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John Ritter

Born: 1948-09-17 - Died: 2003-09-11
Cause of Death:
Aortic Dissection

Death Summary: John Ritter died from an aortic dissection caused by a congenital heart defect.

He died in the middle of the second season of 8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter, a show that he was the star of.

Ritter's wife Amy Yasbeck (of Wings fame) filed a lawsuit against the doctors who had treated Ritter, but the jury ruled in favor of the doctors, though she still got $14 million out of court from other defendants.

Who was John Ritter : John Ritter was an American actor and comedian most famous for his role as Jack Tripper on the sitcom Three's Company (a show that also featured the late Don Knotts).

He had also appeared in a number of movies such as Sling Blade, Stay Tuned, Problem Child, Bride of Chucky, and the TV Movie of Stephen King's IT (which also featured the late Jonathan Brandis) before returning to sitcoms with 8 Simple Rules.
Popular YouTube videos about John Ritter

76 Signatures in John Ritter's guestbook

  1. Carl Hardwick Says:

    What a wonderful entertainer.
    He will always be remembered.

  2. allan mercer Says:

    Well, I have bee going through a lot of celebrities deaths on the Net… Seeing some of the people that I use to watch on TV is pretty hurtfull, however seeing them is a good way to remember them in good faith. John Ritter was one of my all time favorites. He delivered his lines in such a way it was nice to watch his skill level. He was funny a super likeable he all seamed so pure and real and was or at least to me not a fony person. I loved his act and he was great in all his shows. I was very upset witht how he died he died why to young. For who he died and what really did happen will be held from the general public, but it seams that he did not have to die so young… I hope his wife and kids will find some kind of closure but that a hard pill to swallow. I lost my Mother at a very young age, she was very fit and had lots going for her, it was a very heartfelt issue for our family. I guess when you see people die for reasons unknowned, well you think of what could you have done to prevent this? God willing John will be given a second chance in Heaven. I feel very sorry for his family and I hope they will be able to carry on a life without him in a good way.
    Sorry for your lost, your lost was a big deal with the whole world. God Bless you and your family..

    Mr. ACM

  3. emma Says:

    I loved 8 simple rules john waass such a good actor and writer.. he will be truly missed

  4. Tom Jones Says:

    Gone forever but, will never truly be forgotten.

  5. Norma Del Rio Says:

    You were such a sweet guy, I am sorry to have seen you leave so young. Rest in Peace John.

  6. tracey Says:

    ur were a very funny man ur missed a lot by many.r.i.p

  7. rod camden Says:

    you were my Idol growing up, I always wondered what you would do next on threes company that show would not have succeeded without you R.I.P

  8. Peter Cooper Says:

    Horror,Comedy,Serious acting you entertained R.I.P

  9. stephen brown Says:

    my heart gos to hes family, and how shocked i was to found out he had past away iv watched all of his films and the saddnes i fill to see a great actor had pasted a way .from all the people from the uk he will be misted. RIP john

  10. Quinnesha Says:

    may he rest in peace
    god bless his family

  11. Steve Doucas Says:

    To Johm:
    You made me laugh so many times.. I grew up watching you on tv.Might seem weird.. but you were like family to me , It really hit hard when i heard about your untimely death. I’m sure your still making people laugh right now ! I will miss you ! God Bless you & your Family !

  12. roxxi40L Says:

    John was a wonderful entertainer. He will be greatly missed by all his family,friends and Fans. He so riched us with his person…Thanku

  13. leslie m. lauscher Says:

    I think John Ritter had to be one of the best actors there has ever been.He was great in funny movies,sad movies,mean movies,he could do anything.I wish i could have met him,i am so sorry for your loss and all the peoples lost,GOD BLESSall of your family.

  14. Anthony Rivera Says:

    Grew up watching 3’s Company with my dad he was a huge fan when I got a little older I became a huge fan, you were one of the best, I still stay up till 3am to catch reruns of the show



  16. Granny Says:

    John Ritter was a wonderful actor and funny. He will be missed. God Bless his family.

  17. Kathy Guess Says:

    He was an all round genuine guy, funny and yet a very serious actor.

    Greatly missed.

  18. Aleksandra Says:

    Never forget…

  19. jeev Says:

    great actor legend

  20. MARY ISBELL Says:


  21. Bonita Says:

    Another Great Comedian left us. Everything he was in he would always shine, with his good sense of humor, and He was Best seen on 3’COMPANY. He was very very funny, And all the stunts he made it was real he made all of them. He will be missed a lot. I wonder if someone could be as him. I doubt it. I bet right now he is making God laugh… Love Him.. ” JACK YOU WILL BE MISSED FOREVER” You were a great Comedian, and no one could compare you….

  22. Hannah Marie Says:

    You were great. It was so sad how they carried on with 8 Simple Rules after this..

  23. Melissa Says:

    I loved John Ritter and I wanted to meet him,But my heart died with John! My prayers and blessings go out to the Ritter family! I hope everything works out fot you!

  24. jon Says:

    RIP JOHN u will be missed

  25. Leesa Litteral Says:

    I loved John Ritter. He was happiness in human form. He could brighten up the worst of days in an instant. Wish to God he was still here. God bless him and his family.

  26. samuel randrup Says:

    gone too soon!!Jack Tripper we miss you!!

  27. adam zamora Says:


  28. Gordon Brown Says:

    I always loved to watch John as he played on TV. He was a very funny guy who captured the hearts of millions of people including my own. I, as John, had an aortic dicection. Thankfully I pulled through. I can only wonder the bigger picture, “Why me and not him?”.

  29. SARAH Says:


  30. CORY Says:


  31. Nancy Schlesinger Says:

    Nancy Schlesinger loved John Ritter, he was
    so great and talented plus down to earth, met him
    when I was 13; he was born the same year as me.
    He will always be my hero, dying much too young.

  32. catherine davis Says:

    srry man

  33. catherine davis Says:

    u wre great

  34. Geno Cuddy Says:

    GONE TOO SOON!!!!!!!!!!!!! loved 3’s company

  35. Edna Dippre Says:

    I was shocked & greatly saddened in 2003 when I heard of John’s death. So unexpected, so young, so full of life…
    He was a wonderful actor as well as a great ‘stunt’ comedian. Hard to understand how someone so athletic could be carrying such a severe condition inside that would take his life in his prime.
    There are so many conflicting stories of what happened at the hospital. You would think that with the hospital just across the street, that he would have had a better chance to survive than others. Something doesn’t seem right. I can only pray that he did not die in vane due to a medical mistake. That would make it all that much more sad to find out he ‘could have’ & ‘should have’ been saved. Such a waste…
    I, of course, remember him well from Three’s Company that I watched with my children. But there was another side of John that isn’t mentioned often enough. He did many serious movies as well. I have watched many of them more than once or twice. I don’t remember their names but one stands out in my mind because he played a husband who was slowly poisoning his wife. I never saw him as a sinister, evil man so this movie showed his true ‘acting’ abilities away from his famed comedic roles that should be appreciated as much. He was great in all that he did.
    I’ve recently started to look into John’s death again since his widow, Amy, was on the show, “The Doctors” last week. The sadness returned.
    But in listening to the description of John’s condition, it struck a nail for me… My cousin had this same thing 2 years ago right after returning from another tour in Afghanistan. He was taken to the hospital with severe chest pain, thinking it was possibly a heart attack. They immediately did the right studies on him, operated & saved his life. His aorta had ruptured & after the repair he also needed his valve repalced. His chest had to be left open for a few days until they could control hemerraging. It was touch & go for awhile. But if those doctors were not on their toes that day, he would have bled to death! He was blessed. He never knew he had a heart defect (the valve) from birth or any heart condition at all. It might be time for the armed forces to start screening for this as part of their physical…If this happened to my cousin overseas, his chances of survival would have been almost impossible…
    So, awareness is key to prevention and prevention is key to life. I am grateful to John’s family for making Ritter Rules so that perhaps this kind of needless death can be prevented in the future for others. John, I’m sure, would have been proud to help save lives via awareness.
    Thank you John, for all the years of laughter & entertainment that filled so many homes because of you. Thank you for the smiles, the tears, the mystery & the suspense. Thank you for being John Ritter…
    God bless you in Heaven and your family on earth. Know that you made a difference in so many lives and you will always be remembered fondly and greatly missed.

  36. Sonja K Says:

    I still sometimes can’t believe your gone… To me never forgotten…R.I.P.

  37. Dukebradford Says:

    my idol will never be fogotten !!!

  38. sherry saultz Says:

    To me you are Jack froms threes company,that was my show and will always be my show.R.I.P.

  39. Karen Flood Says:

    I just miss this man so much he was so star of the show I wish I cud turn the clock back and he’d come back I miss him dearly no show can take his place as Three’s Company duplicate uh uh!!

  40. sam Says:

    i just wanna say that you are my best actor and i will miss you for the rest of my life … lots of love rip

  41. sam Says:

    love you tripper …. you’re the best comedian i have ever seen no one can make another 3s company you rock you are still alive in us …john ritter the best actor i know ….

  42. Kathy Tickell Says:

    I can’t believe that is has been 7 yrs since John died. Very talented man, Truly loved by his fans and family. My thoughts are with his family. May you cherish the wonderful years that you had with him. You will be together again one day. God bless.
    Kathy (Ontario Canada)

  43. crystal Says:

    r.ip. john.we miss you dearly and continue to keep you alive in our hearts.

  44. Evan & Kim Anflick Says:

    You kept us laughing through out those years…God bless John…..

  45. kamishia Says:

    I loved him he was the greatist actor i ever knew i was so sad when i found out he died that hurt i think he was way better and famouse than michel jackson

  46. kamishia Says:


  47. david esch Says:

    hea john its dave from tronto canada iam a big fan of threes company and you will be remembered

  48. Elizabeth Breeding Says:

    the world you miss you R.I.P

  49. Darrell Bastarache Says:

    Man, you have made me feel good at my worst.When I`m feeling down,all I have to do is watch 3`s Company. Your a legend and will always be missed!!! I`ll do a skit with you in heaven someday John!!!! Thanks for all the laughs and God bless your family. Darrell Bastarache, Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada

  50. alma Says:

    you surely will be missed by all your fans

  51. Jordan Says:

    I Liked John Ritter For A Long Time.I Also Remember When He Died Almost 8 Years Ago,I Was Shocked,Hollywood Lost A Fuuny Guy That Day.Rip John Still Missed Today.

  52. Felicia Elliott Says:

    Rest In Peace John, you always gave me great laughs with your many talents, gone too soon you will be missed a great deal.

  53. Maggie Kelley Says:

    John Ritter was so amazzzing!!!!He is surely missed. He was very talented in everything he did. He will always be missed!!

  54. liam Says:

    rest in peace

  55. Victoria Says:

    GOD knocked and you answered.I rememeber you as Jack Tripper and you became one of my favorite comedic actor you stole my heart and filled it with laughter then returned it than

  56. Victoria Says:


  57. L.Cunningham Says:

    Really miss you John. Superb actor. Gone too young. My sympathies to your family. Always remembered. Never forgotten. Enjoyed all your movies and would love to see them all again. May Heaven keep your spirit safe.
    Linda. x

  58. Lesley Little Says:

    I will always remember his name. The laughter lives on. R.I.P. John Ritter

  59. russell smulders Says:

    john i was so up set the day you left us i was out side when i waqs told i raced in the ouse to fall in my wifes arms as we both made you a big part of our lfes thank you mate for all your great shows i still watch them on re runs today mate, rest in peach mate i hope god has you working as a gifted angel. bye mate till we meet one day.

  60. Earlene Montero Says:

    John..I can say only this…there will never be another like you..your wit…you kind heart..your sweet soul..you are missed so much..see you when I get there…

  61. Martha Says:

    Everytime i would watch 3’s Company i always laughed cuz i thought wow if that was real he would think he was the luckiest guy in the world. I alway wanted to meet you. but just knowing you were an amazing actor and you could always help the people makes me know just watching you was good enough for me (:

  62. lisa Says:

    you are such an insperation and my thoughts are with you and your family. hope you are at peace. you were a truely amazing actor, i loved all of your movies and 8 simple rules was brilliant too.

  63. Ali Says:

    You died on a sad day… 2 years later but still. Its a sad day to fans… You were the BEST voice for Cilfford… I grew up with you (voicing clifford that is) and I am SO sorry you died. I will see you up there one day



  65. John rollie Says:

    Dear, john i just wanted too leave a comment an say that you was wonderful. I watch threes company all the time and it never gets old ever. And i have both problem childs everything you played in was great. Im a big fan and i wish we had you longer. I hope too meet you one day when i go too heavin. Rip john thanks for all the joy you bring too my family still too this day.

  66. Lisa Weiner Says:

    John Titter.
    I just wsnt to say that you were a talented actor. I wish you still alive to make me laugh. Lisa Weiner

  67. Tina Riserbato Says:

    One of my all time favourite tv shows is Three’s Company.

    I watch it every night and never get tired of the show. Must have seen each eposite at least 5 times each.

    You have brought a lot of laughter and joy into my life as I am sure millions of viewers.

    Gone too soon, we love you and miss you terribly.

  68. Amanda Campbell Says:

    John Ritter was one of the greatest actors, especially in comedy. I wasnt born until 1983, but I love watching his older stuff. He is missed greatly.

  69. Denise Heard Says:

    John Ritter was very funny man, actor,and comedian. I loved him on three’s company and he will always be missed.Good Bye John I will see you on the other side some day!

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  71. Teresa H. Says:

    an extremely funny wonderful man, the tv and big screen aren’t the same…love you john, rest in peace.

  72. Lisa Cox Says:

    I met John when I was 15 yrs. old and he treated me like I was the most important person in the world. What an amazing day and a hell of an amazing guy. I wanted to meet him again someday; and that was tragically taken away. He was a great actor and always made me laugh when I was down. I couldn’t wait for Tuesday nights (3’s Co.) my all time favorite. God needed a good man upstairs and he got one; I just wish it wasn’t so soon. I will love him forever. So Cute!! Miss you John!

  73. patrick wilson Says:

    jack we miss you all your show’a was so good ya you was funny so day you will do it all over

  74. Galina Says:

    Lora,You and I have something in cmoomn. Uncanny X-Men #303 is also the issue that got me into comics (and made me a die-hard Jean Grey fan). I often refer to comics as visual words because I love the visual aspect to the stories as well as the writing.I think you’re right about women and relationships. My best friend and I read a ton of books. We are librarians after all. Our favorite genre is fantasy and science fiction, but we read a fair share of romances as well. We had a discussion not long ago about why we are reading more romances than the fantasy and sf these days and concluded that it’s the relationships between characters that keep us reading. If a sf story is all action and science and has few relationships and one dimensional characters, we just don’t find it interesting any more. The relationships don’t even have to be romantic ones, just believable ones.

  75. william lee Says:

    u will be missed a lot

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