Johnathan Southworth "John" Ritter
was an American actor and comedian. He was best known for his television roles as Jack Tripper
on the ABC
sitcom Three's Company
and as Paul Hennessy on the ABC sitcom 8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter
until his death the following year during production in 2003
. He was also well-known for voicing the titular protagonist
of the animated children's series Clifford the Big Red Dog
and the animated film Clifford's Really Big Movie
to 2003. Additionally, he appeared in the horror miniseries It
as the adult version of Ben Hanscom
For Disney, he portrayed Roger in the 1971 film, The Barefoot Executive (his film debut), and voiced Great Uncle Stew in the Playhouse Disney film Stanley's Dinosaur Round-Up. The latter was his final film and it was dedicated to his memory. He also appeared on some television specials in the 1980s, including guest-starring on Donald Duck's 50th Birthday in 1984, playing Dudley Goode in Mickey's 60th Birthday, and hosting Disney's Living Seas in 1986. Additionally, he played Bob Chipeska in Bad Santa and co-starred in Sling Blade. The former was his final live-action role and was also dedicated to his memory.
He is also the son of actor and musician Tex Ritter, and the father of actor Jason Ritter.
He passed away 6 days before his 55th birthday.
John Ritter at the 1988 Emmy Awards
John Ritter with his first wife, Nancy Morgan.
John Ritter with his second wife, Amy Yasbeck and daughter Stella at The Country Bears premiere in June 2002.
John Ritter with his eldest son, Jason in February 2003.