Last Updated: May 13, 2024
Richest CelebritiesActors
Net Worth:
$20 Million
Sep 17, 1948 - Sep 11, 2003 (54 years old)
5 ft 10 in (1.8 m)
Comedian, Actor, Voice Actor
United States of America
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What Was John Ritter's Net Worth?

John Ritter was an American actor, comedian, and voice-over artist who had a net worth of $20 million at the time of his death in 2003. John Ritter is best known for playing Jack Tripper on the ABC comedy "Three's Company" from 1977 to 1984. During his career, Ritter appeared in over 100 movies and TV shows, and he also starred on Broadway.

John's career onscreen began in the early 1970s, but it was his role as Jack Tripper in the groundbreaking sitcom "Three's Company" that thrust him into the limelight. His deft comedic timing, coupled with a remarkable ability to convey vulnerability and relatability, made the character iconic and Ritter a household name.

The success of "Three's Company" allowed Ritter to explore various roles, showcasing his versatility as an actor. He moved fluidly between television and film, garnering respect from peers and audiences alike. Noteworthy film roles include "Problem Child," "Skin Deep," and "Sling Blade," where his performances often provided a touching depth, sometimes masked by a comedic facade. He also appeared in numerous TV movies and series, demonstrating his broad range and adaptability.

His career spanned over three decades, and even posthumously, John Ritter's legacy endures through his poignant performances that continue to captivate audiences. His work has been recognized with numerous awards and nominations, including an Emmy and a Golden Globe, highlighting his substantial impact on the industry.

Moreover, Ritter wasn't just limited to on-screen appearances. He also lent his voice to numerous animated projects, thereby enriching his oeuvre and maintaining a presence in various entertainment formats.

John Ritter's untimely passing on September 11, 2003, at the age of 54, was felt deeply within Hollywood and among fans worldwide. He fell ill on the set of "8 Simple Rules… for Dating My Teenage Daughter" and was rushed to the hospital complaining of chest pain. He died that evening. Ritter's widow, actress Amy Yasbeck, eventually sued the hospital and two doctors who treated him. The hospital settled for $9.4 million. The doctors, who faced a $70 million wrongful death suit, ultimately were found not responsible.

(Photo by Ron Galella/Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images)

Early Life

John Ritter was born Jonathan Southworth Ritter on September 17, 1948, in Burbank, California. Ritter had a birth defect known as a coloboma in his right eye. His father, Tex Ritter, was a singing cowboy and matinee star, and his mother, Dorothy Fay, was an actress. John attended Hollywood High School, where he was student body president. Ritter went on to attend the University of Southern California and majored in psychology. He later changed his major to theater arts and switched to the USC School of Dramatic Arts. Throughout college, Ritter traveled to the U.K., the Netherlands, and West Germany to perform onstage. He graduated in 1970.

Film & Television Career

John made his first TV appearance on "The Dating Game" (1970) as a winning contestant, having earned a vacation to Lake Havasu, Arizona. His first TV acting experience was as a campus revolutionary in the ABC series "Dan August" starring Burt Reynolds. His film debut was in the 1971 Disney film "The Barefoot Executive." After that, Ritter made guest appearances on several shows, including "Hawaii Five-O" and "M*A*S*H." From 1972 to 1976, John had a recurring role as Reverend Matthew Fordwick on the drama series "The Waltons." Since he was not a weekly cast member, Ritter had time to pursue other roles, which he did until 1976, when the role of a lifetime fell into his hands.

John first became internationally famous for playing the role of Jack Tripper on the hit ABC sitcom "Three's Company" (1976–1984), for which he won an Emmy and a Golden Globe Award in 1984. "Three's Company" was the Americanized version of the 1970s British Thames TV series "Man About the House." Ritter co-starred opposite Joyce DeWitt and Suzanne Somers in the comedy centered around three platonic roommates. The series spent several seasons near the top of the U.S. TV ratings before it ended in 1984.

Ritter also starred in the short-lived spin-off "Three's a Crowd." During the run of "Three's Company," he appeared in the films "Ringo," "Hero at Large," "Americathon," and "They All Laughed" and lent his voice to the animated movie "The Flight of Dragons." In 1986, John starred in the music video for Graham Nash's song "Innocent Eyes."

"Hooperman" was Ritter's first TV role after "Three's Company." He played Detective Harry Hooperman, who inherited a run-down apartment building. In 1988, he was nominated for an Emmy and a Golden Globe Award for his work on "Hooperman." He won a People's Choice award for this role. From 1992 to 1995, John returned to TV for three seasons, appearing as John Hartman in "Hearts Afire." After his time on TV, Ritter appeared in a number of films, most notably "Problem Child," "Skin Deep," "Sling Blade," and "Mercenary." He also starred in several TV movies during this time, including "Gramps," "The Colony," "It," "Heartbeat," and "It Came from the Sky." He also made guest appearances on several TV shows that were popular at the time, such as "Felicity," "Ally McBeal," "Scrubs," and "Buffy the Vampire Slayer." Ritter provided the voice of the title character in the animated children's show "Clifford the Big Red Dog," a role for which he received four Emmy nominations. His final film was "Stanley's Dinosaur Round-Up" in 2006. At the time of his sudden death, John was starring on the ABC sitcom "8 Simple Rules… for Dating My Teenage Daughter" opposite Katey Sagal.

John Ritter Net Worth

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"Three's Company" Salary

In 1979, ahead of the fifth season, Suzanne Somers and Joyce Dewitt's salary per episode was raised to $30,000. Joyce accepted the raise, but Suzanne did not. As the story has been told over the decades, Suzanne demanded to earn the same amount per episode as John Ritter. That amount is generally understood to have been $150,000 per episode. She further demanded to receive 10% of the show's back-end profits. Producers rejected her demands, and her character was written off the show.


Ritter starred as Claude Pichon in "The Dinner Party," written by Neil Simon, in 2000 at the Music Box Theater on Broadway. The play ran for 364 performances. Ritter won the Theater World Award in 2001 for his performance. In 2003, Ritter made his last stage appearance in "All About Eve," a benefit for the Actor's Fund of America and held at the Ahmanson Theater in Los Angeles, California.

Personal Life

Ritter was married to actress Nancy Morgan from 1977 to 1996. They had three children, Carly, Jason, and Tyler–the latter two are also actors. John married actress Amy Yasbeck, his former co-star on "Problem Child," on September 18, 1999. They had a child, born in 1998.

Death and Lawsuits

On September 11, 2003, John fell ill while rehearsing for "8 Simple Rules." Sweating profusely, vomiting, and having chest pains, Ritter was taken to the Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center across the street (coincidentally, the same hospital where he was born) around 6 p.m. that evening. He was initially treated in the ER for a heart attack, but his condition quickly worsened. Doctors then verified Ritter had an aortic dissection, and he was pronounced dead at 10:48 p.m. at age 54. A private funeral was held in Los Angeles, and he was interred at the Forest Lawn Hollywood Hills Cemetery in the Hollywood Hills of Los Angeles.

In 2008, Ritter's widow, Amy Yasbeck, filed lawsuits against doctors involved in John's treatment at the hospital. The lawsuits against the center were settled out of court for $9.4 million. A $67 million wrongful-death lawsuit against two of the physicians, radiologist Matthew Lotysch and cardiologist Joseph Lee, went to trial. Yasbeck accused Lee of misdiagnosing his condition as a heart attack and Lotysch, who had given him a full-body scan two years earlier, of failing at that time to detect an enlargement of Ritter's aorta. In 2008, the Los Angeles County Superior Court jury ruled that the doctors who treated Ritter were not negligent and not responsible for his death.

Real Estate

In 1996, John paid $2.2 million for a home in Beverly Hills, California. His widow, Amy Yasbeck, listed the home for sale in 2017 for $6.5 million. She ultimately sold it in August of that year for $55,000 over her asking price.

All net worths are calculated using data drawn from public sources. When provided, we also incorporate private tips and feedback received from the celebrities or their representatives. While we work diligently to ensure that our numbers are as accurate as possible, unless otherwise indicated they are only estimates. We welcome all corrections and feedback using the button below.
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