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18, 1999, “is strong because of Stella,” says Winkler. She had last seen Ritter four months ago when they were each visiting New York.“She has to be there for Stella.” The death devastated many in Hollywood, where Ritter’s wide-ranging career in comedy and drama had included sitcoms, a detective series ( (1992-95), “it was like a kick in the gut.” By all accounts, Ritter had been one of the most personable, easygoing stars around – thanks, perhaps, to the fact that he himself was the son of two modest, down-home stars: Tex Ritter, a B-Western personality and country singer who died of a heart attack in 1974 at age 68, and his wife, former actress Dorothy Fay, now 88, who became a fixture at Nashville’s Grand Ole Opry as its official greeter. “The phone rang and it was John, and he goes, ‘Baby, I’ve got two dinners and four parties I’ve got to go to. I’m picking you up at .’ It was like when we were kids together.” Suzanne Somers, 56, who left the series in a very public 1981 dustup because of her salary demands, last caught up with Ritter by phone a few months ago.(Jokes Ritter’s friend, producer Harry Thomason: “John would get a kick out of the fact that he drove down (ABC parent company) Disney’s stock price Friday.”) With only three new episodes of the second season completed, the network will place the show on hiatus once those have aired, then bring it back at an undetermined date with Hennessy dead and his family coping with their grief.(September 17, 1948 – September 11, 2003) was an American actor and comedian.
Joseph Medical Center (where Ritter had been born on Sept. Shortly after 5, Ritter changed back into his clothes, got his wallet out of his black Cadillac sedan in the parking lot and was driven to the emergency room by an assistant director.
For now, the family “is on autopilot,” says a friend. A.’s Forest Lawn cemetery, with cabaret star Amanda Mc Broom singing “In My Life,” a song by his favorite band, the Beatles.
“So much to do.” His widow, whom he met on the set of the 1990 movie comedy and wed on Sept. “John was a truly, truly good man,” says Joyce De Witt, 54, one of his costars in the incredibly popular, groundbreakingly racy sitcom (1977-84) about a girl-crazy bachelor and his two female roommates.
His final roles include voicing the title character on the PBS children's program Clifford the Big Red Dog (2000–03), for which he received four Daytime Emmy Award nominations, and as Paul Hennessy on the ABC sitcom 8 Simple Rules (2002–03).
Ritter experienced discomfort during a rehearsal for the latter on the afternoon of September 11, 2003 and died later that evening of an aortic dissection at the age of 54.His final film was Stanley's Dinosaur Round-Up (2006), an animated direct-to-DVD film based on the television series, which was released posthumously.