The Show “Three’s Company ” Cast, Pictures, and Trivia!
This series is about three single roommates who live together in an apartment in Santa Monica, California.
First there is Jack Tripper (John Ritter), the only male of the group, next is Chrissy Snow (Suzanne Somers) and lastly is Janet Wood (Joyce DeWitt). The relationship between the three is very close, but totally platonic, especially because the landlord of the apartment building, Stanley Roper (Norman Fell) has been told that Jack is gay, as he would not have let him move in under any other circumstance, having no tolerance for co-ed living situations. His wife, Helen Roper (Audra Lindley) knows the real truth but keeps it to herself.
Jack Tripper (John Ritter)-Jack is the funny, sweet, former Navy man, who is now putting all of his effort into becoming a chef. He met Janet and Chrissy after crashing a party that they had thrown the night before and then passed out in their shower, where they then discover hi the next morning. Up to that point, he was only able to stay at the YMCA and when the women asked him to move into the apartment to replace their departing roommate, he immediately agreed. Unfortunately, he is unaware that to move in he is going to have to pretend to be homosexual, a fact which comes into play when Janet goes to inform their landlord, Mr. Roper of the change in roommates and he at first, does not accept it. Then Janet decides to make up the story about Jack’s sexuality, making it easier for Mr. Roper to agree. Jack is well known for being very accident-prone, and incredibly clumsy, although despite this he does have a real way with the ladies. He is, on the other hand, loyal, tender-hearted and very protective of his two roommates/friends.
Chrissy Snow (Suzanne Somers)-Chrissy is the dim-witted, always confused “dumb blonde” of the group. Sweet and kind but just not very bright, Chrissy is quick to laugh at her own jokes, but does not always understand everyone else’s. The daughter of a preacher, she came to Los Angeles, later settling in Santa Monica, in order to make her fortune and has never lost her innocence, even when men with not so nice personalities and intentions attempt to hit on her. Despite leaving Fresno, she truly loves all her friends and family, and in fact promised them that she would return one day. One of her more comical traits is her loud laugh, which is accompanied by a deep snort at the end. She also tends to cry quickly and in a rather exaggerated way.
Janet Wood (Joyce DeWitt)-Janet is the dependable center of the trio. Intelligent and reliable, she is often the one the other two go to for assistance. She has a great love for plants and works at the “Arcade Flower Shop” and is originally from Speedway, Indiana. And although she is the most clear thinking of the bunch, she does have her own issues and self-doubts, early on focusing intently on the fact that she is much less well-endowed than her other female roommates and also much less spontaneous. She also speaks the Italian language, being that her father is of Italian descent, although not fluently, and is a college graduate (although what her degree is in is never mentioned).
Stanley Roper (Norman Fell)-Mr. Roper is the landlord of the building who definitely does not have the most modern of thoughts and ideas. He is married to Helen, for whom he cares deeply but simply does not want to put his emotions on display. This leads to much fighting, tension and games between the two filled with competitiveness and much outfoxing of one another, although Helen usually comes out to be the winner. He also is definitely not a man who enjoys the thought of having sex with his wife, which also tends to add problems and bickering to their already strained marriage. He is basically friendly toward the trio of roommates, although he does like to use the threat of rent increases to get a favor done at times. And although he has no personal problem with Jack or homosexuals, he often makes jokes at Jack’s expense due to this issue. He is incredibly cheap both with his wife and his tenants and will stretch a dollar as far as possible.
Helen Roper (Audra Lindley)-Helen is the wife of landlord and building owner, Stanley Roper. A very kind woman who is friendly, helpful and unfortunately, always unsatisfied with her husband. Though the two of them do have a strong love for one another, she wants more out of their relationship, especially when it comes to a sex life, which her husband very rarely grants her the privilege of having. She is quite fond of Jack, Chrissy and Janet, whom she sweetly refers to as “the kids”, and is completely aware that Jack is not, in fact, a homosexual, which she never allows her husband to find out. She is always on their side and does her best to help smooth over any tensions or problems that may arise between them and her grouchy and much less understanding husband.
Cindy Snow (Jenilee Harrison)-Cindy is the cousin of Chrissy, also from Fresno and a close part of their family and traditions. She grew up saying that she always felt like she was “playing second fiddle” to Chrissy, because she was so beautiful. Cindy is also not the brightest, but she is not quite as dim-witted as her cousin. She is, however, very, very, clumsy and Jack is usually the one on the receiving end.
Terri Alden (Priscilla Barnes)-Terri is the roommate who comes along to replace Cindy, after her character decides to leave and attend UCLA. Also blond like her two predecessors, this is where the similarities stop, as Terri is a registered nurse, hardworking, dedicated to her job and intelligent. Although she and Jack do have a rather unfortunate first meeting, they do warm up to each other after a short while.
Larry Dallas (Richard Kline)-Larry is the best friend of Jack, is one of their neighbors and shares Jack’s love of chasing women, though he is much more prone to using lies and deceptions in order to get a woman’s attention, despite his true career as a used car salesman. He is of Greek descent and mentions at one point that his real last name is actually, “Dalliapoulos”.
Ralph Furley (Don Knotts)-Mr. Furley is the landlord of the building that is now owned by his brother, who bought it from the former owner, Stanley Roper. He also is led to believe that Jack is gay because Mr. Furley insists that his brother, Bart, would never put up with that type of situation. Considers himself to be a ladies man, despite not having had a date for many years, as well as a “macho man”, even though he is actually fearful of his own brother. He wears very loud, outrageous-looking leisure suits and has many odd mannerisms as well.
This series is simple, slapstick humor, with no real seriousness to it. The perfect show if you just want to lay back and have a few laughs. Great actors, especially actor John Ritter, and funny storylines. I give this show 6 out of 10.
Jact Tripper-John Ritter
Janet Wood-Joyce DeWitt
Chrissy Snow-Suzanne Somers
Stanley Roper-Norman Fell
Helen Roper-Audra Lindley
Terri Alden-Priscilla Barnes
Cindy Snow-Jenilee Harrison
Ralph Furley-Don Knotts
Larry Dallas-Richard Kline
Lana Shields-Ann Wedgeworth
Frank Angelino-Jordan Charney
Jim the Bartender-Paul Ainsley
Mike the Bartender-Brad Blaisdell
Dean Travers-William Pierson
Felipe Gomez-Gino Conforti
Marge Andrews-Sheila Rogers
Dr. Tom Miller-Jeffrey Tambor
Phillip Dawson-David Ruprecht
Reverend Snow-Peter Mark Richmond
Arlene Price-Sondra Currie
Roland Wood-Macon McCalman
Barbara Howard-Taaffe O’Connell
Mrs. Alden-Mina Kolb
Vicky Bradford-Mary Cadorette
James Bradford-Robert Mandan
The series “Three’s Company” is based on the British sitcom entitled, “Man About the House”.
During the show’s pilot episode, Jack says, “Well, you know you have to learn to trot before you can gallop…who said that?” and then you hear the audience laughing. This was Ritter’s way of paying homage to his father, the late, great Tex Ritter.
Three’s Company was set only minutes from the beach in Santa Monica.
In 2001, Suzanne Somers discovered she had breast cancer and had a lumpectomy, followed by radiation therapy. She did not, however, have chemotherapy, but chose an alternative route instead.
Joyce DeWitt grew up in Speedway, Indiana, which is where her character, Janet, was supposed to be from.
Audra Lindley performed in many Broadway plays, some of which included, “On Golden Pond”, “Horse Heavens” and “Long Day’s Journey Into Night”.
John Ritter died on September 11, 2003. He became ill during the taping of his current series at the time, “”8 Simple Rules For Dating My Teenage Daughter”, and was taken across the street to Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center. His symptoms were chest pains, vomiting and extreme sweating and they diagnosed and treated him for a heart attack. Unfortunately, Ritter continued to worsen, and after further diagnosis they determined that he was, in fact, suffering from an aortic dissection. Sadly, Ritter died during the surgery to repair the dissection. He died six days short of his 55th birthday, one week shy of he and wife, Amy Yasbeck’s 4th wedding anniversary and in addition, he also died on his daughter, Stella’s, 5th birthday.
Actor Billy Crystal actually auditioned for the role of Jack Tripper.
Norman Fell served as a tail gunner on a “Liberator” bomber aircraft in the Pacific for the United States Army during World War II and is also credited with having two kills over Japanese fighters.
Priscilla Barnes (Terri Alden) had actually auditioned for the part of Cindy Snow, the character that she was later hired to replace, but was turned down for the role and it was given instead to actress Jenilee Harrison.
Suzanne Somers grew up as one of four children, was dyslexic and terrified of being hurt by her alcoholic, verbally and physically abusive father. She got pregnant and then subsequently married the baby’s father, Bruce Somers, at only nineteen years of age. They divorced a short time later and Somers, now a single mother, began working as a model where she was soon to meet her future husband, Alan Hamel. Though he was married at the time, the two started dating and Somers soon became pregnant. Because Hamel was still married, they decided that she should have an abortion. Nine years later, in 1977, Somers and Hamel married and are still together today.
Don Knotts played Deputy Barney Fife on the popular television series, “The Andy Griffith Show”, back in the 1960’s. He received a total of 5 Emmy Awards for this role.
The Three’s Company theme song was composed by “Sesame Street” music composer, Joe Raposo.
Richard Kline served in the United States Army during the Vietnam War and was struck by lightning during his time there.
Coincidentally enough, John Ritter was also born at the hospital where he died.
In 2012, Joyce DeWitt appeared on the talk show of Suzanne Somers, “Suzanne Somers: Breaking Through”, and reminisced with Somers about their time on Three’s Company. During this time, Somers apologized for the conflict that had risen between the two of them and they then exchanged stories about the last time that they had each spoken to former cast mate, John Ritter before his death.
In the show’s first opening sequence, there is a part where Jack (John Ritter) sees a woman with dark hair and then falls off his bike. The woman he sees is actually Suzanne Somers wearing a dark wig. In the show’s second opening sequence, a little boy walks up to Janet (Joyce DeWitt) as she is feeding the goat. The little boy is actually John Ritter’s son, Jason.
Before Jenilee Harrison decided to get into show business, she was a cheerleader for the Los Angeles Rams football team.
Don Knotts was ranked #27 on TV Guide’s list of “50 Greatest TV Stars of All Time”.
John Ritter won both an Emmy Award and a Golden Globe Award for his performance as Jack Tripper.
Suzanne Somers played opposite actor Patrick Duffy on the popular show, “Step By Step” from 1991-1998.
Norman Fell received a Golden Globe Award for his role as Stanley Roper on Three’s Company.
Three’s Company shot three pilots and went through several cast changes at the insistence of ABC’s Fred Silverman, before it was finally brought to television.
Audra Lindley was married two times and had five children with her first husband, Dr. Hardy Ulm. Her second marriage was to actor James Whitmore.
Actor Don Knotts has been quoted as saying that John Ritter was the “greatest physical comedian on the planet.”
The series was always shot twice in a row with two different audiences every Friday. There were retakes on only the rarest of occasions, due to the strictness of the producers. Priscilla Barnes once made the comment, “Our bosses were very, very controlling. If my hair was too blond, I’d get called up in the office.”
The September 29, 2003, issue of “People” magazine featured not one but two covers. This occurred due to both Johnny Cash and John Ritter dying only one day apart. All the magazines distributed to the central and southwest United States (with the exception of Florida) had Cash on the cover, and the rest had a photograph of Ritter, which sadly was very appropriate, in that he was waving good-bye.
Suzanne Somers was named “Las Vegas’ Female Entertainer of the Year” in 1986.
Don Knotts’ childhood was not the most pleasant. He was the last of four children, and his birth did not come until his mother was 40 years old. This caused his father, William, to have a breakdown due to the stress of having a child so late in life, in addition to his father also being an alcoholic and a schizophrenic. His father would often terrorize his son and wife with a knife, causing the young boy to turn inward. His father died of pneumonia when Don was only 13 years old.
Chrissy’s (Suzanne Somers) full name is Christmas Noelle Snow.
Joyce DeWitt was arrested for drunken driving on July 4, 2009. Reportedly, police pulled her over after she drove past a barrier near a park, observed signs that she seemed to be under the influence and gave her a field sobriety test. She was then arrested, booked at the police station, cited and released on her own recognizance. She later plead no contest to one count misdemeanor, and was then ordered to undergo a 9 month alcohol program, was placed on three years of probation and ordered to pay a fine of $510 plus penalty assessments. In exchange for her plea, a second count of misdemeanor was dismissed.
For decades, it was popular Hollywood lore, that Norman Fell and actor Jack Klugman had been having a bitter feud with one another for more than 40 years. In reality, the two had actually grown up in the Philadelphia area and were friends.
John Ritter was president of his student body class in high school and later went on to college with the intention of going into politics. He later changed his mind after the assassinations of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Robert F. Kennedy.
The characters of Stanley (Norman Fell) and Helen Roper (Audra Lindley) were spun off into their own series after three seasons, with the promise from ABC that if their show did not make it past season one, that they would then be able to return to Three’s Company permanently. Their series, “The Ropers”, lasted for a total of a season and a half, so ABC did not have to keep its promise and instead kept Ralph Furley (Don Knotts) on in the permanent position of landlord.
Jenilee Harrison played the role of Jamie Ewing Barnes on the incredibly popular television series, “Dallas.”
Priscilla Barnes originally started out with the intention of becoming a dancer, but a severe accident while performing on the stage of the Hollywood Bowl ended that idea. She fractured her jaw and broke her leg.
Suzanne Somers and John Ritter had actually ended the breach that had occurred between them when they were on Three’s Company only a short time before Ritter’s death.
The opening sequence to Three’s Company was shot at the Santa Monica Pier before the larger amusement park was built next to the pier. They later re-shot the opening sequence after actress Priscilla Barnes joined the cast and it was shot at the Los Angeles Zoo in Griffith Park.
Don Knotts is the sixth cousin of actor/director Ron Howard, of “Happy Days” fame.
Audra Lindley died unexpectedly in October of 1997, after a long battle with leukemia. Though she had been previously diagnosed with leukemia, she was in the process of having prescribed treatments, so there was no immediate concern that she was in any danger when she checked herself into the hospital because she was feeling ill after taping an episode of the television series, “Cybill”, on which she had recently gained a recurring role. It was a great surprise to everyone, when she died the very next day, with a script for the next episode she was to tape, at her bedside. She was 79 years old.
John Ritter’s acting mentor was the legendary, Harry Morgan, well known for his fame on the popular and beloved television series, “M*A*S*H“. Ritter had the opportunity to work with Morgan in two films as well as an episode of M*A*S*H.
Before Joyce DeWitt had the opportunity to be on Three’s Company, she was working as a secretary and going to auditions on the side. Finally, after some time had passed, ABC offered her the opportunity of two comedy pilots, but she had only 24 hours to decide which one. She luckily chose the right one (Three’s Company) as the other series never sold.
Norman Fell died in December 1998, due to cancer. He was 74 years old.
Suzanne Somers was replaced due to salary demands that were not met and the friction that came with it. Somers demanded an increase during Season Five from $30,000 to $150,000 per episode, along with a 10% cut of the show’s profits, and when she did not get what she wanted she began not showing up for work. This continued until both John Ritter and Joyce DeWitt refused to work with her and her part was cut to just a few short minutes at the end of each show, which was also taped at a different time from Ritter’s and DeWitt’s, as they wanted no contact with her at all. Somers was fired a short time later.
John Ritter was born with a birth defect called a coloboma, which is a hole in one of the structures of the eye. For example, the choroid, iris, retina or optic disc.
Actress Priscilla Barnes said that the time she worked on Three’s Company, was the most miserable in her professional career and that she contemplated quitting as soon as she had begun, because she so disliked the atmosphere backstage.
The character of Cindy Snow (Jenilee Harrison) continues to appear in the last set of opening credits, even after her character is no longer on the show. She is briefly seen entering the zoo with the rest of the group.
Don Knotts served in the United States Army during World War II (not as a drill instructor on Parris Island for the Marine Corp. as urban legend has it) but spent most of his time entertaining the troops.
Priscilla Barnes got her first real break in the mid 1970’s when Bob Hope saw her and hired her to accompany him on his trips to entertain military troops.
Suzanne Somers’ beachfront home in Malibu, California was burned to the ground by a wildfire in January of 2007.
John Ritter’s character, Paul Hennessy, from his last television series, 8 Simple Rules, was ranked at #48 on TV Guide’s list of the “50 Greatest TV Dads of All Time” in June 2004.
Jenilee Harrison has been married to Bruce Oppenheim since 1993. Oppenheim was formerly married to actress Cybill Shepherd.
The character of Larry Dallas (Richard Kline) was originally supposed to be a one-time appearance. Instead, the chemistry between Ritter and Kline was something that the producers thought added to the show, so Kline became a recurring character and then later, a cast member.
Norman Fell was married three times and had a total of three children. One of which was an adopted baby boy named, Kasey, who was later diagnosed with cerebral palsy.
Don Knotts joined Andy Griffith in another series, nearly three decades after they appeared together so successfully on The Andy Griffith Show. This series was called “Matlock”.
John Ritter was married twice. The first time was to actress Nancy Morgan, with whom he had three children. The second was to actress Amy Yasbeck, with whom he had one child, a daughter. He and Yasbeck were still happily married upon his death.
Three’s Company which debuted midseason in 1977, was not thought to have a huge chance of success, as most programs in the 60’s and 70’s that were put on during midseason were usually canceled very quickly. Surprisingly, Three’s Company shocked everyone, and broke records at the time as the highest-rated midseason show ever to be broadcast on network television.
Suzanne Somers has had a number of books published. This includes a series of self-help books, two autobiographies, a book of poetry and four diet books.
Audra Lindley quit school at the age of only fifteen years old.
The only cast member to appear in every single episode, was John Ritter.
NBC aired a two-hour docudrama in May 2003, that was called, “Behind the Camera: The Unauthorized Story of Three’s Company”. Other actors and actresses portrayed the characters and it covered the series from beginning to end, including the drama both onscreen and off. And though neither one appeared in it, both John Ritter and Suzanne Somers had some input. Joyce DeWitt, however, not only co-produced but also narrated the film.
Don Knotts appeared with John Ritter one last time, many years after Three’s Company ended, on Ritter’s last series, 8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter. Knotts was also the last actor from Three’s Company to ever work with Ritter again before his unfortunate death. Knotts and Ritter had remained close friends for years and Knotts received a call about Ritter’s death while he was on stage doing a play in Kansas City. He attended the funeral four days later.
Joyce DeWitt refused to work bare-legged when shooting for the series, which caused somewhat of a conflict between her and the producers. Instead, she always wore tights or pantyhose, and because of this, attracted the attention of hosiery manufacturers, which then led to her becoming the spokeswoman during the late 1970’s for the pantyhose company, “L’eggs”.
Priscilla Barnes was a “Penthouse Pet of the Month” for March 1976, under the name of Joanne Witty. She later sued Penthouse when they re-published her nude photographs under her real name.
The “Thoracic Aortic Disease Coalition”, in partnership with the “John Ritter Foundation”, announced the creation in March 2010, of something that is called, “The Ritter Rules.” This is a list of life-saving reminders that can help recognize, treat and prevent thoracic aortic dissection. The reason for the creation of the John Ritter Foundation is to help provide correct and accurate information about this particular disease and its accompanying risk factors to the general public. Additionally, it also helps to improve the identification of people who are at risk for the disease, treatments for aortic thoracic disease through medical research and to provide support to both individuals who have this disease, as well as to people who have had the unfortunate experience of losing someone to it. Ritter’s wife, Amy Yasbeck. also worked with Dr. Dianna M. Milewicz, at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, in order to establish the “John Ritter Research Program in Aortic and Vascular Diseases”, with the main goal of being able to prevent premature deaths due to aortic dissection by identifying gene mutations that could ultimately predispose certain people to having thoracic aortic dissections and aneurysms.
Suzanne Somers was the spokeswoman in the 1980’s for the piece of exercise equipment called, “The Thighmaster.”
At the end of the second show in the first season, John Ritter utters the line, “Goodnight, John Boy.” This was a direct nod to the time that Ritter spent playing the part of Reverend Fordwick, on “The Waltons.”
Several years before Don Knotts’ death, he suffered from macular degeneration in both of his eyes, which caused him to become virtually blind. Despite this, he still did a live performance here and there, although the amount of appearances he made were few.
In the late 1980’s, a series entitled, “She’s the Sheriff” was set to begin and Priscilla Barnes was to play the role of the sheriff. Unfortunately, she could not accept the role because of her commitment to Three’s Company. Ironically, the actress hired to replace her was none other than Suzanne Somers.
John Ritter’s incredible talent for “physical schtick” was strongly heralded by legendary actress and comedienne, Lucille Ball, who actually hosted a tribute to John’s amazing talent on Three’s Company. Later, during Ball’s last comedy series, “Life with Lucy”, Ritter appeared on an episode of the show and Ball claims that during the shooting of one of the scenes, she had to yell “cut” because he had made her laugh so hard. She later said that it was only the third time in her entire career that she had to do this.
Despite the fact that Norman Fell was an actor for approximately 40 years, his best known role did not come until he was cast as Stanley Roper.
John Ritter died one day before another legend, singer Johnny Cash. Cash died the following day and Ritter’s father, Tex Ritter, had actually written several songs for Cash during the 1950’s and 60’s.
Due to her dyslexia, when Suzanne Somers was performing in a show in Las Vegas, she had to paint one shoe red and the other one black, so that she was able to learn the choreography of the dance numbers. She later founded the “Suzanne Somers Institute for the Effects of Addictions on Families”, in Palm Springs, California. She proceeded to win the “Humanitarian Award from the National Council on Alcoholism” in 1991.
Don Knotts died in February of 2006, from pulmonary and respiratory complications to pneumonia related to lung cancer. He had been in the process of undergoing treatment in the months before his death, but he had gone home because he was reportedly beginning to feel better. Only hours before Knotts died, his close and long-time personal friend, Andy Griffith, visited him at his bedside.
Jenilee Harrison has been a spokeswoman for a large number of infomercial products.
Richard Kline has been married two times and has one child.
John Ritter had one brother, Tom, who was born in 1947 with cerebral palsy. Ritter later helped raise money for the disease.