Ritter co-starred opposite Joyce De Witt and Suzanne Somers; however, Somers left due to a contractual dispute in 1981.Jenilee Harrison and then Priscilla Barnes filled Somers's role.(September 17, 1948 – September 11, 2003) was an American actor and comedian, best known for his role of Jack Tripper in Three's Company, for which he won an Emmy and a Golden Globe Award in 1984; also playing the same role in Three's a Crowd, he was the son of the late singing cowboy star Tex Ritter and the father of actors Jason Ritter and Tyler Ritter.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 to 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.Don Knotts called Ritter the "greatest physical comedian on the planet".
He went on to the University of Southern California and majored in psychology with plans to have a career in politics. While still in college, Ritter traveled to the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, and West Germany to perform in plays. Ritter made his film debut in the 1971 Disney film The Barefoot Executive.
Much of the comedy centered around Jack's pretending to be gay to keep the old-fashioned landlords appeased over the seemingly sordid living arrangements. A year-long spin-off Three's a Crowd ensued, as the Jack Tripper character has a live-in girlfriend and runs his own bistro.
In 1982, Ritter provided the voice of Peter Dickinson in Flight of Dragons.
Ritter became a household name playing struggling culinary student Jack Tripper with two female roommates.
Since he was not a weekly cast member, he had time to pursue other roles, which he did until December 1976, when he left for a starring role in the hit ABC sitcom Three's Company (the Americanized version of the 1970s British Thames Television series Man About the House) in 1977.In 1978, Ritter played Ringo Starr's manager on the TV special Ringo.