Jonathan Southworth "John" Ritter (September 17, 1948 – September 11, 2003) was an American actor, voice over artist and comedian perhaps best known for having played Jack Tripper and Paul Hennessy in the ABC sitcoms Three's Company and 8 Simple Rules, respectively. Don Knotts called him the "Greatest physical comedian on the planet".
Ritter's final films—Bad Santa, Clifford's Really Big Movie and Stanley's Dinosaur Round-Up—were all dedicated in his memory.
John Ritter was born in Burbank, California, the son of Dorothy Fay (née Southworth), an actress, and singing cowboy/matinee-star Tex Ritter. He attended Hollywood High School, where he was student body president. He went on to the University of Southern California, where he was a member of the Phi Gamma Delta (FIJI) fraternity, and majored in psychology and minored in architecture. In 1966 at the age of 18, Ritter was a contestant on The Dating Game.