John Ritter (September 17, 1948 – September 11, 2003) was an American actor and comedian. He was a son of the singing cowboy star Tex Ritter and the father of actors Jason Ritter and Tyler Ritter. Ritter was known for playing Jack Tripper on the ABC sitcom Three’s Company (1977–1984), for which he received a Primetime Emmy Award and a Golden Globe Award in 1984. He briefly reprised the role on the spin-off Three’s a Crowd, which aired for one season.
Ritter appeared in over 100 films and television series combined and performed on Broadway, with roles including It (1990), Problem Child (1990), Problem Child 2 (1991), and Bad Santa in 2003 (his final live action film, which was dedicated to his memory). In 2002, Don Knotts called Ritter the “greatest physical comedian on the planet”. Ritter experienced discomfort during a rehearsal for ABC sitcom 8 Simple Rules (2002–2003) on the afternoon of September 11, 2003 and died later that evening of an aortic dissection at the age of 54.
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