‘Three’s Company’: One Star Revealed the Final Conversation They Had with John Ritter Before His Death

by Atlanta Northcutt

After five seasons together, tensions arose between the stars of Three’s Company, resulting in some pretty nasty drama, much animosity, and the firing of one main character. However, when it comes to friendship, no amount of fighting can stop the underlying love that was rekindled shortly before one star’s death.

The saying “two’s company; three’s a crowd,” became relevant on the hit TV series Three’s Company after stars Suzanne Somers and the late John Ritter ended their on and off-screen friendship upon Somers’ termination from the beloved show. Thankfully, the love they shared as dear friends was restored right before Ritter’s passing.

‘Three’s Company’ Becomes Three Being a Crowd

The two may have appeared to be the best of friends while the cameras were rolling as they naturally and flawlessly portrayed Chrissy Snow and Jack Tripper. However, drama over salaries and stardom caused a major rift in the co-stars’ relationship off-screen.

According to Closer Weekly, Somers insisted that she receive a raise of 500%, which would result in her payment equaling $150,000 per episode. The large sum would be equal to what her male co-star John Ritter was making. However, ABC executives told Suzanne that John was the star of the show, and that is why he was making more money than both Somers and fellow female co-star Joyce DeWitt.

This incident, along with a 1978 photoshoot for Newsweek where Somers appears to be the main focus of the three stars, was the straw that broke the camel’s back when it came to Ritter and Somers’ feud.

Ritter began to feel as though the starlet had let fame go to her head and that she was becoming too money-hungry. He washed his hands of her and the entire ordeal. ABC did the same after offering her an additional $5,000 per episode, which was much less than Somers originally requested. Upon her denial, she was fired and quickly written off the TV show.

Losing Dear Friends With the Loss of a Role

When Somers was let go from Three’s Company in 1980, she didn’t just lose a job. The star lost the friendships she shared with her co-stars Joyce DeWitt and John Ritter. She and John had a severe falling out with the two not speaking to each other for decades. Joyce’s reaction was the same as Ritter’s.

“Oh, it was so sad,” Somers shares. “It was so sad. It was like being shunned from your family and whatever those producers said to them when they went back to the rehearsal hall, they painted me as greedy. They painted me as she’s trying to ruin the show, and so the whole show — cast and crew — shunned me. So, I never talked to anybody on that show ever again. Ever again.”

Luckily, Somers was able to mend her broken friendships with both Joyce and John after many years of not speaking.

Sadly, John Ritter died in 2003 from an aortic dissection. The actor was only 54 when he passed. He and Somers spoke for the first time in decades, mending their friendship just one month before Ritter’s death.

Somers says that before he died, the two were able to make peace after she received a phone call one day.

Suzanne Somers Reunites With John Ritter

“I go to the phone. I said, ‘John?’” she recalls. “He said, ‘Hey babe,’ and I knew his voice right away. And then he said, ‘I forgive you.’ I had a moment of, ‘Uh, you forgive me?’ And then I thought, ‘Be the grownup.’ And so I said, ‘Thanks.’”

John had come up with a plan to reunite the stars of Three’s Company for an episode on his current show, and he discussed the idea with Suzanne over the phone.

“He said, ‘You know, I’m doing a show, 8 Simple Rules, and we’ve got this dream sequence, and I have this nightmare, and in the nightmare you and Joyce [DeWitt] are in the nightmare,'” she recalls Ritter saying.

Suzanne states that she fell silent after hearing her former co-star’s concept.

“I said, ‘You know, the public has such a craving for you and I to be together again,” she explains. “I don’t think my coming back as a nightmare is the best thing that we can do.”

Since Somers felt her departure from Three’s Company had been so negative and publicly damaging, she didn’t think it would be the best idea to return as a nightmare in Ritter’s dream.

“I said, ‘Why don’t we look for a proper project for the two of us?’ and so we decided to do that,” she adds.

Unfortunately, the project between the two would never come to fruition, but their reconciliation would be fruitful for healing the hearts of Suzanne Somers and John Ritter.

“A month later, he died. So there was resolution, which feels good,” she admits. “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.”