Jonathan Southworth "John" Ritter (September 17, 1948 – September 11, 2003) was an American actor, comedian, and voice-over artist. Ritter was best known for playing Jack Tripper on the hit ABC sitcom Three's Company, for which he won an Emmy and a Golden Globe Award in 1984.
Ritter appeared in hundreds of films and television shows/episodes combined (and performed on Broadway), including It (1990), Problem Child (1990), Problem Child 2 (1991) and Bad Santa in 2003 (his final live action film which was dedicated in his memory). Prior to Clifford's Really Big Movie (posthumously released), Ritter received four Daytime Emmy Award nominations for his voice work on the children's television series, Clifford the Big Red Dog, in addition to many other awards Ritter was nominated for or won.
Son of famous country/western star Tex Ritter, his untimely death occurred shortly after the production of an episode for the second season of 8 Simple Rules in 2003.
Don Knotts called Ritter the "greatest physical comedian on the planet". He died of an aortic dissection on September 11, 2003.
Ritter was born in Burbank, California. His father, Tex Ritter, was a singing cowboy/matinee-star, and his mother, Dorothy Fay (née Southworth), was an actress. Ritter 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 (FIJI) fraternity, and majored in psychology and minored in architecture. Ritter was a contestant on The Dating Game in 1966.