Jonathan Southworth Ritter was an American actor and comedian. He was the son of the singing cowboy star Tex Ritter and the father of actors Jason and Tyler Ritter. Ritter is known for playing Jack Tripper on the ABC sitcom Three’s Company. He appeared in over 100 films and television series combined.
About John Ritter in brief
Jonathan Southworth Ritter was an American actor and comedian. He was the son of the singing cowboy star Tex Ritter and the father of actors Jason and Tyler Ritter. Ritter is known for playing Jack Tripper on the ABC sitcom Three’s Company. He briefly reprised the role on the spin-off Three’s a Crowd, which aired for one season. He appeared in over 100 films and television series combined and performed on Broadway, with roles including adult Ben Hanscom in It and Problem Child 2. His final roles include voicing the title character on the PBS children’s program Clifford the Big Red Dog and as Paul Hennessy on ABC sitcom 8 Simple Rules. In 2002, Don Knotts called Ritter the \”greatest physical comedian on the planet\”. Ritter had a birth defect known as a coloboma in his right eye. His father, Tex Ritters, was a singing cowboy and matinee star, and his mother, Dorothy Fay, was an actress. He had an older brother, Thomas \”Tom\” Matthews. He attended the University of Southern California and majored in psychology with plans to have a career in politics. He played the Reverend Matthew Fordwick on the drama series The Waltons from October 1972 to December 1976.
He made his film debut in the 1971 Disney film The Barefoot Executive. In 1978, Ritter played Ringo Starr’s manager on the television special Ringo. In 1982, he provided the voice of Peter Dickinson in the animated film The Flight of Dragons. In 1988, he played the role of Dad in the music video for Graham Nash’s song \”Innocent Eyes\” from the album of the same name. He returned to television for three seasons as John Hooperman, aide to a U.S. Senator in This Hearts Afire. He also played Garry Lejeune Trample in the production No Offense Off Main in 1992. After his time on television, he appeared in a number of movies, most notably the first Problem Child and its first sequel, Billy Bob Davis: The Movie. He died of a heart attack on September 17, 2013. He is survived by his wife, Susan, and their two children, Jonathan Ritter, Jr., and their daughter, Emma Ritter-Ritter, and a son, Jonathan Southworth, III. His brother Thomas Matthews, also a actor, died in a car accident on September 14, 2013, at the age of 69.