‘Three’s Company’ Star Joyce DeWitt Detailed Final Night with John Ritter Shortly Before His Death

by Suzanne Halliburton
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Two of the stars of Three’s Company reunited for the first time in 30 years. And the two talked extensively about their TV roommate who died a decade before.

Suzanne Somers, who played ditzy Chrissy Snow on Three’s Company, hosted Joyce DeWitt, who was Janet Wood, back in 2012 for an online show she hosted for CafeMom Studio. They talked about a chance meeting DeWitt had with John Ritter, or Jack Tripper for you Three’s Company fans.

The comedy went off the air in 1984. Somers left in 1982 because of a contract dispute. Before her departure, there was trouble among the stars, mainly because Somers was getting so much attention. Jealousy is a natural emotion.

But it took a while before the three stars, who played such close friends on the show, could mend their relationship.

On her online show, Somers apologized to DeWitt for their falling out over Three’s Company. And then they both talked about how much they admired John Ritter.

Joyce DeWitt’s acting career didn’t really go anywhere after Three’s Company was canceled. She kept a low profile since then. And, coincidentally, she was trying to keep that low profile the last time she saw Ritter alive.

Chance Meeting Allowed One More Night for Two Three’s Company Stars

This was back in August, 2003. John Ritter’s career still hadn’t peaked. Three’s Company was a great launch. But he became a true TV star. Ritter was promoting his new show, 8 Simple Rules to Date My Teenage Daughter. The two Three’s Company castmates found themselves in New York.

“I was staying at a hotel in Central Park south,” Dewitt recalled. “John was staying in another hotel in Central Park south, doing the upfronts for his then new show, 8 Simple Rules. And here’s this huge mass of paparazzi standing in front of this hotel. I’ve got on my sweats, I have on my sunglasses, I have on no makeup. It was click, click. [She told them] For heaven sakes, don’t make me look too hideous. Then I walk on.

“As I was leaving, about five or six feet away from them, this voice says, you know John is inside,” DeWitt said. “I said “Joyce Ann, don’t be an idiot, that’s a message. So I turn around, I go back to my hotel. I call [Ritter’s] hotel. I leave a message for Jonathan because there was no answer in his room.

DeWitt remembered her message for her Three’s Company friend was, “Babe, it’s Joyce — he always called me baby — I don’t know what your schedule is like, I just happen to be here, you’re here. Anyway, if there’s time, call me, whatever.’ And as I’m walking out the door, the phone rings. And I pick it up, It was Jonathan.

“He goes, ‘Baby. I’ve got three parties and a dinner to do tonight. Pick you up at 7. I go, ‘wait a minute. what’s the dress code?’ And he goes nice casual. … We did all these things and it was so delicious. And a month later, he passed. “

John Ritter died Sept 11, 2003. He was only 54. He became sick when he was taping his new show and was rushed to the hospital. ER doctors thought he was having a heart attack. Instead, he suffered an aortic dissection. Surgeons tried to repair it, but it was too late.

The interview between the two surviving Three’s Company cast members happened almost 10 years later. Joyce DeWitt still was so taken aback talking about her chance meeting with Ritter that she wiped away tears.

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