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John Ritter (1948–2003)

Jonathan Southworth Ritter was born in Burbank, California, on September 17, 1948. He was the son of legendary country singer/actor Tex Ritter and his wife, actress Dorothy Fay. The couple married in 1941 and had their first child, Tom Ritter, who was diagnosed with cerebral palsy. John was destined to follow in his parents footsteps. He was ... See full bio »

Emmy Stars Reveal Their Favorite Performances of the Year

IMDb Special Correspondent Drew Dorsey talked to some of TV's biggest stars on the 2017 Emmys red carpet and learned about their favorite performers and shows they've recently binge-watched.

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2017 Emmys: Photos We Love

See our favorite photos from the 2017 Emmys, from history-making wins to celebrations backstage and the party scene.

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Won 1 Golden Globe. Another 5 wins & 17 nominations. See more awards »

Known For

Three's Company
Three's Company Jack Tripper / David Bell / Himself
Sling Blade
Sling Blade Vaughan Cunningham
Bad Santa
Bad Santa Bob Chipeska
Hearts Afire
Hearts Afire John Hartman


Hide Hide Show Show Actor (132 credits)
 2006 Stanley's Dinosaur Round-Up
Great Uncle Stew (voice)
 1997-2004 King of the Hill (TV Series)
Eugene Grandy
- Stressed for Success (2004) ... Eugene Grandy (voice)
- Witches of East Arlen (2003) ... Eugene Grandy (voice)
- What Makes Bobby Run? (2000) ... Eugene Grandy (voice)
- The Son That Got Away (1997) ... Eugene Grandy (voice)
 2003 Manhood
 2002 Scrubs (TV Series)
Sam Dorian
- My Lucky Day (2002) ... Sam Dorian (uncredited)
- My Old Man (2002) ... Sam Dorian
 2002 Breaking News (TV Series)
Lloyd Fuchs
- Pilot (2002) ... Lloyd Fuchs
 2002 Man of the Year
 2000-2002 Felicity (TV Series)
Mr. Andrew Covington
- Kiss and Tell (2002) ... Mr. Andrew Covington (uncredited)
- A Perfect Match (2001) ... Mr. Andrew Covington (uncredited)
- The Storm (2001) ... Mr. Andrew Covington (uncredited)
- Kissing Mr. Covington (2000) ... Mr. Andrew Covington (uncredited)
 2002 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (TV Series)
Dr. Richard Manning
- Monogamy (2002) ... Dr. Richard Manning
 2002 The Ellen Show (TV Series)
Percy Moss
- Gathering Moss (2002) ... Percy Moss
 2001 Nuncrackers (Video)
 2001 Tucker (TV Series)
- Homewrecker for the Holidays (2001) ... Marty
 2000 Tadpole
Stanley Grubman
 2000 Terror Tract
Bob Carter (segment "Make Me An Offer")
 2000 Lost in the Pershing Point Hotel
Christian Therapist
 2000 Family Law (TV Series)
Father Andrews
- Possession Is Nine Tenths of the Law (2000) ... Father Andrews
 2000 Batman Beyond (TV Series)
Dr. David Wheeler
- The Last Resort (2000) ... Dr. David Wheeler (voice)
 2000 Chicago Hope (TV Series)
Joe Dysmerski
- Simon Sez (2000) ... Joe Dysmerski
 2000 Panic
Dr. Josh Parks
 1999 Lethal Vows (TV Movie)
Dr. David Farris
 1999 It Came from the Sky (TV Movie)
Donald Bridges
 1999 Holy Joe (TV Movie)
Joe Cass
 1999 Veronica's Closet (TV Series)
- Veronica's Favorite Year (1999) ... Tim
 1998 Dead Husbands (TV Movie)
Dr. Carter Elston
 1998 Loss of Faith (TV Movie)
Bruce Simon Barker
 1998 I Woke Up Early the Day I Died
Robert Forrest
 1998 Shadow of Doubt
Steven Mayer
 1998 Chance of a Lifetime (TV Movie)
Tom Maguire
 1998 Montana
Dr. Wexler
 1997 Buffy the Vampire Slayer (TV Series)
Ted Buchanan
- Ted (1997) ... Ted Buchanan
 1997 Over the Top (TV Series)
- The Nemesis (1997) ... Justin
 1997/I Hacks
 1997 A Gun, a Car, a Blonde
Duncan / The Bartender
 1997 Nowhere
Moses Helper
 1997 Dead Man's Gun (TV Movie)
Harry McDonacle (segment "The Great McDonacle")
 1997 A Child's Wish (TV Movie)
Ed Chandler
 1996 For Hope (TV Movie)
Date #5 (uncredited)
 1996 Mercenary (Video)
Jonas Ambler
 1996 Wings (TV Series)
Stuart Davenport
- Love Overboard (1996) ... Stuart Davenport
 1996 Unforgivable (TV Movie)
Paul Hegstrom
 1995 NewsRadio (TV Series)
Dr. Frank Westford
- The Shrink (1995) ... Dr. Frank Westford
 1995 The Colony (TV Movie)
Rick Knowlton
 1995 Gramps (TV Movie)
Clarke MacGruder
 1993-1994 The Larry Sanders Show (TV Series)
John Ritter
- Off Camera (1993) ... John Ritter
 1994 North
Ward Nelson
 1993 The Only Way Out (TV Movie)
Jeremy Carlisle
 1993 Heartbeat (TV Movie)
Bill Grant
 1992 Stay Tuned
Roy Knable
 1992 Noises Off...
Garry Lejeune / Roger Tramplemain
 1992 Fish Police (TV Series)
Inspector Gil
- The Two Gils (1992) ... Inspector Gil (voice)
- The Codfather (1992) ... Inspector Gil (voice)
- Beauty's Only Fin Deep (1992) ... Inspector Gil (voice)
- A Fish Out of Water (1992) ... Inspector Gil (voice)
 1991 The Real Story of O Christmas Tree (Video short)
 1991 The Summer My Father Grew Up (TV Movie)
 1991 The Cosby Show (TV Series)
Ray Evans
- Total Control (1991) ... Ray Evans
 1990 The Dreamer of Oz (TV Movie)
L. Frank Baum
 1990 It (TV Mini-Series)
Ben Hanscom
- Part 2 (1990) ... Ben Hanscom
- Part 1 (1990) ... Ben Hanscom
 1989 My Brother's Wife (TV Movie)
 1989 Have Faith (TV Series)
- The Window (1989)
 1989 Skin Deep
 1988 Tricks of the Trade (TV Movie)
Donald Todsen
 1988 Mickey's 60th Birthday (TV Movie)
Dudley Goode
 1987 Prison for Children (TV Movie)
David Royce
 1987 The Last Fling (TV Movie)
Phillip Reed
 1986 A Smoky Mountain Christmas (TV Movie)
Judge Harold Benton (uncredited)
 1986 Unnatural Causes (TV Movie)
Frank Coleman
 1986 Living Seas (TV Movie)
 1985 Letting Go (TV Movie)
 1984 Pryor's Place (TV Series)
- The Showoff (1984)
 1984 Love Thy Neighbor (TV Movie)
Danny Loeb
 1983 Sunset Limousine (TV Movie)
Alan O'Black
 1982 In Love with an Older Woman (TV Movie)
 1982 The Flight of Dragons (Video)
Peter Dickenson (voice)
 1982 Pray TV (TV Movie)
Tom McPherson
 1981 Insight (TV Series)
- Little Miseries (1981) ... Frankie
 1981 They All Laughed
Charles Rutledge
 1980 The Comeback Kid (TV Movie)
Bubba Newman
 1980 The Associates (TV Series)
- The Censors (1980) ... Chick
 1979 The Ropers (TV Series)
Jack Tripper
- The Party (1979) ... Jack Tripper
 1979 Americathon
President Chet Roosevelt
 1978 Leave Yesterday Behind (TV Movie)
Paul Stallings
 1978 Ringo (TV Movie)
Marty Flesh
 1977 Breakfast in Bed
 1971-1977 Hawaii Five-O (TV Series)
Mike Welles / Ryan Moore
- Dealer's Choice... Blackmail (1977) ... Mike Welles
 1976 Phyllis (TV Series)
Paul Jameson
- The New Job (1976) ... Paul Jameson
 1975-1976 Rhoda (TV Series)
Jerry Blocker / Vince Mazuma
- Attack on Mr. Right (1976) ... Jerry Blocker
- Chest Pains (1975) ... Vince Mazuma
 1976 Doc (TV Series)
Jeff / George
- A Little Bit of Soap (1976) ... Jeff / George
 1976 Starsky and Hutch (TV Series)
Tom Cole
- The Hostages (1976) ... Tom Cole
 1975 The Rookies (TV Series)
Hap Dawson
- Reluctant Hero (1975) ... Hap Dawson
 1975 Mary Tyler Moore (TV Series)
Reverend Chatfield
- Ted's Wedding (1975) ... Reverend Chatfield
 1975 The Night That Panicked America (TV Movie)
Walter Wingate
 1975 The Streets of San Francisco (TV Series)
John 'Johnny' Steiner
- Murder by Proxy (1975) ... John 'Johnny' Steiner
 1975 Barnaby Jones (TV Series)
Joe Rockwell
- The Price of Terror (1975) ... Joe Rockwell
 1975 Petrocelli (TV Series)
John Oleson
- Chain of Command (1975) ... John Oleson
 1975 The Bob Crane Show (TV Series)
- The Son of the Campus Capers (1975) ... Hornbeck
 1975 Great Performances (TV Series)
- Who's Happy Now? (1975) ... Richard
 1975 Mannix (TV Series)
Cliff Elgin
- Hardball (1975) ... Cliff Elgin
 1975 Movin' On (TV Series)
Casey Crawford
- Landslide (1975) ... Casey Crawford
 1974 The Bob Newhart Show (TV Series)
- Sorry, Wrong Mother (1974) ... Dave
 1974 Owen Marshall, Counselor at Law (TV Series)
- To Keep and Bear Arms (1974) ... Greg
 1974 Kojak (TV Series)
Kenny Soames
- Deliver Us Some Evil (1974) ... Kenny Soames
 1973 M*A*S*H (TV Series)
Pvt. Carter
- Deal Me Out (1973) ... Pvt. Carter
 1973 The Stone Killer
 1973 Bachelor-at-Law (TV Movie)
Ben Sykes
 1973 Medical Center (TV Series)
- End of the Line (1973) ... Ronnie
 1972 The Other
 1972 Evil Roy Slade (TV Movie)
Priest (uncredited)
 1971 Scandalous John
 1971 The Barefoot Executive
 1970 Dan August (TV Series)
Coley Smith
- Quadrangle for Death (1970) ... Coley Smith
 1968 Crazy World, Crazy People (TV Movie)
Various Characters
Show Show Producer (4 credits)
Show Show Soundtrack (3 credits)
Show Show Writer (1 credit)
Show Show Thanks (8 credits)
Show Show Self (166 credits)
Show Show Archive footage (18 credits)

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Personal Details

Other Works:

Guest Voice on the Online Audio Series: "Seeing Eye Theatre Presents: Tales From the Crypt" EPISODE 8: BY THE FRIGHT OF THE SILVERY MOON, played Sheriff Jim Thornton (Released online Jan 8, 2001 on See more »

Publicity Listings:

1 Portrayal | 13 Articles | 4 Magazine Cover Photos | See more »


5' 11" (1.8 m)

Did You Know?

Personal Quote:

I knew when I grew up, I always wanted to be a liar, and if you're in television, you're lying because you're just pretending to be yourself much like I'm doing now. See more »


His talent for physical schtick was heralded by television comedy icon Lucille Ball, who hosted a tribute to John's talent on Three's Company (1976). John later appeared in an episode of Lucille's last comedy series Life with Lucy (1986) In that episode, Lucy claims that during the shooting of a scene, it was the third time in her entire career that she had to yell "cut" because he broke her up ... See more »

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