Time is said to be the greatest healer, but memories of some losses last a lifetime. Such was the sudden death of ‘Three’s Company’ actor John Ritter. It’s been nearly 18 years since the unfortunate event, but Kaley Cuoco still misses her on-screen dad.
Before ‘The Big Bang Theory’ happened to Cuoco, she made her TV debut with ABC sitcom ‘8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter’, alongside John Ritter. The actors played the popular father-daughter duo, Bridget and Paul Hennessy.
- The death of TV superstar John Ritter
- Kaley Cuoco’s tribute to on-screen dad John Ritter
- Remembering John Ritter 18 years after he’s gone
Watch the ‘8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter’ official trailer
The death of TV superstar John Ritter
Comic actor John Ritter died of an undetected aortic dissection in his heart on 11 September 2003. Unfortunately, it was the same day as his daughter Stella’s 5th birthday. His second wife Amy Yasbeck recollects confronting their daughter the next morning. “The doctors told it to me like I was 5 and I told it to her like she was 5. The truth is, it’s a lot more complicated and it’s a lot more sad”, said Yasbeck in an interview with “Los Angeles Times”.
While rehearsing for the sitcom ‘8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter’, John Ritter fell ill after experiencing sudden nausea and vomiting. The discomfort led him to experience chest pain, after which he was rushed to the nearest hospital.
Medical experts concluded that Ritter was doomed by his own biology, but Yasbeck believes it was too late to save her husband, as the doctors had missed signs of his heart’s condition. Just hours later, Ritter was pronounced dead at the age of 54, leaving the whole industry in utmost shock. Shortly after Ritter’s death, the show got revamped with new cast members and was renamed ‘8 Simple Rules’ which continued to remain on air till 2005.https://www.instagram.com/p/CSyBlPmDbOl/
Kaley Cuoco posts trailer of ‘Superstar: John Ritter’ on Instagram
Kaley Cuoco’s tribute to on-screen dad John Ritter
In August 2021, ABC honoured the late actor with a special TV event titled ‘Superstar: John Ritter’. Promoting the special airing, Kaley Cuoco posted the show’s trailer on Instagram with the caption “SuperStar- Don’t miss this next week.. all about my friend John Ritter”.
In the video, Cuoco can be heard saying, “John was like no one like I have ever met”. Besides her, the trailer also featured the likes of actor Bryan Cranston, talk show host Jimmy Kimmel, Ritter’s ‘Three’s Company’ co-star Suzanne Somers, Henry Winkler, Raven-Symone and the like.
Kaley Cuoco pays tribute to on-screen dad John Ritter on his 15th death anniversaryhttps://www.instagram.com/p/BnltYzQFQ8c/?utm_source=ig_embed&ig_rid=8b72cee2-eb84-451e-b76d-957bee93e68f
As part of the “Variety Actors on Actor” series, when ‘The Flight Attendant’ actress was asked about that “one memorable talk”, she recollected saying, “I remember conversations when I was 15 years old where John said, ‘You have to remember when you’re on a set, it’s like a tree. Number one’s here, and anyway you act is all trickling down that tree’. You can be a boss, you can be a great actor, you can get work done, but you can just be nice”.
John Ritter passed away a few days before season 2 of ‘8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter’ began airing. According to Cuoco, their relationship went beyond their on-screen roles of a father and a daughter. Cuoco looked up to Ritter as a father figure in real life. Cuoco said in “Superstar”, “He treated me like his own daughter. He treated all of us kids like that. It was pretty incredible”.
‘The Big Bang Theory’ actor teared up saying, “I really love him so much … to this day”.
It’s fair to say, Kaley Cuoco never misses a chance to remember and celebrate her on-screen dad, John Ritter.https://www.instagram.com/p/CFAEyORhJ9B/?utm_source=ig_embed&ig_rid=6a19215b-b626-4126-b45d-473eff4c8098
Kaley Cuoco shares an emotional post on John Ritter’s 17th death anniversary
Remembering John Ritter 18 years after he’s gone
Following the untimely demise of John Ritter, the ‘8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughters’ makers decided to end Paul’s journey just as suddenly as Ritter’s. Season 2 Episode 8 titled ‘Goodbye’ showed Paul collapsing and dying at the store while buying milk. In the special two-part episode, the cast and the family members of the Hennessy family bid goodbye to both John and Paul.
Don Knotts once called John Ritter the “greatest physical comedian on this planet” – a title rightfully earned by Ritter. He shot to fame with the sitcom ‘Three’s Company’ which won him both an Emmy and a Golden Globe in 1984. The rest is history.
John Ritter’s son Jason remembers: “There was so much beauty in his life”.
John Ritter’s oldest son Jason Ritter also believed his father was a “comedy genius”. Processing his father’s sudden death was definitely a challenge for Jason, but what got him through was John’s entertaining spectrum of work – “Instead of feeling like I was reading this beautiful book and all of a sudden the last ten chapters were ripped out, I started to look at it as that was the whole book. That’s the whole story”.
What is your favourite John Ritter character? Tell us in the comments below!