‘Three’s Company’ Star Joyce DeWitt Reflects On Final Moments With John Ritter Before His Untimely Passing

Joyce DeWitt, born on Apr. 23, 1949, in Wheeling, West Virginia, is a renowned actress who rose to fame for her iconic role as Janet Wood in the hit sitcom “Three’s Company.” With her charm, wit and impeccable comedic timing, DeWitt captivated audiences and became an integral part of one of America’s most beloved television shows.

DeWitt’s journey into the world of acting began at an early age. Growing up in Speedway, Indiana, she discovered her passion for performing during her high school years. Following her graduation, DeWitt made her way to the prestigious University of California, Los Angeles, where she earned a Master of Fine Arts degree in acting.

In 1976, DeWitt’s breakthrough came when she was cast as Janet Wood in “Three’s Company.” The sitcom, which revolved around the comedic misunderstandings and misadventures of three roommates, quickly became a cultural phenomenon.

DeWitt’s character, Janet, portrayed a smart, sensible, and quick-witted woman who often found herself caught up in the hilarious escapades of her roommates, played by John Ritter and Suzanne Somers. Her impeccable comedic timing, paired with her ability to deliver lines with a perfect blend of sass and charm, made Janet one of the show’s most beloved characters.

“Three’s Company” ran for eight successful seasons, from 1977 to 1984, and garnered widespread acclaim and a devoted fan base. The show’s popularity solidified DeWitt’s place in television history, and she became a household name, adored by millions of viewers across the nation.

As of October 2023, DeWitt is the only surviving member of the trio, as her good pals John Ritter and Suzanne Somers have already passed away.

In one interview, the actress detailed the final moments she had with Ritter before his unexpected passing.

Although the trio presented an amazing friendship through the episodes of “Three’s Company,” not all viewers knew what happened behind the scenes as Suzanne Somers was fired from the series, which also meant that she had to leave behind her good pals Joyce DeWitt and John Ritter.

In an interview with Entertainment Tonight in 2020, Somers explained that she wanted to renegotiate her contract as she didn’t have the same salary as Ritter.

Unfortunately, she claimed that she was fired from the show for asking to be paid the same amount as her co-actor.

“They fired me for asking to be paid commensurate with the men. … They need you as the example so no other woman in television will get uppity and think that they could ask for parity with men,” she said.

Somers was “sad” as she felt that everyone, including the cast and crew members, shunned her, so she “never talked to anybody on that show ever again.”

Fortunately, she was able to reunite with DeWitt for the first time after 30 years on her talk show titled “Suzanne Somers Breaking Through” in 2012.

DeWitt said she agreed to meet up with her at the time because they needed to talk and explain what truly happened behind closed doors.

Not only did the two girls reunite, but Somers was also able to get in contact with Ritter before his death nine years prior to the episode’s release, as she explained in the interview that the late actor had already forgiven her.

Although Somers had plans for the two of them to have a project together, it never happened, as Ritter died a month later.

Regarding DeWitt, she also had a moment with Ritter before he passed away. She recalled the final night they spent together in the episode of Somers’ talk show.

At the time, both of them were staying in New York City, so when she found out about it, she immediately contacted his hotel and left a message.

“As I’m walking out the door, the phone rings, and I pick it up and it’s Johnathan… and he goes, ‘Baby, we’ve got three parties and a dinner to do tonight. I’ll pick you up at 7!’” she recalled.

They went on to hang out that evening, but unfortunately, Ritter passed away a month later.

According to Parade, Ritter died in September 2003 due to aortic dissection. He was 54 years old at the time.

DeWitt is now the only surviving member of the trio, as Suzanne Somers also passed away in October 2023.

According to an article published by Today, the late actress’ family confirmed that her cause of death was breast cancer. She was supposed to celebrate her 77th birthday, but she died a day before.

Her breast cancer diagnosis was not a secret as she publicly revealed her condition in 2001 as she told her fans that she was undergoing treatment. Aside from breast cancer, she also had other forms of cancer for the past years.

Her breast cancer came back in early 2023, but she became cancer free again in July 2023.

DeWitt reacted to the death of her good friend through a statement obtained by People Magazine.

“My heart goes out to Suzanne’s family,” DeWitt, 74, said. “They are a very close family — deeply connected and caring one to the other. I can only imagine how difficult this time is for all of them,” she wrote.

What do you think of Joyce DeWitt’s friendship with her co-stars John Ritter and Suzanne Somers? Let us know your thoughts, and make sure to pass this on to your friends and family.

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