Add a cover

General information  

  • Real name : Jonathan Southworth Ritter
  • Place of birth : Burbank
  • Date of birth : 17/09/1948
  • Place of death : Burbank
  • Date of death : 11/09/2003



  • Ritter John


This media has not been rated yet.
Be the first one!

To rate this media or to interact with your friends, create a free mediatly account. You'll also be able to collaborate with our growing community and make it you digital entertainment center.

Friends who like

Sign up to see which of your friends like this.

Linked media  

Linking media

Mediatly © 2013

Mediatly, The multimedia social network

Discover new movies and TV shows to watch, novels or comics to read, music to hear and games to play thanks to your friends. It's fast, free, simple and enjoyable!
To start discover a new world, Sign up for free

John Ritter (1948)

Jonathan Southworth Ritter

Type :  


Jonathan Southworth "John" Ritter (September 17, 1948 – September 11, 2003) was an American actor, voice over artist and comedian perhaps best known for having played Jack Tripper and Paul Hennessy in the ABC sitcoms Three's Company and 8 Simple Rules, respectively. He is also known for being the voice of the title character Clifford in the PBS television series Clifford the Big Red Dog. Don Knotts called him the "Greatest physical comedian on the planet".

Ritter's final films—the screwball dark comedy Bad Santa and the two children's animated films Clifford's Really Big Movie and Stanley's Dinosaur Round-Up—were all dedicated in his memory.


 early life
John Ritter was born in Burbank, California, the son of Dorothy Fay (née Southworth), an actress, and singing cowboy/matinee-star Tex Ritter. He attended Hollywood High School, where he was student body president. He went on to the University of Southern California, where he was a member of the Phi Gamma Delta fraternity, and majored in psychology and minored in architecture. In 1966 at the age of 18, Ritter was a contestant on The Dating Game.

While still in college, Ritter traveled to England, Scotland, Holland and Germany to perform in plays. After his 1970 graduation from USC, his first TV acting experience was a campus revolutionary in the TV series, Dan August, starring Burt Reynolds and Norman Fell. In 1971, Ritter landed his first movie role in The Barefoot Executive.

 film career
After his time on TV he appeared in a number of movies, most notably Problem Child and its first sequel. He appeared in the Oscar-winning Sling Blade and Noises Off and played the lead role in Blake Edwards' 1989 film Skin Deep.

He starred in many made-for-TV movies, including Gramps , co-starring with Andy Griffith, Rob Hedden's The Colony with Hal Linden, Stephen King's It, Danielle Steel's Heartbeat with Polly Draper, and It Came From the Sky in 1999 with Yasmine Bleeth, and made guest appearances on TV shows, such as Ally McBeal, Scrubs, Buffy the Vampire Slayer. He also provided the voice of the title character in the PBS animated children's show Clifford the Big Red Dog, a role for which he received two Emmy nominations. He starred alongside kickboxing actor Olivier Gruner for the buddy cop film Mercenary.

 later career
 8 Simple Rules
In 2002, he made a TV comeback with the ABC family sitcom 8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter . Other titles considered were "8 Simple Rules for Dating" and, simply, "8".)

In 2003, John Ritter suddenly fell ill and died while rehearsing for the second season of "8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter."

 Final works
Ritter's final live action film appearance was as the store manager in Bad Santa , starring personal friend Billy Bob Thornton and Bernie Mac. Ritter's last film Clifford's Really Big Movie was as his title character Clifford the Big Red Dog and released seven months after his death. He has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6631 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood.

 personal life
Ritter was married to actress Nancy Morgan from 1977 until they divorced in 1996; he married actress Amy Yasbeck in 1999. Yasbeck had variously played his wife and love interest in the first two Problem Child movies. Yasbeck also played Ritter's wife in two sitcom appearances. In 1991, both were guest stars on The Cosby Show, where Yasbeck played the in-labor wife of Ritter's basketball coach character. In 1996, Ritter guest starred on Yasbeck's sitcom, Wings, as the estranged husband of Yasbeck's character, Casey.

Ritter and Morgan had three children: Carly, Tyler, and Jason; he and Yasbeck had one daughter, Stella born in 1998, a year before they were married.

On September 11, 2003, Ritter felt ill while rehearsing scenes for the second season of 8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter. He was taken across the street to Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center, where he died later that evening, at approximately 10:45 pm PST. He was 54 years old, six days short of his 55th birthday. This was also the birthday of Ritter's then five-year-old daughter Stella, as well as one day before the birthday of his wife, Amy Yasbeck . The cause of his death was an aortic dissection caused by a previously undiagnosed congenital heart defect. His father Tex Ritter had died of a heart attack almost 30 years earlier. Years later, Ritter's widow Amy Yasbeck testified in court that she had concerns for his health because of his father's death. Ritter was interred at Forest Lawn, Hollywood Hills Cemetery in Los Angeles. His mother died less than two months later.

Following his death, Yasbeck filed a $67 million wrongful death suit against radiologist Dr. Matthew Lotysch and cardiologist Dr. Joseph Lee. She accused Lee, who treated Ritter on the day of his death, of misdiagnosing his condition as a heart attack, and Lotysch, who had given him a full-body scan two years earlier, of failing at that time to detect an enlargement of Ritter's aorta. "Both sides agree that his true condition—an aortic dissection, which is a tear in the largest blood vessel in the body—was not identified until right before his death."
The trial began on February 11, 2008, in Los Angeles County Superior Court. On March 14, 2008, the defendants were found not responsible for Ritter's death by a jury vote of 9–3. The family has already received more than $14 million in settlements, according to court records, including $9.4 million from Providence St. Joseph Medical Center in Burbank, where he died.

 Response and legacy

Many of Ritter's co-workers expressed deep sorrow and heartbreak following the news of his death. Suzanne Somers expressed immense despair for Ritter's family, "I'm so sad for the family. We lost a good one, it was so unfinished." Zach Braff, who worked with Ritter on Scrubs called Ritter a "comic hero" of his and immediately approached series creator Bill Lawrence to get Ritter to play his TV-dad. Katey Sagal testified in the wrongful death lawsuit, calling Ritter a "funny man who was funny like nobody's business".

8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter was later retitled 8 Simple Rules following Ritter's death and continued for two more seasons until its cancellation on May 17, 2005. Ritter's character, Paul Hennessy, was said to have died after collapsing in a grocery store while buying milk. ABC aired the first three episodes of the show's second season that had been taped before his death. The remainder of the show dealt with the family trying to grapple with Paul's death. New male characters, played by James Garner and David Spade, were later added as the main cast. Shortly before his death, Ritter did a week-long taping with Hollywood Squares, which was aired as a tribute to him, introduced by Henry Winkler, the executive producer of the show and very close friend of Ritter's.

In 2004, Ritter was posthumously given an Emmy nomination for playing Paul Hennessey in 8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter, but lost to Kelsey Grammer for playing the title character of Frasier. Upon accepting his trophy, Grammer's remarks included comments made in tribute and remembrance of Ritter. His last films, Bad Santa and Clifford's Really Big Movie, along with an episode of Scrubs (His character in this series died as well following Ritter's real life death) and King of the Hill, were dedicated in his memory.
On June 6, 2008, a mural of Ritter painted by Eloy Torrez was dedicated at Hollywood High School. In March 2010, the Thoracic Aortic Disease Coalition, in partnership with Yasbeck, and the , announced the creation of the Ritter Rules. The purpose of the charity is to help raise awareness among all of the public about aortic dissection so they can reduce their risk of the same kind of tragedy that took the life of Ritter.

Yasbeck has been working with the University of Texas Medical School at Houston Team, identifying genes that may lead to an aortic aneurysm. Those included in the study are all four of Ritter's children, which are collected by a saliva sample along with many other samples. Yasbeck is certain that once these genes are identifiable, such a tragedy should not repeat itself.

Show more

  Played TV shows  

  TV show

  • Pre-production
  • Have Faith
    Executive producer





  Press reviews    

  User reviews


Whole or part of the information contained in this card come from the Wikipedia article "John Ritter", licensed under CC-BY-SA full list of contributors here.