Emmy Award-winning actor John Ritter, the star of the ABC comedy “8
Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter,” died Thursday night at
Providence St. Joseph Medical Center after collapsing on the set of
the popular sitcom. He was 54.
Ritter became ill Thursday while working on the series and
underwent surgery for a tear in his aorta, a rare medical condition
that went undetected, his publicist said.
He died from a “dissection of the aorta,” which results from an
unrecognized flaw in a main artery from the heart, said his
publicists, Wolf-Kasteler & Associates Public Relations.
Ritter, the youngest son of singing cowboy Tex Ritter, was best
known for his portrayal of Jack Tripper in the 1970s situation comedy
“Three’s Company,” which won him Emmy, Golden Globe and People’s
“All of us at ABC, Touchstone Pictures and The Walt Disney Co. are
shocked and heartbroken at the terrible news of John’s passing,” the
network released in a statement. “Our thoughts and prayers are with
his wife and children at this very difficult time.”
For more than 30 years, he starred in TV, movies and on stage. His
latest film, “Bad Santa,” opposite Billy Bob Thornton, is scheduled
for release Nov. 26.
A Los Angeles native, Ritter graduated from Hollywood High School,
where he was student body president, and attended USC, where he
earned a bachelor’s degree in drama. Ritter lived in Los Angeles.
Ritter is survived by his wife, Amy Yasbeck, whom he married in
1999. They have a daughter, Stella, 5. Ritter also has three
children, Carly, Tyler and Jason, from a previous marriage.