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‘Three’s Company’ actor Richard Kline recalls befriending John Ritter: ‘He was just the all-American boy’

Richard Kline continues to be grateful he had the possibility to seem in “Three’s Company” and befriend his beloved co-star John Ritter.

Ritter, who starred because the goofy Jack Tripper within the hit ‘70s sitcom, handed away in 2003 at age 54 from an aortic dissection.


“[He was a] friend, comedy genius, all-around good guy, great father… there are just too many things that come to mind,” Kline, 75, lately instructed Nearer Weekly. “Baseball fan, Beatles fan — huge Beatles fan. As a matter of fact, at his funeral, the cabaret singer Amanda McBroom sang The Beatles song ‘In My Life.’ Not a dry seat in the house.”

John Ritter and Richard Kline share a laugh in a still from the television series, "Three's Company," circa 1970s. (ABC Television/Courtesy of Getty Images)

John Ritter and Richard Kline share amusing in a nonetheless from the tv sequence, “Three’s Company,” circa 1970s. (ABC Tv/Courtesy of Getty Photographs)

“Three’s Company,” which aired from 1976 till 1984, instructed the comical misadventures of two ladies and one man sharing an condominium. It additionally famously starred Joyce DeWitt, Suzanne Somers and Don Knotts, amongst others.

“The show was called ‘Three’s Company,’ but it might as well have been called ‘The John Ritter Show’ because, I mean, he drove the physical comedy,” Kline instructed the outlet. “He was the star of the show no matter how many blondes came and went. Through the years, people who have worked on that show – that I may have run into or read in print – said what a friendly set it was. And the reason it was a friendly set is that there was no egomaniac at the top. John was very gracious to everyone on the show, and that really burnished his reputation.”

Kline acknowledged Somers, who starred as Chrissy Snow, endured issue with contract negotiations, which in the end led to her elimination from the present. Nonetheless, he insisted that the off-camera setback wasn’t brought on by the relationships fashioned on set.


Richard Kline and John Ritter in September 1981. (Walt Disney Television via Getty Images Photo Archives/Walt Disney Television via Getty Images).

Richard Kline and John Ritter in September 1981. (Walt Disney Tv by way of Getty Photographs Picture Archives/Walt Disney Tv by way of Getty Photographs).

“That’s a separate issue as far as I’m concerned,” mentioned Kline. “That’s an employment issue that had nothing to do with the relationships on or off the set, really. I mean, during the height of the crisis, yeah, of course, it affected the relationships. But John was known for his charity work as well with the Cerebral Palsy Foundation… He just had this great persona of being a generally outgoing, down to earth guy. You never got any sense of massive ego with John. At least not when I was with him.”

Kline mentioned after “Three’s Company” got here to an finish, the forged went their separate methods. However with time, one thing fully modified.

“Later, much later actually, about a year or two before he passed, we sort of reconnected,” he defined. “I mean, when you’re on a show for eight years, five days a week, you see a lot of that person and they have their own lives…. My last encounter with John was he and I, and his brother Tom, [we] went to a Dodgers game in August before the September that he passed. And we had a great time. He also came to see me in a showdown in the Pacific Palisades, which I was quite thrilled about. It was a schlepp from Los Angeles down to the Palisades, but he did it. And we had a great visit. But, overall, we were pretty much ‘set pals.’”

And regardless of the years that had handed, Kline mentioned Ritter at all times remained the identical.

A scene from from "Three's Company" featuring John Ritter, Joyce DeWitt and Suzanne Somers. Airdate: Sept. 19, 1978. (ABC Photo Archives/ABC via Getty Images)

A scene from from “Three’s Company” that includes John Ritter, Joyce DeWitt and Suzanne Somers. Airdate: Sept. 19, 1978. (ABC Picture Archives/ABC by way of Getty Photographs)


“He just put on some weight and grew a beard, but other than that, he was the same John,” Kline instructed the outlet. “I mean, I visited him on the set of ‘Eight Simple Rules.’ While I was there, he introduced me to the audience and then he took me back to his dressing room, where oddly enough, he was being visited by Cybill Shepherd and Peter Bogdanovich [with whom he had worked on the feature film ‘They All Laughed.’] But he was the same John.”

Peter Mark Richman (center) filming "Three's Company" in 1978 with Suzanne Somers, John Ritter and Joyce DeWitt.

Peter Mark Richman (heart) filming “Three’s Company” in 1978 with Suzanne Somers, John Ritter and Joyce DeWitt.

“He was simply the all-American boy,” continued Kline. “The guy you would want, if you were a mother, to marry your daughter. The guy you would want on your softball team. The guy you’d want to go with if you were into hunting and fishing. Because, physically, if you look at him, he looked like the all-American guy… He was a handsome, funny dude. And he emanated goodwill. If you were to look at his resume, I think you’d see that he never played a villain-villain. In ‘Sling Blade’ it was a totally out of the box character that he played, and he was in a lot of romantic movies of the week, but nothing where he was a killer. Because you couldn’t buy John Ritter as a killer. Or a criminal.”

Again in 2017, Somers instructed Fox Information she was shocked when Ritter unexpectedly reached out to her a month earlier than his sudden dying. Since she was fired by ABC in 1982, after she requested for a pay hike, Somers by no means heard from any of her co-stars, together with Ritter. However that each one change when she obtained a shock telephone name from Ritter whereas she was getting her hair carried out at a magnificence parlor.

“I go to the phone. I said, ‘John?’” Somers instructed Fox Information. “He mentioned, ‘Hey babe,’ and I knew his voice instantly. After which he mentioned, ‘I forgive you.’ I had a second of, ‘Uh, you forgive me?’ After which I thought, ‘Be the grown-up.’ And so I mentioned, ‘Thanks.’


“And he mentioned, ‘I’m doing a present referred to as ‘Eight Simple Rules’ and there’s a dream sequence and I need to have a nightmare, and in my nightmare, you… are within the dream.’ And I mentioned, ‘Yeah, I’d like to work with you once more, however… This isn’t the way in which I need to come again, a nightmare. Actually?’”

Their transient dialog would spark a attainable collaboration that by no means got here to be.

Suzanne Somers is determined to share her message with fans.

Suzanne Somers is decided to share her message with followers.
(Getty Photographs)

“I said, ‘Why don’t we find an actual project?’” mentioned Somers. “‘Why don’t we do something together?’ He said, ‘All right. That’s a good idea. I’ll look.’ I said, ‘I’ll look.’ And a month later, he died. So there was a resolution, which feels good. We probably would’ve found a project, which would’ve worked. I always thought Jack Tripper should’ve married Chrissy Snow anyway and that should be the spin-off. I’m glad I had that resolution with him. Really glad.”


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