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From the Archives: John Ritter, 54; Versatile Star of 'Three's Company,' '8 Simple Rules'

From the Archives: John Ritter, 54; Versatile Star of 'Three's Company,' '8 Simple Rules'

Emmy Award-winning actor John Ritter, who died unexpectedly Thursday night, had a television career marked by comic bookends. His most famous role was as a girl-chasing bachelor. And he was enjoying renewed success as a harried father chasing off the boys who pursued his two teenage girls.

In between, Ritter, 54, bounced between comedy and drama, playing such diverse characters as a dying Vietnam veteran, the author of "The Wizard of Oz," an earnest San Francisco policeman and a gay Southern shop employee. The youngest son of country and western singer and actor Tex Ritter worked steadily, appearing in more than 100 TV series and movies, feature films and stage...

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