (TV Show)

Host

What Is This Thing Called Love? 1992 - 1993 (TV Show)

Actor

Fish Police 1991 - 1992 (TV Show)

Voice

Noises Off 1992 (Movie)

Garry Lejeune (Actor)

Star-athon '92: A Weekend With the Stars 1991 - 1992 (TV Show)

Actor

Stay Tuned 1992 (Movie)

Roy Knable (Actor)

The 44th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards 1991 - 1992 (TV Show)

Presenter

What About Me? I'm Only 3! 1991 - 1992 (TV Show)

Actor

Celebration of Country 1990 - 1991 (TV Show)

Actor

Problem Child 2 1991 (Movie)

Ben Healy (Actor)

Stand-Up Comics Take a Stand! 1990 - 1991 (TV Show)

Actor

Starathon '91 1990 - 1991 (TV Show)

Actor

Stephen King's It 1990 - 1991 (TV Show)

Actor

My Brother's Wife 1989 - 1990 (TV Show)

Actor

Problem Child 1990 (Movie)

Ben (Actor)

Stand-Up Comics Take a Stand! 1989 - 1990 (TV Show)

Actor

Starathon '90 1989 - 1990 (TV Show)

Actor

The American Red Cross Emergency Test 1989 - 1990 (TV Show)

Actor

Disney-MGM Studios Theme Park Grand Opening 1988 - 1989 (TV Show)

Actor

Hooperman 1987 - 1989 (TV Show)

Actor

Mickey's 60th Birthday Special 1988 - 1989 (TV Show)

Actor

Skin Deep 1989 (Movie)

Zach Hutton (Actor)

The 15th Annual People's Choice Awards 1988 - 1989 (TV Show)

Performer

The Valvoline National Driving Test 1988 - 1989 (TV Show)

Actor

ABC Presents a Royal Gala 1987 - 1988 (TV Show)

Actor

Memories Then & Now 1987 - 1988 (TV Show)

Actor

Superfest: A Celebration of Ability 1987 - 1988 (TV Show)

Actor

Happy Birthday, Hollywood! 1986 - 1987 (TV Show)

Actor

Real Men 1987 (Movie)

Bob Wilson (Actor)

Superfest 1986 - 1987 (TV Show)

Actor

Superstars & Their Moms 1986 - 1987 (TV Show)

Actor

The 13th Annual People's Choice Awards 1986 - 1987 (TV Show)

Presenter

The 38th Annual Emmy Awards 1986 - 1987 (TV Show)

Performer

The Special Olympics Opening Ceremonies 1986 - 1987 (TV Show)

Actor

Welcome Home 1986 - 1987 (TV Show)

Actor

Disney's Living Seas 1985 - 1986 (TV Show)

Actor

Teenage America: Glory Years 1985 - 1986 (TV Show)

Actor

The 21st Annual Academy of Country Music Awards 1985 - 1986 (TV Show)

Performer

All-Star Party For Lucille Ball 1984 - 1985 (TV Show)

Actor

Donald Duck's 50th Birthday 1984 - 1985 (TV Show)

Actor

Letting Go 1984 - 1985 (TV Show)

Actor

Secret World of the Very Young 1984 - 1985 (TV Show)

Actor

Love Thy Neighbor 1983 - 1984 (TV Show)

Actor

Life's Most Embarrassing Moments 1982 - 1983 (TV Show)

Actor

The Fantastic Miss Piggy Show 1982 - 1983 (TV Show)

Actor

The Singing Cowboys Ride Again 1982 - 1983 (TV Show)

Actor

The Waltons 1972 - 1981 (TV Show)

Actor

They All Laughed 1981 (Movie)

Charles Rutledge (Actor)

Completely Off the Wall 1979 - 1980 (TV Show)

Actor

Hero at Large 1980 (Movie)

Steve Nichols (Actor)

John Ritter: Being of Sound Mind and Body 1979 - 1980 (TV Show)

Actor

The Celebrity Football Classic 1979 - 1980 (TV Show)

Actor

Wholly Moses! 1980 (Movie)

Devil (Actor)

Americathon 1979 (Movie)

Chet Roosevelt (Actor)

Echoes of the Sixties 1978 - 1979 (TV Show)

Actor

General Electric's All-Star Anniversary 1978 - 1979 (TV Show)

Actor

Ringo 1977 - 1978 (TV Show)

Actor

That Thing on ABC 1977 - 1978 (TV Show)

Actor

The Goldie Hawn Special 1977 - 1978 (TV Show)

Actor

Breakfast in Bed 1976 (Movie)

Paul (Actor)

Nickelodeon 1976 (Movie)

Franklin Frank (Actor)

Who's Happy Now? 1974 - 1975 (TV Show)

Actor

Bachelor at Law 1972 - 1973 (TV Show)

Actor

M*A*S*H 1973 (Tv Show)

Actor

The Stone Killer 1972 (Movie)

Hart (Actor)

Scandalous John 1971 (Movie)

Wendell (Actor)

The Other 1971 (Movie)

Rider (Actor)

What's Up, America? 1970 - 1971 (TV Show)

Actor

What's Up? 1970 - 1971 (TV Show)

Actor

The Barefoot Executive 1969 (Movie)

Roger (Actor)

A Child's Wish (TV Show)

Actor

Dead Husbands (TV Show)

Actor

Evil Roy Slade (TV Show)

Actor

Gramps (TV Show)

Actor

Holy Joe (TV Show)

Actor

In Love With an Older Woman (TV Show)

Actor

It Came From The Sky (TV Show)

Actor

Leave Yesterday Behind (TV Show)

Actor

Lethal Vows (TV Show)

Actor

Letting Go (Movie)

(Actor)

Loss of Faith (TV Show)

Actor

Mercenary (TV Show)

Actor

Montana (TV Show)

Actor

Pray TV (TV Show)

Actor

Prison For Children (TV Show)

Actor

Shadow of Doubt (TV Show)

Actor

Sunset Limousine (TV Show)

Actor

Terror Tract (TV Show)

Actor

The Comeback Kid (TV Show)

Actor

The Ellen Show (Tv Show)

Actor

The Last Fling (TV Show)

Actor

The Only Way Out (TV Show)

Actor

The Truth About Lying (TV Show)

Actor

Three's Company (TV Show)

Actor

Three's a Crowd (TV Show)

Actor

Tricks of the Trade (TV Show)

Actor

Unnatural Causes (TV Show)

Actor
Producer (3)

Anything But Love 1988 - 1992 (TV Show)

Executive Producer

Poochinski 1989 - 1990 (TV Show)

Executive Producer

Have Faith 1988 - 1989 (TV Show)

Executive Producer

Biography

One of the most popular TV stars of the late-1970s, John Ritter enjoyed a diverse career right up until his tragic death in 2003. The son of famed country-western star Tex Ritter, he first emerged with dozens of small television guest spots, including a recurring role as the serious-minded Reverend Fordwick on "The Waltons" (CBS, 1971-1981). Ritter rose to fame on the small screen as the irascible, klutzy Jack Tripper on the hit sitcom "Three's Company" (ABC, 1977-1984), where his boyish charm and affinity for physical comedy made him an audience favorite. Efforts to transition to leading man status in such feature films as Peter Bogdanovich's romance "They All Laughed" (1981) and Blake Edwards' sex-comedy "Skin Deep" (1989) met with little interest, although the failure spoke more to the substandard material than to Ritter's abilities. While television projects like "Hooperman" (ABC, 1987-89) and "Hearts Afire" (CBS, 1992-95) provided moderate success, it was Ritter's transformative performance in close friend Billy Bob Thornton's drama "Sling Blade" (1996) that garnered the actor a level of professional respect he had not previously enjoyed. With his career invigorated, Ritter moved on to a slew of supporting film roles and TV guest appearances until the family sitcom "8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter" (ABC, 2002-05) once again provided him a showcase for his inimitable comedic skills. Although his untimely death cut short his still vibrant life and career, the beloved actor lived on in the memories of the friends, family and the audiences he entertained for decades.

Relationships

Dorothy Fay

Mother
suffered a stroke in 1987 died November 5, 2003 at age 88

Nancy Morgan

Wife
married in October 1977 separated in 1993 filed for divorce in September 1996 divorced

Tyler Ritter Actor

Son

Jason Ritter Actor

Son
Born Feb. 17, 1980; mother, Nancy Morgan

Tex Ritter

Father
born in 1905 died in 1974

Carly Ritter

Daughter
born March 1, 1982 mother, Nancy Morgan

Stella Ritter

Daughter
born September 11, 1998 mother, Amy Yasbeck

Tyler Ritter

Son
born c. 1984 mother, Nancy Morgan

Tom Ritter

Brother
older has cerebral palsy

Amy Yasbeck Actor

Wife
Co-starred together in "Problem Child" (1990) married on September 18, 1999 till his death in 2003

EDUCATION

Harvey Lembeck Comedy Workshop

studied for four years

studied acting with Stella Adler and Nina Foch

Hollywood High School

Hollywood , California
was student body president

University of Southern California

Los Angeles , California 1971
enrolled as a psychology major; later switched to drama

Milestones

2004

Received an Emmy nomination ten months after his death for Best Actor in a Comedy Series for his work on "8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter"

2004

Voiced Clifford in the animated feature "Clifford the Big Red Dog"; movie released after his death

2003

Played Bob Chipeska, a department store manager in "Bad Santa"; movie released after his death

2002

Starred in the ABC comedy series "8 Simple Rules"

2001

Starred in the L.A. production of the play "J for J", writer-director Jenny Sullivan's autobiographical play about her developmentally disabled older brother

2000

Made Broadway debut co-starring with Henry Winkler in "The Dinner Party", a comedy written by Neil Simon

1998

Had recurring role as a client-turned-love interest for Calsita Flockhart's "Ally McBeal"; earned an Emmy nomination

1996

Delivered a change of pace performance as a gay man who befriends a co-worker in Billy Bob Thornton's "Sling Blade"

1992

Had third teaming with Bogdanovich with the backstage comedy "Noises Off"

1992

Reprised role in the sequel "Problem Child 2"

1990

Co-starred in the ABC miniseries "Stephen King's 'IT'"

1990

Played the surrogate father of the "Problem Child"

1990

Had title role in the NBC biopic "The Dreamer of Oz: The L. Frank Baum Story"

1989

Executive produced the short-lived sitcom, "Have Faith" (ABC)

1986

Delivered strong dramatic performance as a Vietnam veteran who may be suffering from the effects of Agent Orange in the NBC TV-movie "Unnatural Causes"

1982

Hosted the syndicated special "The Singing Cowboys Ride Again"

1981

Had one of the leads in Bogdanovich's ill-fated "They All Laughed"

1980

Hosted the ABC variety special "John Ritter: Being of Sound Mind and Body"

1976

Co-starred in Peter Bogdanovich's "Nickelodeon"

1975

TV-movie debut in "The Night That Panicked America" (ABC)

1972

Had role of Reverend Fordwicke on the CBS drama "The Waltons"

1970

Film acting debut in "The Barefoot Executive"; billed ninth

1970

Made TV debut as a guest in an episode of ABC's "Dan August", starring Burt Reynolds

1968

Made professional acting debut on stage at the Edinburgh Festival in Scotland

Had title role in the ABC half-hour comedy-drama "Hooperman"

Executive produced the first season of the popular ABC sitcom, "Anything But Love"; also played recurring role on the series as Richard Lewis' nemesis

Starred in the CBS sitcom "Hearts Afire"; first screen collaboration with Billy Bob Thornton

Starred in the popular ABC sitcom, "Three's Company"

Headed the cast of the spin-off sitcom "Three's a Crowd" (ABC)

Formed Adam Productions

Bonus Trivia

.

In 1980, Ritter and his mother Dorothy were the forces behind a company manufacturing Ritter Frozen Custard Desserts. They later opened a string of ice cream parlors in California.

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