‘Three’s Company’ Star Jenilee Harrison Opened Up About Joining Show

by Megan Molseed
(Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images)

When the hit sitcom Three’s Company first premiered in 1977, the series originally starred John Ritter, Joyce DeWitt, and Suzanne Somers. The popular television show centers around the trio as Santa Monica, California. Following the antics of roommates Jack Tripper (Ritter), Janet Wood DeWitt), and Chrissy Snow (Somers). However, the series soon hit a rough patch as there were contract issues with one of the stars of the popular television comedy series. As a result, a new character was introduced in Jenilee Harrison’s Cindy Snow.

Cindy Snow joined the roommates not long after Somers’ exit, taking the place of the actress’s Chrissy Snow. The two characters were described as cousins, with Cindy being the ditzy – and very klutzy – country version of Chrissy. She became well-known for her slap-stick style humor and antics in the series.

It was clear early on that Jenilee Harrison’s portrayal of the ditzy, and an incredibly naive country girl was an attempt to develop a sort of family resemblance between Cindy and Chrissy. However, the actress notes, not all of it was a fictional version of the actress. In fact, the Three’s Company star notes, the writers “incorporated a lot” of her real-life personality into the character.

Harrison’s Time On ‘Three’s Company’ Was Fun But Short

“I was really young when I got on that show, 19 or 20 years old,” the Three’s Company star tells Antenna TV in an interview. This, Harrison notes, is where a lot of the character’s innocent and wide-eyed naivety was based.

“So I was, truly had a lot of naivete,” the actress explains.

She was a fun replacement for Somers in the popular series. But that wasn’t enough to keep Jenilee Harrison’s Cindy Snow on as a Three’s Company mainstay.

In 1980, Three’s Company phased Cindy out of the series. This was to make way for the show’s permanent replacement for Suzanne Sommers, Pricilla Barnes. Barnes portrayed Terri Alden.

“Jenilee was, I think, too young and thrown in there with little direction,” notes Three’s Company historian Chris Mann of Harrison’s role in the popular sitcom series. During his conversation with Closer Weekly, Chris Mann notes that Harrison likely faced challenges from the jump. This, the historian says, is because her character is built to be a sort of “Chrissy copycat.”

Cindy’s replacement, Pricilla Barnes’ Terry Alden fared a little better as a new series regular.

In contrast to the previous roommates, Barnes was far from ditzy. A career-driven nurse, Terri is a little more hard-headed than her predecessors. Ending the “dumb blonde” stereotype the show had seemed to have fallen into.