‘Three’s Company’: Two Actors’ Brothers Passed Away Due to Heart Issues at the Same Tragic Age

by Joe Rutland
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When two actors of the ABC sitcom “Three’s Company” started talking about family members, they realized there was something in common.

Suzanne Somers, who played Chrissy, and Joyce DeWitt, who played Janet, realized they had siblings who both died of heart issues. Both actors sat down in a 2012 interview during a “Three’s Company” reunion show on Somers’ Internet show, “Breaking Through.”

The show was being done as a tribute to their co-star, John Ritter. Ritter, sadly, died from heart issues in 2003.

DeWitt and Somers spent almost 30 years not speaking to one another. But they reconciled and that led to DeWitt’s appearance on Somers’ show.

‘Three’s Company’ Co-Stars Share Grief Over Losing Family Members

When DeWitt was talking about going back to visit her family in Indiana, she mentions that her younger brother had just died. As a reminder, this interview took place in 2012.

“Wait a minute, your younger brother passed?” Somers asks.

“He did, earlier this year,” DeWitt replies. “Of what?” Somers asks.

“Um, his heart just kind of stopped,” DeWitt says. “How old was he?” Somers asks. DeWitt says he was 48.

“That’s very bizarre,” Somers says. “My younger brother died, too, at 48 of a massive heart attack.” DeWitt looks surprised by this revelation from Somers.

John Ritter’s Death Still Weighs Heavy On The Hearts of DeWitt, Somers

Both actors still find themselves stunned all of those years later about their “Three’s Company” co-star’s death at 55 years old.

Ritter died on Sept. 15, 2003, from an aortic dissection in Los Angeles. He became quite ill while rehearsing for the sitcom he was a part of at the time, “8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter.” Reportedly, he was originally treated for a heat attack but his symptoms became worse.

“Three’s Company” catapulted Ritter into the world of comedy on a grand scale. The ABC sitcom became a big hit. Ritter and DeWitt remained with the show throughout its entire eight-season run. Somers was fired from “Three’s Company” in 1980.

Before the big comedy hit, Ritter played a minister on CBS’s family drama, “The Waltons.” It is quite a difference of character between the good reverend and Jack Tripper.

Also, John Ritter does have a little connection to the world of country music by birth. His father was Tex Ritter, who was one of film’s earliest “singing cowboys.” John Ritter was born on Sept. 17, 1948, at Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center in Burbank, Calif. It’s the same hospital, ironically, where Ritter would die.

People still watch “Three’s Company” in reruns these days. New generations are being introduced to the comedy of John Ritter all the time. He left a legacy of humor, happiness, and joy behind for many people to see over and over again.

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